The Democratic dissonance on rich and poor

This election year has proven quite confusing to notions of rich, poor, entitlement, and exploiter. On one hand, we have Barack Obama drawing the line between rich and middle class at families who make $75,000 or more — a surprise to those who find themselves above that line, most of whom consider themselves solidly middle class. At the same time, we have New Jersey’s Democrat-run state government setting the poverty line for children’s health-insurance subsidies at … $295,000:

People earning as much as $295,000 are enrolled in a state health care program designed for New Jersey’s poor, according to a new audit that found the state failing to check eligibility for all program enrollees.

NJ FamilyCare is meant to help working poor parents and children.

But the state auditor found vendors aren’t performing eligibility checks and the state isn’t checking applications for unreported income.

The state also failed to try to collect $4.6 million owed to the program by 16,300 people who were disenrolled, the audit found.

The findings come with the state struggling to pay for health care for the poor and uninsured.

The problems, the audit found, has allowed at least three people with self-employment incomes of $295,000, $186,000 and $177,700 to enroll in the program.

Remember when the GOP called into question the management of the S-CHIP program? They specifically warned about the poor oversight being conducted by the states with the block grants provided by DC. Not only did New Jersey fail to check tax returns for income eligibility, they also dropped needy families off the rolls through a lack of follow-up on renewals.

The Democrats plan on using S-CHIP as an example of Republican heartlessness this election season. As this shows, it looks more like Democratic mismanagement and obfuscation. The GOP supported S-CHIP in its original context: an assistance to truly needy families without the resources necessary to secure health insurance for minor children. The Democrats wanted to expand it into an entitlement that included adults and families who spent their resources on other elective choices. If the Democrats whip out S-CHIP, they’ll have to explain thir bureaucratic incompetence in subsiding families with a quarter-million-dollar income stream.

So which is it? Do we consider six-figure incomes as part of the needy underclass? Or do we take middle-income families and hit them up for massive tax increases? In the case of Democratic governance, it looks like both at the same time. (via Michelle)