For almost a century, progressives, socialists and centrists of almost every shade have spouted that in order to make things more fair, the government has to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest. During Barack Obama’s Presidency, taxes have been raised, government spending on the poor has exploded and yet, according to government figures, we are experiencing the highest levels of poverty in over fifty years.
In Decemeber, a government report showed that the government is spending almost $170 a day per household on those who are under the federal poverty line and receiving welfare. That’s $1,190.00 per week or almost $62,000 per year that was taken from someone more likely to invest in and build the economy.
In 2012, welfare paid better than a minimum wage job in 40 states. It’s not surprising then that 4.3 million Americans are on the program. Tack on other government programs and it gets easy to see why someone would rather stay home and on the dole than to start making a better life for themselves by taking a minimum wage job and working up to a better wage. 20% of all recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children have been on the program for more than five years. That is not a hand up, that is a handout.
To add insult to injury, nine states pay their welfare beneficiaries more than the national average for a teacher. Seven states pay more than $12/hr in welfare benefits. The top 10 benefit paying states average $13.68/hour wage equivalent. Why work?
Unfortunately for those that choose the easy early path, there is no way to climb out of poverty. Welfare recipients can’t get promoted or ask for a raise and eventually get above that line. Learning a trade or skill might start out at a lower hourly wage, but the more improved the worker, the more opportunities that present themselves and that will bring them out of poverty.
In 2011, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that there were more than 80 over-lapped government assistance programs spending roughly $1 trillion dollars to aid the poor – the single largest budget item in 2011. That’s what the President said we needed to spend on Health Care for every single American. More than we spend on
If the huge expansion in social welfare programs were working, poverty would be dropping and more would be returning to work. Instead, we have the largest spike in those under the federal poverty line since the 1960’s and an economy that struggling under the weight of redistributive change, handouts and government over-regulation.