"Want more poverty and dependence? No problem. Just pay for it!" Economic principals don't come much simpler or less arguable than this. If we want less, tax it. If we want more, subsidize it.
We all know that the government, in order to control consumption of the things it considers bad, taxes them.
When the tax goes up so does the actual cost paid by the consumer. An increase of the tax on cigarettes pushes the price higher. In turn we have fewer people willing or able to buy cigarettes. Higher prices, fewer smokers. Fewer smokers, less production. Less production means fewer jobs.
On the other hand we can increase the sales of select goods and services. When we want more of something we subsidize it. If we want fewer people in the work force we simply subsidize them.
We pay people for agreeing to not produce. Just as we once paid farmers to not plant, we pay Americans to avoid innovation and unpleasant work. Hence, we are turning millions of people into consumers and
into non producing individuals. This is economically devastating. Don't get me wrong. There are many people out there who, for valid reasons, cannot hold a job. These are not the people we should resent paying for. It is the nearly 10 million individuals living off the government (system) that I question.
Paying healthy people to stay home and collect benefits (that our tax dollars pay for) makes less sense
than subsidizing junk food and cigarettes does.