Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This is ironic. Benen uncritically linked to the Kilgore post, so I let him haveit in comments

The sensible refutation of Ryan's claim that welfare reform worked in the late 90 s is that everything and the opposite of everything worked in the late 90s. Welfare is still reformed and reformed welfare is not working (click the links in Kilgore's post).

I hate to agree with Ryan about anything, but Kilgore's version of history is absolutely innaccurate. Kilgore claimed that the1993 expansion of the EITC was an "important" part of the 1996 welfare reform. I note that 1993<1996. Kilgore's post on welfare reform is based on an "important" claim of fact which is also totally incorrect.

Since you linked to the post, you should update this post to note the gross error of fact in post to which you linked.

By theway, when I pointed out Kilgores error to him, the person who was deputy assistant secretary of the treasury when the EITC was expanded replied "ouch" and note that the expansion which was not part of welfare reform, was included to ameliorate the distributional impact of the BTU tax (which was replaced by a 4.7 cent a gallon gas tax in the final 1993 "recovery act" bill which increased the EITC and which was not welfare reform).

Kilgore disapproves of progressives who are playing into Ryan's hands by reporting facts damaging to the case for welfare reform. I actually agree that egalitarianism is harmed by noting the facts which make it hard for most Americans (who love welfare reform) to agree with reality based wonks. I just think that journalists should place accuracy above serving the Democratic party. Anyway, Kilgore
has a right to his own opinion but not to his own facts. His claim that Ryan's proposal is not at all like welfare reform rests on a false claim about recent history.

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