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Their Views

Fight poverty by fixing welfare asset rules

Some welfare programs exclude people who have financial assets, and for good reason. If the goal is to help people who are living in poverty, the program shouldn’t waste resources on people who aren’t actually poor. If you lose your job but have enough money in the bank to tide you over comfortably, you don’t need food stamps, disability payments or other forms of public support as much as people with no savings do.

Staying in Afghanistan

President Obama on Tuesday announced a much-needed adjustment in his plans for drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, telling visiting President Ashraf Ghani that a scheduled halving of the 9,800 currently deployed troops by the end of this year would be set aside, and the force maintained into next year. This was a sensible response by Obama to a range of developments, including Ghani’s impressive efforts to improve relations with Washington. But the adjustment still falls short of what will be needed to give the new Afghan government a reasonable chance of success.

This snookered isle

The 2016 election is still 19 mind-numbing, soul-killing months away. There is, however, another important election in just six weeks, as Britain goes to the polls. And many of the same issues are on the table.

A boost for defense

Two pieces of good news about U.S. defense spending: President Obama and congressional Republicans recognized that cuts imposed by the 2011 “sequester” scheme are unacceptable, and both moved to restore tens of billions of dollars in funding for next year’s budget.

A higher cost for higher ed

The budget outline released by House Republicans would freeze levels of financial aid for poor college students, on the pretext that the Obama administration’s expansion of student assistance is expensive and ill-targeted. It’s a bad idea built on a faulty premise. Even if that weren’t the case, the proposal is a poor way to achieve cost savings or increase the efficiency of federal student aid.