Kevin Drum reacts to a bill which aims to limit the stuff that welfare recipients can buy with their food stamps:Miss Missed-the-Point strikes again! Drum is mocking conservatives, not making a moral equivalence. McArdle goes on to say that we should just give the poor cash and then leave them alone, except that we shouldn't.
What a dilemma. On the one hand, this bill promotes the exact same nanny-state behavior that Republicans howl about when Michelle Obama or Michael Bloomberg starts nattering on about salt consumption or fatty foods. On the other hand, it punishes welfare recipients, something that's always good for a round of applause from right-wing audiences. What's a conscientious conservative to do?
This doesn't seem like much of a dilemma, unless you think that favoring drug legalization, and selling heroin, are morally equivalent.
But if we are going to have a food stamp program, that implies exclusions--things like laundry soap are already verboten from the program. It's not especially crazy to put unhealthy food on the excluded list.
McArdle was able to pay for a Victorian rowhouse in DC partly because of mortgage deductions and Obmaa's housing tax credit. Therefore I don't think it's especially crazy for me to say that I don't want my tax dollars freeing up McArdle's money to spend on a $1500 mixer.