Remember when I posted about my friend Susi, the 90-year old former New York gag cartoonist refugee from Nazi Germany? Good! I’m glad you remember. Because I’ve got a long follow up at Sort of an interview, sort of a jumble of pictures and the sorts of facts I find interesting. A little window on history, I hope. Plus comics. (And if you’re in Eugene, OR, you can go see her gallery show. It’s open until Friday.)

An unpublished letter to the New York Times

by John Q on October 27, 2012

Gary E. MacDougal (The Wrong Way to Help the Poor, 10/10/12) claims that the Federal government currently spends an average of $87000 a year on the typical family of four living in poverty. MacDougall’s calculation is out by a factor of at least four and probably more.

MacDougal’s source, Michael Tanner of Cato, treats all means-tested programs as anti-poverty programs. This includes the Earned Income Tax Credit, Family Tax credit and other programs for the middle and working classes. As Tanner admits, these programs have at least 100 million recipients, and probably many more. So, the average payment is less than $10 000, not the $20, 610 Tanner estimates.

It gets worse. The number of recipients doesn’t include children or adult dependents, but MacDougal’s calculation does. His family of four would include at most two benefit recipients, and would therefore receive less than the poverty line income of $23 050.


by John Holbo on October 27, 2012

You can download the first issue for free here. You can buy the rest somewhere like Comixology (I’m going to!) or get it from Amazon (although they appear to be out of stock). [click to continue…]