Data Point – Why Work? Welfare pays better

by Skip

Welfare Pays Better Than Working

Yep. As the chart clearly illustrates, total welfare spending in the U.S. (if converted into cash payments) equals approximately “$168 per day for every household in poverty,” higher than the $137 median income per-day.

 From the senator’s office:

 … spending on federal welfare benefits, if converted into cash payments, equals enough to provide $30.60 per hour, 40 hours per week, to each household living below poverty. The median household hourly wage is $25.03. After accounting for federal taxes, the median hourly wage drops to between $21.50 and $23.45, depending on a household’s deductions and filing status. State and local taxes further reduce the median household’s hourly earnings. By contrast, welfare benefits are not taxed.

 The universe of means-tested welfare spending refers to programs that provide low-income assistance in the form of direct or indirect financial support—such as food stamps, free housing, child care, etc.—and which the recipient does not pay into (in contrast to Medicare or Social Security). For fiscal year 2011, CRS identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011—more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion. Nearly 95 percent of these costs come from four categories of spending: medical assistance, cash assistance, food assistance, and social/housing assistance. Under the President’s FY13 budget proposal, means-tested spending would increase an additional 30 percent over the next four years.

The diffuse and overlapping nature of federal welfare spending has led to some confusion regarding the scope and nature of benefits. For instance, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has recently received a great deal of attention for adopting the “food stamp diet” in which he spends only $4 a day on food (the average individual benefit in his state) to apparently illustrate the insufficiency of food stamp spending ($80 billion a year) or the impossibility of reductions. The situation Booker presents, however, is not accurate: a low-income individual on food stamps may qualify for $25,000 in various forms of welfare support from the federal government on top of his or her existing income and resources—including access to 15 different food assistance programs. Further, even if one unrealistically assumes that no other welfare benefits are available, the size of the food stamp benefit increases as one’s income decreases, as the benefit is designed as a supplement to existing resources; it is explicitly not intended to be the sole source of funds for purchasing food.

I am convinced that we have crossed the rubicon in that we are no longer “helping” – in transferring what used to be personal responsibility to Govt, we have outsourced our decision making responsibility to conniving politicians like Obama (and those have have proceeded him in the years since WW II) that have used “helping” to pander for votes.  Now having made special interest “gimme”  groups become electorate selfish – what can I demand from Government?  And we wonder why we have the deficits and debt we do?

Democrats simply blame Bush on two wars and the entitlement of Medicare Part D; they will never blame themselves for all of their programs.  Sadly, Republicans have also done the same thing by allowing Govt to grow.  We are now reaping what has taken decades to sow.

(H/T: The Blaze)

Like it? Share it!

Leave a Comment

  • Ed Naile

    Skip:
    Welfare has become a self-sustaining industry just like divorce and abortion.

  • Tim from Nashua

    Just think how much Welfare would pay if those GREEDY BureaucRats didn’t skim their VIG off the top. ;)

    It’s statistics like these that make me look in the mirror daily to see if there is the word ‘SUCKER’ tatooed across my forehead. Well, got to get back to pulling the wagon before the others pulling the wagon get tired, and jump into the wagon.

    • Kevin Kervick

      The bureaucrats are the intention of welfarism not a by-product. We aren’t making this argument well. The real argument is it is not the constitutional role of the Federal government to make up jobs through cash transfers. This is why it will probably take a crash to save us.

  • Kevin Kervick

    Yes, of course Skip. But what folks are not getting is this. Welfare spending has been from the beginning, primarily a jobs program for minorities. Johnson was very clear about that. Obama wants to raise that number because he believes it provides economic stimulus and direct government or quasi government jobs. The poor need to grow in order to keep growing the jobs program. They are fodder.

Previous post:

Next post: