I suppose if you were paid more money for doing something than doing nothing that would be a pretty tempting proposition. In a new study by the CATO Institute, they discovered that some welfare recipients mooch more money from the government than many working in the private sector.
According to CATO’s Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes:
The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work. Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour.”
In Mississippi, a welfare recipient can receive as much as $16,984 in welfare benefits. That is more than working for minimum wage in the private sector.
However, it gets worse. Why? It’s because Mississippi is dead last in handing out welfare goodies. It only goes up from there.
My state of South Carolina comes in at number 33. The maximum amount for welfare benefits is $26,536.
In New York, a welfare recipient can receive up to $38,004.
If you happen to be in the District of Columbia, you can get up to $43,099 in welfare benefits!
Interestingly enough D.C. is not in the number one spot. Hawaii seems to be the most generous with other people’s money. The total value of welfare benefits pushed close to $50,000. This included Medicaid (by the way, that’s welfare too), WIC, housing, food stamps and much more.
Michael Tanner said, “Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.”
In fact, when you look at the pretax wage equivalent of welfare benefits packages, the welfare recipient in Hawaii is getting $60,590.
Seriously, I use to work 40-50 hour weeks to earn less than $50,000 and here are people not doing a thing except holding their hand out. What’s worse is that we know that much of the money is being used fraudulently.
So I have to ask, where is the incentive for these people to work? It isn’t there.
Tanner says, “There is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. But they’re also not stupid. If you pay them more not to work than they can earn by working, many will choose not to work.”
“One of the most important steps toward avoiding or getting out of poverty is a job. Only 2.6 percent of full-time workers are poor, versus 23.9 percent of adults who don’t work. And, while many anti-poverty activists decry low-wage jobs, even starting at a minimum-wage job can be a springboard out of poverty. Thus, by providing such generous welfare payments, we may actually not be helping recipients,” Tanner adds.
What can be done about the enormous growth of welfare?
Tanner says, “If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions and narrowing the definition of work. Moreover, states should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.”
I agree. There should be a tightening on work requirements, but at least at the federal level, there should be absolutely no welfare involved. They don’t have the constitutional authority to be charitable with taxpayer money.
Kristin Tate writes, “Welfare programs have ballooned since former president Lyndon B Johnson declared a ‘war on poverty.’ Since then, a whopping $15 trillion has been spent on programs to help the needy.”
The only way to rein in spending like this is to put men in office who will not stand for it and who will not give our goodies for the sake of being elected. That actually is what this is all about. Corrupt politicians greasing people with money and goodies from the public treasury in order to facilitate their own political careers. It certainly isn’t that complicated.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you take a look at this brief rendition of what took place with Col. Davy Crockett and his decision to take from the public treasury and give to those in need. I helped film the introduction to the short film. The film itself is quite old and was originally produced on VHS, so don’t mind the quality. I think you will find it enlightening.
Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.