Thanks to a revived economy spinning out jobs, the number of people on food stamps dropped by 2 million people last year, according to a new report. That’s great news, both for those who are leaving food stamps and for taxpayers. And more can — and should — be done.
Those who get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits declined from 44.219 million in 2016 to 42.182 million by the end of last year, a drop of just over 2 million or about 4.6% in one year, the Washington Free Beacon reports. In a back of the envelope calculation, the Beacon estimates the decline will save U.S. taxpayers around $3 billion a year.
This is a good start, the result more than anything of good economic policies such as tax cuts and deregulation that make it easier for businesses to hire and for those using welfare services to go back to work. No question, we have economic tailwinds at our back. With this, comes the possibility of bigger, structural reforms to welfare. “Ending welfare as we know it,” as it used to be called. Continue reading
Bureaucrats push pencils at the expense of real workers
Life is hard. It’s harder still when an entire class of people with their hands out stands between you and success.
Unfortunately, that’s increasingly the problem, all around the world. A recent New York Times piece tells the story of a Greek woman’s efforts to survive that country’s financial collapse. After losing her job, she tried to start a pastry business, only to find the regulatory environment impossible. Among other things, they wanted her to pay the business’s first two years of taxes up front, before it had taken in a cent. When the business failed, her lesson was this: “I, like thousands of others trying to start businesses, learned that I would be at the mercy of public employees who interpreted the laws so they could profit themselves.” Continue reading
There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.
That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round. Continue reading
Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of welfare recipients consistently show their desire for a job. But there is also evidence that many are reluctant to accept available employment opportunities. Despite work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says less than 42% of adult welfare recipients participate in work activities nationwide. Why the contradiction?
Perhaps it’s because, while poor people are not lazy, they are not stupid either. If you pay people more not to work than they can earn at a job, many won’t work.
A new study by the Cato Institute found that in many states, it does indeed pay better to be on welfare than it does to work. Continue reading
Here’s an offer for you: $38,004 per year, tax free. No work required. Apply at your local welfare office.
The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs. 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. Continue reading
Reform Rollback: Democrats and “fact-checkers” claim Republicans are lying when they say that the president wants to gut work requirements. Here’s why the GOP should press on.
You heard it straight the other night from Bill Clinton — who would never lie to anyone — that Mitt Romney’s campaign is lying about welfare reform: “The claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform’s work requirement is just not true. But they keep on running the ads claiming it.”
This is the latest attempt by the Democrats to refute a charge that has become a huge headache for them because, well, it’s true. Continue reading