A Reason To Not Expand Any Government Program – ‘The Mystery of Why We Still Have Poverty’

by Steve MacDonald

This is not a tale about Medicaid Expansion but then it is.   We are spending so much taxpayer money nationally to eliminate poverty (with Welfare) that if we were to skip the middle men (national agencies, bureaucrats, pencil pushers and so on), poverty would not longer exist.

According to a Cato Institute study published last year, the combined expenditures for Federal and state governments directed to means-tested public assistance — “welfare” — is approximately $1 trillion (yes, with a “T”) a year.

There are approximately 48 million people in the US with incomes at the poverty level or below.

The application of advanced mathematics — long division, and I did it in my head thank you very much — tells us that’s about $21,000 per person per year. Obviously, that’s $84,000 for a family of four.

That’s got a problem, though. According to the 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines, the poverty level for a family of four is $23,950. The total of $84,000 is roughly 380 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Obviously, there’s no poverty left in America.

Unless, of course, that money isn’t actually being spent on the poor people at all. I wonder where it goes?

If the states stopped sending it to DC we’d know where it goes, we’d spend significantly less, more of what we spent would go to people who actually needed it, and we’d have a lot left over for other priorities.  Lesson’ stop the madness.  No more money to DC.  No more money from DC.  Keep it local where we can keep it under control.

H/T Instapundit

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  • mer

    Hmm. I’ve often thought of a spending analogue to the old “think globally, buy locally”. “Spend locally” instead. What is NH’s ROI on money sent to DC? If we send $1, how much do we get back? Fuel taxes are a prime example of this: we have state and Federal taxes on each gallon, but we still need more to fix our roads and bridges? Hell each state should only send to DC the portion they wouldn’t get back (if NH collects $10 in Fed gas tax, but get $7 back, we should just keep the $7 and only send $3).

    Same idea works with welfare. “Spend locally”

  • kervick

    Yes, and why stop there. Give directly to your neighbors. Poverty programs have always been designed primarily as jobs programs. Head Start is a great example. People start off as recipients and many end up employees of Head Start. And of course the program does not work – unless your preferred outcome is a make believe job.

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