Tuesday, February 24, 2009

welfare gone wild

From Drew Mikkelsen with MSNBC (hat tip: Opening Arguments), a case study in the typical unintended consequences that accompany public policy-- as well as one more reason to keep things at the state and local (vs. federal) level...

The state is sending out hundreds of thousands of $1 checks to the state’s neediest residents. It’s a plan that’s supposed to bring millions of dollars worth of food stamps to the state by March.

When you add printing and postage, it seems like a waste, but the state says the economy has them pulling out all the stops to find money wherever they can....if the state’s food stamp recipients receive just $1 for energy bill assistance, that qualifies them for extra federal assistance....

Sending out $1 checks cost the state $250,000. DSHS says that could bring the state and additional $43 million in federal funding.

Call it red tape or a hoop to jump through. Either way, the state says it makes sense....

Since Nelson doesn’t have a checking account, cashing that $1 check would cost her $5 in fees. The state says, luckily, recipients don’t have to cash or deposit the checks to receive the additional benefits.


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