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Results tagged “welfare” from IngeMusings

The rest of you row faster! Labor participation rate drops to 35-year low

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What happens when the welfare state pays you not to work? People don't work! As simple as this might sound, it comes as a surprise to progressives.

Forget official unemployment numbers. What really counts is how many people are not in the labor force. And the rate of such people has dropped to levels not seen since the Carter Administration.  

Ninety-nine week unemployment benefits, disability, welfare, Obamacare, food stamps, even Social Security all encourage people not to work. So a lot don't, which means they must be supported by those who do.

Simple rule: you get more of what you subsidize and you get less of what you tax. If you give money to people not to work and tax people more to pay for them, guess what you'll get more of and what you'll get less of? (For one thing, you get twice as many able-bodied adults without dependents on food stamps.)

Furthermore, the burden falls largely on the private sector, who must also pay for an ever-growing public sector with their taxes.

A dysfunctional system encourages unproductive behavior and punishes productivity. Such as system--whether it be a company or a country--is unsustainable.

How much is too much welfare

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You might want to sit down for this one--welfare recipients might not be spending their handouts on nutritious meals and infant formula. I know, big surprise. One wonders what you can buy at a 7-Eleven with the "now accepting WIC cards" poster that could possibly be good for you.

However, progressives keep telling us that welfare is essential to keep people from starving in the streets, etc. etc., even though the biggest health problems facing the "poor" are obesity and diabetes.  Their zeal for these social programs certainly couldn't have to do with their love for wealth redistribution or a cynical attempt to buy votes with taxpayer dollars, could it...

Not even the beneficiaries of progressive largesse are convinced that they need it.

How out of control is it? Taxpayers spend $80 billion on the SNAP program to benefit 21 million households, or over $300 per month per household--just to make sure they don't starve. That's an entire month's grocery bill for a family of four, courtesy of those of you who pay taxes.

If the household has an infant or pregnant mother, throw in another $70/month with WIC to buy formula and diapers.

Throw in another $500 a month with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ("temporary" in this case meaning 5 years, or $30,000), and you're raking in nearly a thousand dollars a month for doing nothing!  Of course, this doesn't count Medicaid enrollment, which pays your medical bills, housing help, unemployment, disability, or state and local assistance.

If someone played his cards right, he'd make, who knows, $40K a year for doing nothing but filling out paperwork for government programs?

It's comes as no shock to learn that these programs aren't helping people stay off the streets so much as its paying for their cell phone bills and big-screen TVs.

But don't feel bad for the government--they don't even care where the money is going, or they know and they're hiding it. According to a Washington Times article from this week.

To put the waste in perspective, the United States spends about 70% of what it spends on defense on welfare programs each year, which may only succeed in training people how to be irresponsible. 

Government Supplies 20 Percent of Personal Income

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An astounding 20 percent of personal income comes in the form of direct payouts from the government to citizens, according to Moody's. The New York Times ticked off the types of payments that are included in the figure:

Close to $2 of every $10 that went into Americans' wallets last year were payments like jobless benefits, food stamps, Social Security and disability, according to an analysis by Moody's Analytics.

There are social and political ramifications for such reliance on the government. One only needs to look at Greece to see what can happen when governments run out of money for generous social programs.

It's a self-reinforcing cycle.  The more people become addicted to the government, the more urgent the need for reform and yet the harder it becomes to implement it.

 As more Americans get addicted to government cheese, costs skyrocket to unsustainable levels. Despite the urgent need for reform, however, politicians are reluctant to scale back the programs due for fear of political backlash.

We're seeing that dynamic play out in the Obama/GOP budget negotiations that was thrust into the center stage Monday morning as a result of the president's press conference on the subject.

This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.