Grapevine: To work, or not to work?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Good Question

To work, or not to work.

For many receiving welfare benefits that is the question.

Because it turns out, many times staying unemployed pays more than getting a job.

A new study by the Cato Institute finds that in 35 states it is more cost-efficient to live off the taxpayers than to accept an entry-level job.

In 12 states and the District of Columbia, a welfare recipient can bring in more than $15-an-hour from a variety of federal programs.

In Hawaii, an unemployed person's welfare income is the equivalent to a salary pre-tax of more than $60,000 a year.

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute says it's a broken system.


MICHAEL TANNER, CATO INSTITUTE: First of all, we need to strengthen the work requirements that are in welfare. And second, maybe we need to look at capping the total level of welfare benefits.


The study says the federal government has 126 programs to help the poor.

72 of those provide cash or benefits to those eligible.

Keeping It Simple

The Supreme Court is living in the dark ages at least when it comes to technology.

Justice Elena Kagan says -– quote -- "The justices are not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people...The court hasn't really 'gotten to' e-mail."

Instead, their memos are all on paper carried up and down the halls of the court by an aide.

Kagan -- who at 53 is the youngest justice, says the communication system at the court is the exact same as it was when she clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1987.

This could be problematic, with more and more technology and online privacy cases heading toward the Supreme Court.

Kagan says justices often get tutorials from their young clerks to help understand emerging technology.

First Impressions Are Everything

And finally, one candidate's run for Senate gets off on the wrong foot, when something as simple as releasing his campaign logo draws jeers.

Tennessee State Representative Joe Carr -- who originally planned to challenge Congressman Scott DesJarlais for his seat -- announced yesterday he will instead run for the Senate, opposing Senator Lamar Alexander in next year's Republican primary.

But the Tennessean reports, someone forgot to spellcheck before rolling out his campaign website.

Senator has only one "t." It has since been fixed.