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View Diary: David Gregory - yes, Him - calls out Paul Ryan's Punk the Poor Programs (51 comments)

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  •  I've looked at Ryan's previous plans before (7+ / 0-)

    in depth, and I'm sure I'll get to this one eventually - this particular post those is about his intent and motivation.

    •  And how do you know that without looking at (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjbleo, Pi Li, nextstep

      his proposal?  Because he came up with bad proposals before, that means that we automatically assume that anything he says must be evil without looking at it?  

      The bottom line is that a large segment of the country regularly votes for Republicans.  They aren't going away any time soon.  They are going to have to be dealt with to get any thing passed in the near future.  When one puts forward a proposal that has a lot to recommend it -- as Reich says -- I think it's bad faith simply to dismiss it as evil without even looking at it.  That attitude means nothing will ever get done.  

      If on the other hand, people have looked at the proposal and have specific issues with it, that I think is more of a good faith critique.  The only way anything ever will get done is for both sides to put forth proposals that have SOMETHING the other side can support, and to work from there.  

      •  Ahem. (9+ / 0-)

        It is a good-faith critique, Ryan doesn't really want to end poverty, and the Republican party has no interest in doing anything Dems can support. Their one goal is to sabotage anything Democrats are for, per Newt Gingrich and the rest of them who pledged to obstruct everything while Dems are in control.

        •  I tend to agree with Reich over Moyers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li

          but I appreciate the link.  

          I tend to think consolidation of a number of programs, and focusing on programs that have a track record, makes some sense.   As Reich says, in this proposal, Ryan is not seeking cuts in what we spend, more of consolidation and focus on programs that have the best success.  

          I understand the dispute over keeping all control in the hands of the federal government versus giving states more control over how the money is spent.  I tend to think that some local control is more useful.  I think, for example, that Mitch Landrieu could probably get more for less from some of the federal funds that come into the city of New Orleans than using them solely in the way that someone in Washington decides they have to be used.  But if the attitude is, as Moyers essentially says, "as long as people elect Republican governors, we're not going to give states control over funds," well, I think that's a recipe for gridlock.  

      •  The point of this post is Ryan's Hypocrisy.. (11+ / 0-)

        because immediately after denial Gregory's allegation that the poor are "people have a problem with their own dependency here that government is only furthering." after claiming that was "not his intention" he said this...

        The federal government’s approach has ended up maintaining poverty, managing poverty.

        In many ways, it has disincentivized people to going to work.

        So a) he's a liar and b) the basis of his claim - that government is to blame for maintaining poverty - is on it's face, false.

        Government didn't create poverty, and it doesn't "maintain" it in any substantive way.  General assistance in CA for example only provides you about $300/month, and yes if you happen to make ANY money on your own they subtract that from the $300 - but it's not like that's going to make people decide to live in the streets rather than take a Job they get offered.  The premise is flat-out ridiculous.

        Now, even if his current proposals are a massive improvement over his previous ones - which were horrifically bad - his own basic character, motivational and factual flaws remain.

        I think it's more fair to examine the proposals - carefully and fully - on their own when I have time to sit down and study them, instead of shoe-horning them into this discussing, one that starts  - and ends - with the Ryan's failure to admit basic factual truths even about his own position.

        •  I find this snippet telling: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vyan, OleHippieChick, a2nite
          And not just keep them where they are, but have them get to where they want to be.
          The implication is clearly that the government programs are holding people back ... the solution is not to help people, but rather to remove obstacles (ie aid) to them achieving financial independence.

          He does not want to help anyone get anywhere ... he wants to have them get there. Then failure and poverty can be further condemned as the lack of rugged individual initiative that they have always claimed it is.

          "a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes a form of madness" -Debord

          by grollen on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:43:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What I've read, it will just increase desperation (10+ / 0-)

        of people to survive.

        It totally presumes that the poor are poor because of some fault of their own, not that they grew up in poverty, there are no job opportunities, no way to move to places that have jobs, no education opportunities, etc.

        The 'plan' puts all the aide monies (LIEHP, head start, chip, food stamps, etc - although I'm not sure about the entire list of aide monies) into one pot and grant out to States to spend as they see fit.  The idea is to have 'life' managers to 'teach' the poor in what they're doing to make themselves remain poor.  The life managers will set goals for the individual/family and if they don't meet the goal they get penalized.  It also limits the amount of time an individual can be in the program.  To a certain point, I think the idea of the 'life' managers are supposed to be something along the lines of case managers.  But, I also think that Ryan's idea is that the 'life' manager is somehow superior to the client and the client is too stupid to 'care' for themselves and need 'help' to fix their 'flaw'.

        The plan doesn't take into account local economics or any thing else other than it's the poor's fault for being poor.

        •  A couple of points (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li

          It does increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, and I think that's a good thing.

          And, frankly, while the whole "life manager" thing seems contrived, I generally like the notion that there are incentives for people making better choices.  Of course, there are people who cannot provide for themselves, and we need to preserve the social safety net for them, but for many people they can do things to get out of poverty.  Sometimes, poverty is in part because of choices people have made in life, and I think it's not a bad thing to tie government assistance to some incentives.  

          For example, if TANF type funds are given to a mother of school aged children, I think a legitimate goal could be to make sure those children are regularly at school and perhaps even regularly do homework.  (Parental attitudes toward education and school are a MAJOR factor in the academic success of the child.)  That ties the type of funds -- funds to support parents -- to the responsibilities of being a parent.  I'm NOT saying that all poor parents are irresponsible.  I am saying that, if you go to public schools in many poor or inner city neighborhoods, you often see a low level of parental involvement overall in the child's education.  Increasing that involvement is a laudable goal for both parents and children.

          And perhaps even a goal of not having any additional children while a person is receiving TANF for the children he/she has -- i.e., being responsible about such decisions, and make the kind of decisions that middle class families make all the time:  "Can we afford another child?  Is now a good time?"Perhaps there would be an increase in TANF when you DON'T have another child, rather than an increase when you do.  

          Remember, the money that people are getting is money that you and I worked to earn.  I have no problem with that money going to people who, due to no fault of their own -- or life choices they made -- are in a position so that they are unable to help themselves.  I do, think, however, that if people are physically and mentally capable of supporting themselves, and are in a difficult situation at least in part because of choices they made, money can be tied to helping them make better choices for themselves and their families.  We do that a little when we limit what people can buy with SNAP funds (no liquor, for example) -- we say, in essence, if you are using dollars that other people worked to earn, we're going to put limits on how you spend those dollars.  

          It's not unlike what I would like to see with respect to "college" student loans -- on both sides.  The institution authorized to take federal funds should be required to show certain levels of success with students -- successful completion of programs and placement in jobs that use that education.  And the student should be required to show certain behavior -- accounting for how the funds were spend, attendance at classes, certain achievement levels -- to continue to receive federal funds.

          Or why couldn't we tie certain types of temporary assistance -- or additional rewards in temporary assistance --  to enrollment in, and meeting the requirements of, some kind of program to increase job skills in a marketable area?

          In other words, I think the concept of tying federal assistance to certain non-religious-based goals  -- making better choices for yourself and your family -- makes sense.  And, if it's done well,  I think that a majority of the country would support it. There may well be better ways of doing that than what Congressman Ryan has proposed.  As I have said in other comments, I would like to see Democrats make a better proposal where government assistance that is supposed to be temporary is in some way tied to making better choices for yourself and your family, so that you have a better chance of moving off of government assistance.  Government assistance should be all about putting people in a position where they are better able to support themselves, rather than simply handing out funds.

          And I'm not saying that this is ALL that needs to be done.  I've supported an increase in the national minimum wage to $10.10, as the Democratic position in Congress is. (I have no problem with particular localities where cost of living his higher making decisions for their area.)

          And I think the MOST important thing is to increase the demand for private sector workers in areas that are what economists call "skilled" positions.  

          But that does not mean that we should not also look at whether we can do better with government assistance, like to help more people obtain skills so that, as we create more private sector skilled positions, we have more people with those skills so that they can do more to help themselves.  

          •  You made the same arguments on my diary on (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, mayim, cotterperson, a2nite

            this subject:


            I should have answered it then, but I was busy at the time.

            Some of your argument is good - increasing community support, helping people increase job skills and raising the minimum wage.

            I have issues with your assumptions that poor people are too lazy and/or uninvolved with their children's education. Did it not occur to you that many parents are single parents who are working several jobs and are either not present in the evenings to supervise homework, or are working while the child is supposed to be in school, but the child is skipping classes?

            Not having any more children..all kinds of issues here..religious beliefs, availability of birth control, inability to use common methods of birth control, accidental pregnancy, sexual assault. Telling a woman that she's not smart enough to figure out that she shouldn't have more children is patronizing as hell. I wouldn't go there if I were you.

            Increasing community support is good,but it cannot be support from religious based entities. Using a reward/punishment system is standard Operant Conditioning 101 and only works well with children and in lab conditions. Life is not linear..shit happens... and punishing poor people who have little to no support systems to fall back on, is draconian.

            A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

            by Gwennedd on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 04:24:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look, when you are using tax money that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pi Li

              you and I worked to earn, I see no issue with structuring things so that there's a financial incentive for making better choices.  After all, that's what the middle class deals with every day -- doing things that they may not otherwise want to do because there's a financial reward.  Lots of people go to jobs that they are not crazy about because of the financial reward.  Financial incentives (even simple things like increasing prices) do more to cut back on smoking than anything else.  

              As for involvement in a child's education, I make no comment on WHY certain parents are not as involved in their child's education.  What's not in dispute, however, is that when parents are more involved in a child's education, the child has a far better chance of academic success. Yes, it's hard for parents who work.  (Been there, done that.)  But it's precisely BECAUSE it's hard that it makes sense to provide some incentive for a parent to do it, and the only thing the government has to use are financial incentives.  

              As for having children, again, middle class families make those kinds of decisions all the time -- when can we afford children, can we afford another child, that kind of thing.  Why would anyone assume that people in poverty are not capable of making the same kinds of decisions -- having financial issues be a part of decisions about whether and when to have children?  

              I disagree completely with the whole notion that punishment/rewards work only with children.  The vast majority of us do things because of the punishment/reward thing.  How many people do you know who would go to work every day if they could have exactly the same income without working?  Not many.  They do it because of the punishment/reward -- the punishment of poverty if they don't, the financial incentive that serves as a reward.  The majority of people who get training and skills beyond high school do so because of potential financial rewards of increased prospects of getting a job and increased incomes.  As do the majority of people who go to college.  

              I think that certainly some people are in poverty at least in part due to some life choices - having children while young and without having a two-parent home, dropping out of school, etc.  I certainly agree that making good choices is much, much harder for some people -- like those born in poverty -- than in others.  That's precisely why I would like to provide incentives for the people who need it most.  To me, the best use of tax dollars that you and I work every day to earn is to use them to help people move into a position where they don't need our financial assistance.  And for adults that means doing things that will increase their own ability to earn a living, and to increase their earning capacity -- completing education, getting marketable skills, not having additional children that they can't support.  For the next generation, that means, more than anything else, parental involvement in a child's education.

              And I think, frankly, it makes sense to structure programs so that they provide incentives to do those kinds of things.  

              •  Isn't it remarkable how minority people somehow (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                are less likely to make good life choices, since you seem to think that this is the primary cause of poverty in the US, and poverty is more prevalent among minority individuals than among whites?

                Yes, some people of all races, creeds, etc. make poor life choices, but if that was the primary reason for poverty, then poverty would be equally distributed, but it isn't.

                •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  1.  No one mentioned "minority people" except you.

                  2.  No one said anything about "the primary cause of poverty" except you.  

                  3.  What I actually said is that some people can do things to significantly increase the chances that they will rise out of poverty, like waiting to have children, like getting a better education, like getting marketable job skills for jobs that pay better than minimum wage.  And that we ought to encourage those things.  Remember the Brookings Institute study?  That was certainly overly simplistic, but there's no doubt that doing things like not finishing high school or having children as a teenager greatly increase the chances that you will end up in poverty.  (Brookings is generally considered left-centrist or centrist.)  What I am proposing is that our aid to people who made wrong decisions like that be tied to incentives to making better decisions -- like finishing high school and like getting the skills necessary to get a job that pays above minimum wage.  (And, of course, as I said, all of this needs to be coupled with policies that increase the number of skilled jobs -- paying above minimum wage --  created by the private sector.)

                  4.  And I made clear one reason poverty is not "equally distributed."  That's because --  as has been clear since the Coleman Report in 1966 -- the single biggest factor in predicting academic success in children is the socio-economic background of the parents.  That is, children born to middle class or upper middle class parents (the studies use up to 90% of household income, which today is a two-income household with an AGI of about $120,000) have a far, far, better chance of academic success, largely because of the parental emphasis on education as a way to a better life and parental involvement in the child's education. So, children born to parents of a low socio-economic level -- of whatever race -- have a far harder time using education to escape poverty than do children of middle class or upper middle class parents.  

                   In fact, a recent study shows that this gap has only grown wider, and has eclipsed the racial divide in academic achievement in this country.  See here.

                  •  My point is that your original post was overly- (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    simplistic, and that personal choices are only one of many factors which cause poverty.

                    For example, getting incarcerated seriously hurts your employment opportunities for the rest of your life.  So if you make the personal choice to use drugs, there may well be negative consequences.

                    However, studies have shown that the odds of being jailed for using drugs is much higher if you're a minority person.  So the same choice has different consequences depending upon a person's race, and of course economic class, but those two factors are closely intertwined.

                    And your example of "waiting to have children" is more complicated than it seems to me you want to make it.  Certain people have more birth control options than others do.  See the recent experiment where, surprise, surprise, poor people had fewer unwanted pregnancies when a program provided them with better birth control.  

                    So maybe there's some difference in sexual behavior (your "choice"), haven't seen any studies, but there is a difference in the consequences of that behavior.

                    Finally, I think you place too much faith in the degree to which incentives will change behavior.  Most of the things which people die of before they die of natural aging are the result of behaviors of the people.  People die from smoking, drinking, using certain drugs, taking stupid chances, engaging in illegal activities, etc.  The fact that these behaviors will kill them isn't enough to change their behavior, so getting adjusting the level of government benefits will of course make a difference, but I think you'll be disappointed by the size of that difference.  And if you're not disappointed, then I suggest that your motivation may be to punish people for poor choices they make.

              •  I think of people got paid more that would help (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                instead of blaming them.

                We have wage slavery with evil big biz benefitting from not having to pay a living wage because their employees get govt subsidies.

                Why pay people for their work when you can grind them into the ground & call them lazy & shiftless?

                Sucks that evil puritans are still present & that this country decided to be a really expensive 3rd world country.

                I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

                by a2nite on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:23:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am all for people being paid more. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  But you don't get there just by focusing on the minimum wage.  The minimum wage is generally for what economists call unskilled labor -- the cheapest form of labor.  

                  People being paid more involves two things -- (1) creating more skilled jobs, that can command higher salaries because of the higher skills, and (2) having a workforce that can meet the demand for those skills.  

                  What I am saying is that when people are capable, but find themselves in need of government assistance in part because they don't have those skills necessary to get jobs that pay better than minimum wage, then I'd like to see government provide incentives for them to get those skills so they can make a better life for themselves and their families.  

                  •  Evil big bbiz steals money from all of us by not (0+ / 0-)

                    paying a decent wage. You put it on the worker. the problem is biz and our government is on their side not ours. All the money that people create with their work goes to the top because that is how  evil rich people have fixed it

                    The fix is in to screw workers. That's why we are underpaid. Evil rich people aren't smarter; their evil and selfish and know they can get away with this stuff.

                    There are plenty of talented trained people out looking for work but evil big biz downsizes and makes everyone left work harder for less.

                    The problem is evil trickle down and making evil rich people richer which has not trickled down. It has made everything else expensive because evil rich people bid up the price of everything.

                    The problem is evil rich people and evil big biz and their evil minions who are elected "us" but only work for THEM.

                    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

                    by a2nite on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 09:32:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  If we are going to create a nanny state (0+ / 0-)

            bureaucracy at significant taxpayer cost to mandate certain behavior by poor people,  should we not attach cost benefit analysis and behavioral benchmarks to subsidies given to the wealthy and very profitable sectors of the economy like the fossil fuel industry as well?  The whole thing smacks of the paternalistic and condescending attitude towards poor people that I thought we dealt with at the end of the Gilded Age.  The whole history of this goes back to the poor laws in England and it doesn't solve poverty,  it just gives the elite class and the sycophants that consume elite opinion the illusion something is being done to better the problem of poverty.  The only thing that actually reduces poverty is better pay and discouraging population growth and other measures to reduce surplus people.  And I would start results testing one of the biggest handouts to the rich in the tax code;  the extra low capital gains rate,  if you are going to do the same thing to the poor by mandating certain behavior for government benefits.

            •  We do that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pi Li

              "Subsidies" (tax breaks or pricing controls) are generally used to coerce behavior that does not otherwise make economic sense to private industry.  Nobody is just handing money over to oil companies -- or any other industry.  

              There's a description of fossil fuel subsidies here.  And most of them are designed to keep the fossil fuel industry in the United States, in part to make us fuel independent and/or to keep prices down for consumers.  The "subsidies" are a reward for behavior that the government wants to encourage.  Exploration subsidies are to make it more financially advantageous to drill for oil and gas here rather than overseas.  Production subsidies are often the type of manufacturing subsidies that other manufacturers get (refining oil into gasoline is manufacturing) to keep those plants, and jobs, here.  And of course, consumption subsidies are to keep prices down for consumers.  But all of those are tied to specific behavior and actions that the government wants to encourage.  We can certainly end those subsidies, such as the exploration or production subsidies.  But then we should not be surprised when more drilling moves away from the U.S., and more refining goes overseas.  

              Business tax deductions or credits are not all that different from individual tax deductions or credits in that they often are tied to specific activities or behavior.  For a while, for example, individuals got a tax break for buying a hybrid or electric vehicle.  Or now, I think there's a tax break for putting solar panels on houses.  

            •  And I don't call a tax rate (0+ / 0-)

              a "subsidy."  That implies that letting people keep their own money is a "subsidy," as if the government owns it all and is "giving" it to you when it does not take it all. You can certainly argue that the capital gains rate is too low, but I think it's disingenuous to call taxing something at a rate under 100% is a "subsidy."  When is a tax rate not a subsidy under that test?

              At any rate, the long-term capital gains tax rate has a governmental purpose, too.  The theory is that it encourages investment.  (As a general principle, when you tax something more, you get less of it.)  You can look at the debate over whether that theory is true or not in articles like this one.

              But the bottom line is that the theory behind a lower capital gains tax is to encourage a certain kind of behavior -- investments.  And if government finds that it has little or no effect on behavior, they should end it.  

              •  If you want to fund government (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It's usually the case that when a certain type of income gets preferential treatment, the remaining taxpayers have to shoulder a larger portion of the funding.  And given the performance of the investment community in fostering a healthy economy and moving the country ahead in a sustainable fashion,  I see nothing wrong with the proceeds of their investment being taxed at the same rate as wage income. The 15 percent capital gains tax of the Bush 2 and the first Obama administration provided little to no benefit for 90 percent of Americans, promoted outsourcing, the financialization of the economy, and emphasis on a bubble economy,therefore as a government subsidy for investment income, I would argue it has failed unless you one of a very small minority of Americans that have the extra cash flow to make significant investments and are taxed above the 20 percent bracket.

                And, in fact I am of an opinion that income is income and should be taxed at the same rate regardless of type or source of the income.  The complexity of the tax code in that regard has created a system that is easily gamed by those who can afford lobbyists or tax attorneys,  resulting in a loophole ridden system in which a lot of high income people and business pay a much lower effective tax rate than the median income person earning a wage income.

                •  A legitimate position (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  as long as you recognize that tax policy affects behavior, and that if you raise long term capital gains rates to, say, 39.6%, then you will discourage risk-taking in investments, as you've greatly minimized the reward for the risk taking.  

                  My issue with some positions is two-fold:  (1) people who seem to think that not taking as much of your money is the government "giving" something to you, as in a subsidy (is the government now subsidizing all taxpayers under $400,000 AGI because they no longer pay the Clinton tax rates? or because they can keep any of their money? and (2) people who pretend that tax policy doesn't affect behavior, as in "we can tax x more, they'll keep doing it as much as they are now and we'll get all that extra money."Change in behavior due to tax policy is one reason that some studies have shown that the amount of revenue generated by increases in the capital gains tax rate is often uncertain.      

              •  When investment income (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                qualifies for the low rate so others have to pay higher taxes to fund government,  including you, if you earn most of your income from a W2  job, you should be all for picking apart the investors motivation,  the type of investment, and who is helped or harmed by the action of the investment, before the investor is given their break. Of course you would never back such an intrusion into the personal life of the investor.  So why do we need to adopt such a paternalistic approach to  a low income person deriving government benefits?  Seems to me there is a whiff of hypocrisy here.

            •  The robber barons are back& worse than ever (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              they steal our money & poison our food, the earth, the water, pay slave wages, kill their employees & customers.

              I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

              by a2nite on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:29:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Why not "Life Managers" for all the corporations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and uber rich who are in this desperate cycle of dependency on the government for ridiculous tax breaks, tax incentives, subsidies, etc.  I mean, wouldn't these corporations and uber rich respect themselves more if they pulled themselves up by their boot straps and made their own way in life?

            •  I answered that above using fossil fuel subsidies. (0+ / 0-)

              Essentially, tax breaks ARE incentives to do certain things.  

              Nobody is just handing money to companies regardless of what those companies choose to do.  The tax breaks or subsidies are typically tied to certain behavior -- such as drilling, or manufacturing, in the U.S. rather than overseas.

              And if the government determines that those subsidies are not needed to encourage that behavior -- or if they don't want to encourage that behavior -- they should end the subsidies.    

              •  Right, just like if the government decides Ryan's (0+ / 0-)

                horseshit, disingenuous "plan" is a good idea then they'll pass it.  So anyway, like I said, let's see Ryan propose "Life Managers" for corporations and uber rich.

              •  Yeah, but they don't do all that drilling do they? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Plenty of corporations hold leases for drilling on public lands, but they don't really do the drilling because the leases and the subsidies themselves are sometimes more valuable than the exploration and extraction costs.

                Sometimes they're getting paid to sit on their hands.

                [This is just off the top of my head, I'm not gonna research it right now.. maybe later]

                •  Not true. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  First, to hold a public lease say, on the Outer Continental Shelf, you have to bid for that lease and outbid everyone else.  Our local press reports on those. So, nobody hands anybody those leases for them to just sit on them.  (I'm in Louisiana -- that's a big part of business, and jobs, here.  I have friends who work in that industry.)  

                  And second, it takes sometimes billions of dollars of investment to do deepwater drilling on the OCS.  When companies are just "sitting on" leases that they paid millions for, it's likely because the geologists haven't located the reserves sufficient to support the costs of drilling.  Right now, crude oil prices are high (maybe $80 - $90/barrel now, I remember when it was $18/barrel) but natural gas prices are low, so there's more incentive to drill for crude oil reserves.  

                •  If I didn't make it clear, they don't get (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  subsidies just for bidding on leases.  

          •  If you (0+ / 0-)

            Wanna build a better mousetrap, that's fine. Combine whatever programs you like but the minute you block grant snap, it's dumb. What happens the next recession, the next reorganization of the economy? Snap benefits are a last resort safety net. It can't be predicted how many people will need it, or how fast they will need it. When you block grant it that critical resource will be exhausted the next mass layoff. . I can not support it. The other programs maybe. Not Snap.

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