I'm sorry, but a lot of people in the business community are just the biggest babies in the world. Obama and Biden have both been quite conciliatory to them and they still complain about not having their hands held every time a bill is introduced
Reminds me of this

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More from @jdcmedlock

30 Mar
It's important to make a distinction between SALT deduction and VMT. There are genuine concerns about the latter that should be addressed, whereas repealing the SALT deduction cap is not regressive in the slightest, it'd be a tax cut for the top 20% plain and simple
The SALT debate gets really, uh, salty because people stopped thinking about it in pure distributional terms and see it more along the lines of regional/partisan-identity politics. It felt like a specific attack on blue states, which to be fair, is true
But viewing it in those terms results in terrible policy, like holding important anti-poverty bills hostage for a tax cut for the rich (*our* rich)
Read 5 tweets
25 Mar
This is important - we adjust poverty measures for the additional expenses related to having kids, but we don’t for the additional expenses of having a disability
I’ve often wondered if countries with generous disability allowances actually don’t get full credit for their poverty reduction because of this. The US doesn’t even have a disability allowance program, only disability pensions
The difference being, a pension is meant to replace lost income, whereas an allowance is meant to supplement for additional costs incurred due to a disability, regardless of if the person is able to work
Read 4 tweets
19 Mar
Seeing backlash to the takes that the ARP was a transformational bill, and I think the right answer is that we don’t totally know yet. It could range from “very good one-off relief” to “the beginning of a fundamental shift in welfare politics” depending on what is made permanent
As a relief package, it’s a more modest continuation of CARES, but I think credit should be adjusted upward given the context of being at the end rather than the beginning of the pandemic. No one warned of overheating a year ago. Learning to ignore Summers is progress itself.
As welfare state expansion, the inclusion of the American Family Act, with clear signaling of being a permanent program, is a big deal. Ironically, as Yglesias points out, this is not really Biden’s thing, but he’s going with the flow because congressional Dems care about it
Read 4 tweets
9 Mar
This is easily one of the most incoherent articles I’ve ever read
This paragraph starts out by talking about wealth inequality (a real problem, I agree). And then it uses that to conclude the bill doesn’t cut income poverty, which is not the same thing!
Many of the people with negative net worth are not doing well, but that number also includes many people who have taken on debt but have really high incomes and are doing fine. It just doesn’t say much about poverty either way
Read 8 tweets
6 Feb
I feel like drawing a distinction between means-testing (including only the poor) and affluence-testing (excluding only the rich) would make the discourse a bit clearer. Means-testing should be viewed on a continuum, not as a binary.
The “checks show means-testing can be really popular” discourse misses that they were barely means-tested. Something like 88% of people got them, which is a big difference from the type of means-testing usually discussed
I think the political arguments about means-testing mostly come down to including the middle class, which affluence testing does. As far as I can tell, non-paternalistic cash benefit programs narrowly targeted at the poor are still not politically (or administratively) viable
Read 5 tweets
20 Jan
My take on the back and forth about the advanced child tax credits is that, as it was proposed in the AFA, where payments are only sent if your tax liability is negative, it seems likely to lead to administrative problems. 1/?
But if we did actually copy Canada and assess eligibility entirely based on prior year income, & send checks out to everyone below the high phase-out, that would be fine. It’s not ideal because it’s less responsive to income changes, but administratively it’d avoid major fumbles
In Canada, 6% of people on last-ditch social assistance do not receive the full child benefit because it’s based on prior income. This isn’t great, & may be worse in the US where our social assistance is worse, but it’s a relatively small number of people jrf.org.uk/file/36835/dow…
Read 4 tweets

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