Dan explains below why he wants to junk the welfare state.
Learning from the tremendous success of welfare reform during the Clinton Administration, the entire Washington-based welfare state should be junked.
It’s a complicated and costly mess that traps poor people in dependency.
It would be much simpler (and more effective) to simply take all the money that’s now being spent on these programs and send it to the states as part of a “block grant” and let them figure out how best to help poor people without some of the negative consequences caused by the current plethora of programs.
Let’s start with the fact that the program subsidizes purchases that have nothing to do with avoiding genuine hunger and deprivation. Indeed, as documented in a story in The Federalist, Food Stamps subsidize a considerable amount of unhealthy food.
By the way, I think poor people (indeed, all people) should be able to eat anything they want. That being said, there’s something perverse about subsidizing and encouraging unhealthy patterns.
Particularly when obesity is one of the biggest health problems in low-income communities.
There’s considerable evidence that states are more sensible in their approach. I’ve already written about good reforms in Maine and Wisconsin. Well, the Daily Caller has encouraging news that the good news in those states is part of a national trend.
P.S. In the long run, the block grant should be phased out so the federal government isn’t involved at all in the business of income redistribution. If we care about the limits on federal power in Article 1, Section 8, then states should be responsible for choosing how much to raise in addition to choosing how to spend.