Massie evaluates the British government's attempt to means-test the Child Benefit, a tax subsidy for having children:

[A]s Tyler Cowen says, these are interesting times: the UK is the first Western country in recent memory to attemptĀ a comprehensive overhaul of its welfare state. This means it's going to be a messy, protracted, sometimes piecemeal and sometimes unfair business. Anomalies will abound. (Of course they also abound at present but, by virtue of being customary, established anomalies are much more acceptable than new ones.)

Nevertheless, if you were starting from scratch would you really take the view that what the country needs to do is collect its taxes and then use those taxes to send child-support cheques to every family in the country, regardless of need?

If you want to see what real fiscal conservatives look like, and not the nutjob fiscal frauds now running as Republicans, go to Britain. Makes me proud to be a Tory. And, yes, defense is on the cutting block. And some taxes will be raised. Because they're not a bunch of dishonest loons and are actually taking responsibility for their country rather than demonizing Kenyan anti-colonialists.

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