The Libertarian CATO Institute has released a study of welfare benefit that suggests we’re making it much more lucrative to be on the dole than to take a job. They estimated the cash value of 126 different government programs for low-income Americans and compared it to what they’d make if they took a minimum wage job. There’s no comparison. The average value of the benefits is just over $38,000 a year, tax free. And if you don’t have to work for that, then you don’t have to pay for child care, commuting or office clothes out of it.

Some states are more generous than others. Hawaii leads the nation, offering a mother of two with two kids welfare benefits worth $60,590. That’s over four times what she’d earn at a 40-hour minimum wage job.

But to be fair, one thing I learned when I was governor of Arkansas and worked directly with welfare recipients is that most people don’t want to be on the dole. Yes, there are always some who have no qualms about lying around watching “The Price is Right” on the taxpayers’ dime. But the vast majority want to work. They just need a little help to feed their kids. Ideally, welfare should be attached to a work requirement, with government programs just supplementing the basic needs of families when the paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough to cover them. That was the whole point of the 1990s welfare reforms agreed on by the GOP Congress and President Clinton. The Obama Administration has been accused of trying to weaken that work requirement. But it doesn’t do the recipients any favors. They need a hand up, not a hand-out. And despite some exceptions who get a lot of publicity, I believe most of them would actually prefer it.

Comments 1-2 of 2


    09/02/2013 04:50 PM

    there are probibly too many persons who would just be willing to take the money and run, but then ,our government says WAIT, don't feel funny about it ....IT IS THE NEW AMERICAN least for awhile! but get ready for the crash , which is sure to come !!!

  • Anthony Durso

    08/27/2013 03:11 PM

    You're 20 something, poor, have kids but want no health insurance for them?
    Then the government swoops in and gives you:
    Free food (paid by the working citizen)
    Free money.
    Free healthcare.
    Free or super cheap housing costs.
    Free phones.
    Free public transportation.
    Free school meals.
    Free higher education

    Free, free, free. Time to enroll in "Why am I bothering to work to support all these Leeches"

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