May 10, 2010

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(Ocassionally what peace of mind looks like)

In 1970 there was a movement afoot to create a Minimum Income Law and do away with the current system of Welfare in this country. It looked good on paper, but then so do a lot of dreams. It was a hot topic and made for a good segment of the PBS Series The Advocates which featured, among others, Barbara Jordan arguing for the law and Ronald Reagan arguing against it.

Howard Miller (arguing for): “We propose an end to the Welfare system. That system is cruel, it’s paid for by the wrong people, breaks up families and positively penalizes work. We propose instead a minimum income supplement paid through the Internal Revenue Service. That supplement would stabilize families, would reward work and would break the welfare cycle. The system we propose has been put forth by the President’s Commission on Income Maintenance, a distinguished panel of businessmen and public officials throughout the United States. Of course it is not cheap. It would cost about six billion dollars. But that is less than one percent of our gross national product, and it is a test of our willingness to break up the Welfare bureaucracy, end the Welfare cycle and deal justly and humanely with our poor.”

Needless to say, the idea didn't fly. However, looking at all the unemployment benefits getting ready to run out, you'd think someone would propose that again. I mean, it was a proposal that came out of the Nixon administration . . .just saying.

On second thought . . . .

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