Government programs designed to help the poor are usually means-tested. This implies that recipients only get the benefits if their income earnings are sufficiently low.
Most see this as a good thing because it ensures that people who do not need the benefits don’t get them. For it seems a bit daft to tax middle-class and wealthy citizens to provide benefits to middle-class and wealthy citizens; programs for poor folks should benefit poor folks.
Applying a means test to benefits, however, opens up a can of worms: It is a huge incentive problem for the very people we are trying to help.
All content copyright ©2015 The Tribune, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.