09/05/13 Why Work?


Most people agree that welfare should be temporary.  And not become a way of life. Some people are too proud and wouldn’t accept welfare under any circumstances.  For others, its an inherited right.  They believe each generation of their family is entitled to it.  Forever.

Then there are the rest.  They’ll accept welfare if they’re down on their luck.  But they look for opportunities get back into the workforce.

A recent study from the CATO Institute has found that in some states the welfare benefits are so generous that it creates a strong disincentive for someone to try to get a real job.  Why work if you can make more money watching TV at home?

[The study found that only 2.6 percent of full-time workers are poor. Its nearly 10 times higher for the unemployed.]

There are 72 federal programs that provide cash or in-kind benefits to welfare recipients.  These include:

TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families]
SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program]
Housing Assistance
Utilities Assistance
WIC [Women, Infants & Children Program]
Food Assistance [Emergency Food Assistance Program]

25 states pay welfare that’s the equivalent of 80% or more of a states median salary.  That’s where half of the residents make above that amount and half below.  There’s a huge incentive to receive welfare rather than get a job.  Here are a few examples:

                          Welfare        Median        % of Median
State                   Benefits        Salary        Salary
New York           $43,700        $39,352        110.5
Oregon                $34,300        $35,152          97.6
California             $37,160        $38,522          96.5
Maryland             $38,160        $40,456          94.3
Nevada                $29,820        $32,656          91.3
West Virginia       $24,900        $27,997          88.9
Pennsylvania       $28,670        $36,192          82.5
North Carolina     $25,760        $31,353          81.7
Ohio                     $26,200        $32,594          80.4

In 39 states welfare pays more than the starting salary for a secretary.  More than a teacher in 11 states. In 3 states, more than an entry-level computer programmer.

[Welfare pays more than the minimum wage in 35 states.  And more than $15 an hour in 13 states.] 

 [The 1996 welfare reform required recipients to do some work in return for benefits.  In recent years these requirements have been so gutted that nationally less than 42% actually do.]

Its time to overhaul the welfare gravy train.

The entire study is posted on Behind the Headlines dot net.

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