Reduce Welfare Benefits and Reward Work

Reply Tue 10 Sep, 2013 09:12 am

The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013

In 1995 the Cato Institute published a groundbreaking study, The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off, which estimated the value of the full package of welfare benefits available to a typical recipient in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It found that not only did the value of such benefits greatly exceed the poverty level, but, because welfare benefits are tax-free, their dollar value was greater than the amount of take-home income a worker would receive from an entry-level job.

Since then, many welfare programs have undergone significant change, but welfare benefits continue to outpace the income that most recipients can expect to earn from an entry-level job, and the balance between welfare and work may actually have grown worse in recent years. This White Paper shows that the current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work.

If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider a number of policy changes, including ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements

Cato Institute
New White Paper

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Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2014 03:44 am
And this will not happen because small government (local) and Big Business receive much benefit from welfare dollars.

The welfare people are not the final recipient of welfare dollars, they are the first recipient, for dollars that go local governments, and local as well as multinational businesses.

By way of example, in certain Walmart stores, 25-40% of all food sales are food stamps, EBT.
Big contributors of the many 'feed the hungry' programs are Coke, Frito-Lay, purveyors of high calorie, low nutrition, junk food.
They fight hare to see that food stamps usage is not confined to "healthy foods".

Food, housing, energy, medical are heavily influenced by welfare dollars.
Even cell phone service provides compete with each other to get their share of the welfare pie, with the "free" welfare cell phones, that off international , roll over minutes.

I know the kinds of things most critics think of when they hear 'corporate welfare', but the other side of that coin is the real problem.
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2014 04:47 pm
This does very little to address the real scope of the millions who have little to no money each month. No jobs to fill equates to no work to be had!
Reply Sun 19 Jan, 2014 07:01 am
People who go for a decade with no job, do you think they are really looking?
I have dozens on my casel0ad.

A woman quits a $15 per hour, 40 hour per week job, when her husband gets a promotion, do you think she lacks job opportunity?

If someone looks for no job, they will find no job. No job to be had, because no job was looked for.
Does this describe all welfare recipients? Of course not, just the majority.

I got my first caseload in 1977, not my first rodeo, as they say.
Living in the digital age means as soon as I access a recipient record I have case record narration back 20 years.

It is one thing to hear someone say "I have applied at every fast food restaurant in the county, no jobs."
It is something else to read the narration and that the person has been saying this for the last 10 years, ever since they moved out of their parents home. They are one of the 20% of food stamp household living on no gross income, for not only months, but years.

It takes workers, to make jobs.
Jobs do not make workers, workers make jobs.

These people who have little or no money each month, live with all of their needs met by welfare. Please do not assume "welfare" is TANF, cash assistance.
TANF is about $20 billion.
By comparison, SSI - federal welfare, not Social Security, is $50 billion.

Food stamps feed hungry children, but they get more.
WIC for preschoolers - average over $40 per month per child, free school lunches for the older ones.
School districts can qualify for "Community eligibility" for free school lunches. Under this program if 40% - less than half - qualify for food stamps, ALL students receive free school lunches.

Half of the states are moving forward with Medicaid Expansion.
This give free health insurance - Medicaid - to healthy adults with no children, no work history, no income. 40 years old, no claim of disability, never a full pay period of work in their life, with free medical insurance.

This is a terrible job market. I make less today than I did 5 years ago, and have four time the caseload.
On my caseload is a 25 year old mentally disabled woman, with 3 children, and looking at bills paid for her, and spendable money put on her EBT card, she has more than I do with my college degree and full time employment.

In the urban areas job positions for my job as an eligibility worker go unfilled. People on my caseload with college degrees do not apply for jobs as eligibility workers. Government jobs, with retirement plans, health insurance, full time hours, open and unfilled.

Certainly there are not jobs for everyone.
More certainly, many without jobs are not looking. because welfare satisfies their needs without working.

Only 10% of all TANF cases have work ready recipients.
Dozens of households on my caseload would be eligible for TANF - but they would have to comply with work requirements.
Cash money for the taking, but effort has to be expended, so "positions" go unfilled.

Observing that there are not enough jobs does little to address the real reason millions are not working.
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Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 06:12 am
Your comments about the recycling of welfare dollars into small business and other areas is interesting. Of course, the same can be said about dollars earned by drug dealers and prostitutes.

Drug dealers buy drugs and then peddle these drugs out to individuals for a higher price. The profit made by the dealer is then used , in part, to buy more drugs. and pay for living expenses, etc.

Likewise for prostitutes. The prostitutes receive compensation for their tasks. Dollars earned are then paid in part back to their pimps or managers, and these dollars are then recycled back into the economy.

Thus, those on welfare and those earning their living by working, will re-cycle their $$ back into the general economy.

Those on welfare, however, haven't earned their dollars by performing any type of job. They are consumers of the profits, derived from the labors of others.

To clarify matters, I think one needs to define what they actually mean by the word "welfare".

Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 06:24 am
212718516 wrote:

This does very little to address the real scope of the millions who have little to no money each month. No jobs to fill equates to no work to be had!

But there are jobs, if an individual is willing to work. Elsewhere on this site, mention was made of coal mining, and the growing demand for miners in several States in the USA. There is also a demand for truck drivers. How about the many part-time jobs available at companies such as UPS?

I made mention of the availability of jobs in Iowa, a State where 3000 hogs are slaughter, on average, on many hog farms per day. There will always be a demand for workers to work in the "killer pits" , where the hogs are slaughtered and eviscerated. This is a stinky, disgusting job, that also pays well and allows a worker to buy a house and put his kids through college.

How many folks want to work in a "killer pit" in Iowa, in temps of 105 F or higher? Then, in the winter, how many folks want to work in these pits, in temps as low as 0 F or -10 F?

There are jobs out there but you may have to move to a different State to find them. Or, you may have to undergo training for specific jobs. But, you must really want a job. For those on unemployment compensation/welfare for 10+ years, I suspect the desire to work has long evaporated.
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 08:13 am
I suspect that you are not acquainted with reality.

or the cost of a college education today....
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 08:14 am
you are suggesting that folks on welfare become prostitutes instead?

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Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 10:27 am
Below I did a copy and past from a site by welfareinfo.org.

It is broad, includes social security and Medicare.
Most people think SS and Medicare is for people who worked, and paid into the system. This is true for most recipients, but not all.
Anyone can get Medicare at age 65. SSI recipients (federal welfare) get it automatically, do not even have to apply. Others would have to apply, but a work history of any kind is NOT required.

DACs get a lifetime of social security benefits, even if their parents received benefits for decades, even if they (Disabled Adult Child) never worked a day.
Spouses of wage earners receive benefit based on the earning of the spouse, simultaneously with the spouse, even if they never worked a day.

"An adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits if a parent is deceased or receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a child’s benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. We make the disability decision using the disability rules for adults. The adult child including an adopted child or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or stepgrandchild—must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22. "

For these and similar reasons, I classify SS and Medicare as a gray area concerning welfare. Sometimes it is, but mostly it is not.

~ ~ ~
What is Welfare ?

Welfare encompasses those government programs that provide benefits and economic assistance to no or low income Americans. It can also be defined as financial assistance to impoverished Americans which is supplied through the taxes paid by the working class. One of the main goals of welfare US is to improve the quality of life and living standards for the poor and underprivileged. Welfare help is usually extended to people groups other than just the poor and underprivileged such as the elderly, the disabled, students, and unpaid workers, such as mothers and caregivers

Welfare programs available in the United States include: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Head Start, Work Study, and Medicare. Social Security, often times called an entitlement program, is also considered one of the welfare programs in the U.S.. TANF is probably one of the most recognized of the welfare programs. Formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependant Children (AFDC), TANF was a reform measure for this program. No longer a lifelong program as AFDC was, TANF limits welfare benefits to a specified period of time. The states set these limitations, and most state’s plans terminate TANF benefits after five years.
~ ~ ~

[footnote: Forget that that stuff about limits on TANF, see my own post here:]

The 60 month time limits (36 in some states) for TANF (cash assistance) is all smoke and mirrors - not real.

First of all almost half of all TANF cases have NO adult head of household, so NO time limits for them.
If the mother is mentally disabled, gets SSI, she is not on the grant - not a "TANF household member".

If the mother is a drug addict, she may have turned the children over to a grandparent or aunt, so that adult is not on the TANF grant.
Next, the 60 month TANF counter is not running if the TANF head of household is considered temporarily disabled - like a difficult pregnancy. This is very common. Women who work and become pregnant continue to work. Women who are on welfare and become pregnant get a doctor statement saying they can't work.
Post partum 12 week work exemption is automatic, no doctor statement. needed.
So for every pregnancy, 8 months pregnancy no counter, and 3 months post partum no counter, so 11 months of TANF, does not count toward the 60 month limit.

If you are overweight, or have other health issues, you may try to get SSI - for people who never worked. If your family doctor says you are disabled, and you pursue SSI, you are not work capable, no TANF counter running. It is not uncommon for 'disable' TANF parents to pursue SSI for 5 years, before finally giving up. so the five year limit got another five years added on.

So now you are probably thinking 'Gee, all these people must be on TANF (cash assistance), getting the free ride.'
There are so many other welfare programs, they don't need TANF.
A lot of them DO NOT WANT to inconvenience the absent parent(s) by filing for child support.
On my caseload of 400 I have dozens that would be eligible for TANF, that don't even apply.
Food stamps, WIC, energy assistance, housing assistance they are doing just fine without TANF.

Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 10:31 am
See the post above. I clicked on the incorrect "reply" button. Sorry.
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Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 10:43 am
The cost of a college education..........
I have college students on my caseload, I'd say 2 dozen at any moment in time.
Many of them live off the college money.
Mom, dad 2 children, no income except welfare (no TANF), college grants and loans. Good for 2 years, maybe longer.
Others are not college students, but they were. Got all of the free money they could. Loans? Can't get blood from a turnip, as they say.

I have two with masters degrees, do not earn more than $5000 in a year. Many with trade school (truck driver and beautician are popular), and a year or two of college, work a little here and there, nothing steady.

College is just like
Hospital admissions
Energy bills
Expensive for some, FREE for others.
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 10:58 am
"If you are overweight, or have other health issues, you may try to get SSI..."

obesity is the number one use of SSI?

Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 01:30 pm
obesity is the number one use of SSI?

How does a "for example" become "number one use"????
Oh..........Rockhead, gottcha.

Bi polar and mental health is the growing trend, a recognized "problem", prompting some to ask for reform, especially among children, but it started with welfare Reform in 1996, so those "kids" are in their 20s or 30s now.
For half of all household that have SSI children the SSI is over half of all household income. The parents and siblings are living off the SSI of the child.

SSI with a mental disability is more common that physical ailments. There are a lot of old age - SSI at age 65 if you have low income and resources - so the mental disability is still not #1, but is a growing trend.

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Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 01:49 pm
Yes, it's true that anyone can get medicare benefits. At age 65, if you've paid into SS and medicare, you can get medicare at the reduced rate. If you haven't paid into SS/medicare, you can get medicare, but at a rate about 4 times the usual rate.

Unless, the rules have changed.
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Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 01:54 pm
Yes,many students in Law and Medical school use a good part of their student loans to live on< rent, food, car, etc.

It's becoming rather common for MDs to avoid/ or try to avoid paying their student loans. Imagine an undergraduate loan for about $40,000 and a medical school loan for about $200,000 + and then imagine the interest compounding on the loans over a period of about 30 years.

No wonder these kids run back to their parents house after graduation.
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