Monday, June 15, 2009

A Stimulus Failure

$25 increase in benefits costs some people hundreds more in food stamps.
The Georgia Department of Human Resources explained in a letter to [Mark Milota] last month that, because of the stimulus, he was ineligible for food stamps. He now makes $1,538 a month — $21 too much for a family of two to qualify.

"We have to pay him that $25 a week," said Brenda Brown, assistant commissioner at the Georgia Department of Labor. "And he doesn't have the option not to accept it."

Milota said he was told that, without the stimulus money, he would have received about $300 a month in food stamps.

This is what happens when complicated bills are rammed through legislatures in a hurry because the political climate is right. Not that every quirk can be caught. As a computer programmer though I can tell you that this is a pretty simple test case. You have a known end result (Total Compensation). You put in your change and look at what the new Total Compensation will be. When you add $25 in new benefits you should expect Total Compensation to go up by $25. When it goes down by $275 you go back and figure out what happened.

I can tell you that if I missed that in my job I'd be called into the boss' office to explain why I missed it.


Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I couldn't believe it when I heard this news story--craziness!

8:29 PM  

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