A new study by the CATO Institute, a public policy think tank, found that some welfare recipients make more “income” than those in the private sector.
A mother with two children in New York, for instance, is able to collect $38,004 per year in welfare handouts. This is greater than the starting salary of a teacher in the state.
And the problem is not limited to New York. CATO found that many states give handouts with sums greater than what workers earn in the private sector. According to the study, Hawaii is generally the most generous with benefits — there, a mother of two is eligible to earn $60,590 per year.
The study also pointed out the least generous states. A mother of two in Idaho, the state that came in dead last, is only eligible for $11,150 per year.
Perhaps most unsettling is the fact that in 33 states, welfare recipients make more than they would at an $8 per hour job. In fact, in 12 of those states, welfare recipients make more than they would at a $12 per hour job.
Where is the incentive to work?
Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at CATO, said, “There is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. But they’re also not stupid. If you pay them more not to work than they can earn by working, many will choose not to work.”
Welfare programs have ballooned since former president Lyndon B Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” Since then, a whopping $15 trillion has been spent on programs to help the needy.
Clearly, there needs to be a safety net in this country for those who need a hand up. But welfare has gotten completely out-of-control.
How can we reign in the spending, but still help those who truly need assistance? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.