Andy Maholick: How welfare works

December 24, 2012 

How welfare works

The Pennsylvania Department of Welfare recently reported that a working mother of two with a salary of $29,000 on welfare would have more disposable income than a person making $57,000 who is not on welfare. This is because the person on welfare would receive $6,300 per year for food stamps, $16,500 for Medicaid and child health insurance programs, $4,300 for low-income subsidized rent and $5,000 in earned income tax credits, among others.

We find that welfare benefits are far more generous than commonly thought and substantially exceed the amount a recipient could earn in an entry-level job. As a result, recipients are likely to choose welfare over work, increasing long-term dependence.

One wonders how long the productive will be able to sustain the takers in America. Will the day come when they say forget it and get in line themselves? We are already seeing signs of this. The disability rolls have grown 23 percent since 2007. Nearly 11 million Americans currently receive disability benefits. Last year the program cost taxpayers $132 billion more than the combined budgets of the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Commerce, Labor, Justice and the Interior.

Andy Maholick

Raleigh

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