Inflation is the meanest tax — and it even affects welfare benefits in cruel ways.
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Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for.
That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent — far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.
Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.
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