Americans believe in a reliable government safety net in America, so that their families will not go hungry, lose their homes, or suffer deprivation if they fall on hard times or lose their jobs. Americans also believe that government assistance should be short-term and focused on helping people get back on their feet, find work, and become financially self-sufficient and contributors to our economy.
That goal is not being achieved by today’s welfare programs.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (aka food stamps) are means-tested, so they are only available to low-income people. There are other handouts, however, such as unemployment insurance and Obamacare subsidies, that are not means-tested.
Families earning half a million dollars a year can receive ObamaCare subsidies, and, in some states, unemployment insurance benefits can be equivalent to a job with annual pay of $100,000.
Almost three years after COVID-19 hit our shores, many businesses are still struggling to get workers back on the job. The number of Americans working today remains at least 3 million lower than it was in 2019.
A new study cited by FOX News shows that the value of welfare benefits can be staggering and much higher than many blue-collar professions.
For example, with no one working, a family of four can receive benefits equivalent to an annualized earned income of $108,000 in New Jersey.
In Washington, a family of four can receive benefits equivalent to an annualized earned income of close to $123,000.
The value of unemployment benefits and Obamacare subsidies exceeds the salary and benefits of the average teacher, construction worker, electrician, firefighter, truck driver, mechanic, and retail associate in a dozen states.
On FOX Business, Former White House council of economic advisers chair Tomas Philipson discussed how welfare programs are worsening the worker shortage.
As noted by the NY Post, back in the 1950s during the Great Society, many welfare programs were designed to get Americans back into the workforce. In the 1990s, Congress sought to “end welfare as we know it.” None of these goals have been met. There are many ways in which welfare is more generous than ever before.
The recent study that revealed that welfare in some states pays more than the salaries of some blue-collar professions is simply unacceptable. It sets a lazy precedent that encourages those willing to take advantage of the system and makes it harder for those who need help finding work. People must understand that welfare should only be utilized in desperate circumstances, and no exceptions should be made. We need to ensure that welfare programs remain available for those who truly require them for support.