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Hopkins Economist: Safety Net Works Just Fine

[caption id="attachment_19569" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo by Michelle Gienow Photo by Michelle Gienow[/caption] This just in, from the economic researchers at Johns Hopkins:

That's Robert A. Moffitt, a Hopkins economist, who has studied how food stamps, unemployment insurance, and the Earned Income Tax Credit were used since the Great Recession started in about 2007. He found huge increases in the outlays of all these programs: Food stamp spending doubled, from $30 billion to $65 billion, for example. Earned Income Tax Credits ballooned from $49 billion to $59 billion. This leads him to conclude that the programs worked as intended. And that's probably right as far as it goes. But then it is also true that

something like $12 billion a year. As anyone who has ever watched the storefront tax preparers work can attest,

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. You see people coming in with Social Security numbers written on their arm, each representing a dependent child. Ask the kids' names and they can't say. The IRS tried to make tax preparers take tests to prove competency. The non-profit, Virginia-based "Institute for Justice" fought back;

thanks to these Libertarian freedom fighters—who hate regulation more than they hate fraud. But whatever. The safety net works! Go back to sleep.

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