I love this idea promoted by the democratic US senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown where he proposed passing financial penalties on corporations which manage to pay their employees so little that they qualify for government assistance programs like food stamps. While this will never pass, it serves to educate the public as to who are really responsible for working poor peoples being forced to depend on government assistance to survive.
Here’s the rest of the story:
On May 18, 2018, Dylan Scott of Vox penned the following report, “Who is the freeloader: the working poor on food stamps- or corporations that don’t pay them enough?” (Sen. Sherrod Brown has a plan to tax corporations that don’t pay their workers enough.”)
The rich are robbing the poor.
“Republicans in Congress just failed to pass a bill that would impose harsher work requirements for federal food stamps as part of the so-called farm bill, but there’s no sign they’re giving up on the idea anytime soon. Their argument is that, particularly with the Great Recession behind us, poorer Americans could and should be doing more to get into the workforce and off federal assistance.”
“The GOP’s plan raises all sorts of bigger questions, but an alternative plan by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) asks a pretty straightforward one: Is the problem that people aren’t working enough? Or is it that they don’t receive a high enough wage or generous enough benefits from their employer?”
“Brown thinks the latter is the real problem, and wants to charge corporations a “freeloader” fee if their employees depend on government aid like food stamps.”
“His proposal implies that a big overarching problem in America isn’t that poor people aren’t working hard enough; it’s that their wages aren’t high enough, their jobs and hours can be unpredictable, and their employers don’t provide robust enough benefits for them to live without support.”
“The bill has no chance of becoming law anytime soon. But it still underscores the divide between Democrats and Republicans over the real purpose of social welfare programs. Republicans see a workforce that could be doing more; Democrats see a system where the free market hasn’t done enough to lift up people who have the least.”
“It’s a crucial argument because right now the GOP, while it holds the reins of power, is undertaking one of the most aggressive crusades for work requirements that we’ve ever seen. It raises a larger question of whether we should see government assistance as inherently undesirable. But this Democratic proposal turns on a more narrow issue: Whose fault is it if people can’t afford basic needs and must turn to the government?”
Sherrod Brown’s plan to tax corporate “freeloaders,” explained
“Brown, who is up for reelection in 2018, actually put forward his plan to tax companies whose workers depend on government programs last fall. He paired it with a plan to offer tax credits to companies that provide more generous benefits. It got a Senate floor vote while the GOP’s tax bill was under consideration and received support from every Senate Democrat.”
He has revived the proposal this month, as House Republicans are trying to pass a farm bill that would impose stricter work requirements for the federal food stamps program. The estimated effect of the GOP’s bill is a $20 billion cut to food stamps over the next 10 years, with 1 million or more Americans seeing their benefits reduced or ended.
“It’s worth noting that Brown’s plan would account for Medicaid, cash welfare, and more, in addition to food stamps. This is how his “corporate freeloader fee” proposal would work:”
- “Companies would be fined based on the percentage of their workers who make 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less (about $41,000 for a family of three), a rough approximation of the percentage of workers who rely on some kind of federal assistance.”
- “The starting point would be a 0.25 percent tax on total payroll for companies with 25 percent or less of workers making an income below that threshold.”
- “The fee would increase for companies with a higher share of workers: 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent for businesses with 50 percent of workers below the threshold, increasing to a full 1 percent for a business with more than 75 percent of workers making less than 200 percent of the poverty level.”
- “Companies could reduce their freeloader fee by offering health benefits or by contributing to their workers’ retirement savings.”
- “It would apply only to companies that pay at least $100,000 in payroll every day, thereby exempting many smaller businesses.”
Link to entire article: Who is the freeloader: the working poor on food stamps