I’ve written a couple of times about the Food Stamp program, citing ridiculous examples of waste, fraud, and abuse. These include:
- Using food stamps to buy luxury coffee at Starbucks.
- Buying steaks and lobster with food stamps.
- The Obama Administration rewarding states that sign up more food stamp recipients.
- Proposals to make it easier to use food stamps at fast food restaurants.
- College kids scamming the program for handouts.
- New York City giving food stamps to newly released prisoners and running foreign-language ads encouraging more people to sign up for the program.
As a taxpayer, I get upset about these examples. But as a public policy economist, I’m much more worried about the fiscal and economic impact of the program.
As a human being, though, my primary concern is the way redistribution saps the spirit of self reliance and traps people into lives of dependency. That’s the very first point I make in this debate on CNBC.
By the way, my opponent in the debate is Jared Bernstein, who is infamous for being the co-author of the Obama Administration claim that enacting the s0-called stimulus would keep the unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent.
I’ve had lots of fun mocking that claim. Every couple of months I post Jared’s predictions and compare them to the real-world results.
But it’s important to understand that I’m not blaming him for making bad predictions. After all, economists are lousy forecasters. I blame him for peddling the silly Keynesian theory that bigger government boosts economic performance.