This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
I like James Pethokoukis ideas that he listed as far as not only the Earned Income Tax Credit which along with Welfare to Work are two of the best anti-poverty programs ever created, but also as far as expanding the EITC for low-income workers. I would do that and add things like health insurance, education, job training, savings, retirement and even housing to the EITC. So these workers could actually put some money away and finish their education so they can leave their low-income low-benefit job and get themselves a good job. And leave poverty for the middle class.
If you want fewer unemployed adults in America whether they are educated or not and at least since the Great Recession there’s a mixture of both types of unemployed worker, working simply has to pay more than not working. Which is the whole point of the EITC. Money that low-income workers get back so they don’t have to pay federal income taxes. So that means increasing the minimum wage to the point that a minimum wage worker makes more money and earns that money, than someone not working at all and collecting Welfare Insurance. Because they simply do not have enough skills to get a good job.
So minimum wage 10-12 buck and hour with a thirty-percent tax break for employers. And index the minimum wage for inflation so it keeps up with inflation. And apply today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to people on Welfare and index that for inflation as well. So the person on Welfare even if they have kids would get the message that they could get more money working than not working. As well as get assistance in order to finish their education and get themselves a good job. And be able to leave public assistance all together.