Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Means Testing

Tammy Duckworth just made some comments at the DNC against how great it is that Obama rejects means testing in veterans benefits, as opposed to John McCain. She emotionally pointed out that no one asked us how much soldiers made before they bled for the country, and no one should ask them that afterwards.

I'm trying to parse that emotionally loaded plea, but it seems devoid of actual content. I can't actually figure out why the left is against means testing. If you have a billion dollars in benefits, why wouldn't you want to get those funds to those who need them? Why would you want poor veterans to suffer so that you can provide benefits to rich veterans?

I'm surprised the health care proposals aren't means tested either. Why am I being asked to help pay for health care for someone who makes more than I do?

The left mystifies me on other rationing and economic issues as well (well, in some sense, all economics is rationing). If the overwhelming consensus of economic research suggests that the minimum wage hurts the working poor (it does), you'd expect a pro-working-poor left to oppose the minimum wage (they don't).

Is the left trying to cut off the poor to spite the right?