Obama and Congressional Democrats seem to have hit upon a way of helping the unemployed that is even more expensive than Welfare. Many of the stimulus-related jobs programs turn out to spend millions of dollars to preserve just a few jobs. Their only net benefit is to politicians -- by making certain preferred corporations the intermediary for these funds, these corporations will in turn line politicians' campaign coffers with money, something welfare recipients were never very good at.
A good example is the ongoing fight by Congressman Maurice Hinchey to force the Obama Administration to accept a new helicopter as part of an $835 million dollar program that supports 800 jobs in Mr. Hinchey's district. TJIC has a very apt counter-proposal:
Instead of spending $835 million, why not just cancel the program and hand each of the workers a $500,000 check with the memo line "welfare - because you produce something no one wants" ?
That'll put food on the table of these 800 workers (for a decade), save us $435,000,000 and maybe teach 800 workers and 1 Democratic politician something about economics.
Yes, but Travis, in your model, who is going to write checks back to Mr. Hinchey?