I am curious to know if you are in the Ticonderoga area, because I am pretty sure there are several hundred people(maybe close to 40% of the total population here)who fall into this 40% category that are not aware they aren't pulling their weight by those benchmarks. They would love to have another job that paid better or offered more hours, those jobs aren't here. The only way they will pay more tax is if the standard deduction is decreased, and it's taken out of their payroll before they can buy food or pay bills with it. There are (or were) substantially fewer people "eligible" to receive aid due to welfare reform in the past 5 years as far as I can determine. I know I haven't got the answers - but I don't think that the answer to fixing the economy would actually come from tightening up that 40%. What I see is that things are terrible already for that group, these are people that aren't able to pay their taxes, are being foreclosed on (or are in housing they rent that's been foreclosed on) who spent another third of their income on gasoline and fuel in the past 18 months, who have no choices other than rely on unemployment for several months of the winter here. This is not an town where everyone making under 20K is living a little too large, spending more than they make.<quoted text>
I am not actually arguing with you, just stating some of our local problems...I don't know what would fix things, but here they haven't been improving for quite a while.