The Economist reports that participation in the U.S. Food Stamps program– designed to insure that poor Americans have enough to eat– had, by this past April, reached almost 45 million, or one in seven Americans.
At the same time, Reuters reports that In 11 states, lotteries provided more revenue than the state corporate income tax in 2009… The Rhode Island lottery netted the state more than $3 for each dollar of state corporate income tax in fiscal 2009.
As we strain to think of even more regressive ways to raise revenue, we might recall that it was on this date in 1932 that General Douglas MacArthur, on the order of President Herbert Hoover, led two regiments and six tanks against the Bonus Marchersin Washington, D.C. The Bonus Army was a group of 43,000 marchers– 17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups– who gathered to demand cash-payment of the certificates they’d been issued by the government at the end of World War Two as a bonus for their service. MacArthur’s cavalry charged the protestors’ camp, and his infantry entered with fixed bayonets and adamsite gas, an arsenical vomiting agent, evicting veterans, families, and camp followers.
The Bonus Army incident proved disastrous for Hoover’s chances at re-election; he lost the 1932 election in a landslide to Franklin D. Roosevelt.No tags for this post.