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Tonight's Crazy Story:
Spider Causes House Fire...Sort Of
A homeowner who was using a blowtorch to remove cobwebs accidentally lit some dry plants on fire, causing $25,000 of damage to his home.
Topic One: Very Well-fare
Our handout society is our largest problem: "When Washington intervenes, we abjure these necessities, no longer leaving an inheritance, but sprinting onto the dole. Many Americans maintain minuscule savings and are ill-prepared for retirement. Why save for rainy days or the future? Why assist distressed neighbors, or even support your aging parents if the state will take care of all three? The family is the basic social building block. Instead of families rallying together, or neighbors helping neighbors, we affix to the state apparatus like spokes on a wheel as Washington becomes preeminent. Thomas Sowell warns, safety nets quickly become hammocks undermining communities by shifting burdens onto others."
Food stamp growth is not totally due to the recession: "A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report in April 2012 said spending on food stamps from 2000 to 2011 went from $18 billion to $78 billion. Much of that growth came from 2007 to 2011, when SNAP benefit totals increased from approximately $38 billion to $78 billion. According to CBO, 65% of this latter growth was due to the weak economy, 20% was due to increased assistance in the 2009 stimulus, and 15% is related to “other factors,” including higher food prices. Using CBO’s numbers, approximately $26 billion in SNAP increases since 2007 can be directly attributed to the recession. This $26 billion equals about 43% of the growth since 2000, meaning 57% of growth is attributed to factors not directly associated with the recession. RJ Caster, a former district case worker for a Maryland Congressman, talked about his experience in conducting oversight on various federal assistance programs for the Congressman, including food stamps. According to Caster, “There really is no way to make sure the programs are being used effectively. Some people really are trying to help themselves, and some people are going to come back again and again because they have mental deficiencies. But there are many times where there have been people who go and get help, and they are definitely taking advantage of the system."
AEI has a new graph, showing the value of welfare benefits at various income levels. As the graph points out, a $29,000 salary plus the associate welfare benefits gives a single mom a greater net income level than a $69,000 salary.