Do welfare recipients have an incentive to work?

posted at 9:21 am on August 10, 2012 by Rob Bluey

There are more than 70 separate welfare programs operated by the federal government today. The cumulative cost is nearly $1 trillion per year and rapidly expanding on President Obama’s watch.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about just one. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was the centerpiece of President Bill Clinton’s landmark reform in 1996. TANF includes something the government’s other welfare programs lack: mandatory work requirements. That’s why the illegal move by the Department of Health and Human Services to gut the law was so alarming. By allowing states to waive work requirements, the Obama administration essentially ended our most successful welfare program, one that helped more than 3 million Americans escape poverty.

If there’s anything good to come of this debate, it’s the opportunity to fix the failed welfare state. Writing for National Review yesterday, Michael Franc pinpoints one of the central problems that needs to be addressed:

In many cases, economists have calculated, welfare recipients who enter the work force or receive pay raises lose a dollar or more of benefits for each additional dollar they earn. The system makes fools of those who work hard.

Recently the chairmen of two important subcommittees on Capitol Hill convened a hearing on this issue. The hearing elicited some revealing testimony from one of the chairmen’s congressional colleagues.

“The more benefits the government provides, the stronger the disincentive to work,” Representative Geoff Davis (R., Ky.) pointed out. The great irony, he added, is that although federal welfare programs “are designed to alleviate poverty while promoting work,” collectively they have “an unintended side effect of discouraging harder work and higher earnings.”

Less work and lower earnings, in turn, translate into greater dependency on the government — and zero or even downward social and economic mobility for those mired in poverty.

At the congressional hearing, it was liberal Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) who provided some of the most enlightening testimony. As a single mother with kids, Moore once relied on welfare. She spoke in personal terms about the tradeoffs recipients must make when their employer offers a promotion or pay increase. In her case, she once “begged my supervisor not to give me a 50-cents-an-hour raise lest I lose Title 20 daycare.” Moore said the same factors were at play with her Medicaid.

What government bureaucrat devised this scheme?

In the land of the free and home of the brave, our government is forcing America’s poor to make choices that Franc says should be “no-brainer decisions.” Of course she should take the job, the pay raise, promotion and climb the ladder. Only in Moore’s case, those weren’t actually incentives.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, is spearheading the next wave of welfare reform on Capitol Hill. The Welfare Reform Act of 2011 would require recipients of food stamps to work or prepare for a job, disclose the costs of total federal, state, and local welfare spending, and return welfare spending to its 2007 level once unemployment hits 6.5 percent.

That’s more than Obama has offered. His administration’s illegal action — and, yes, it was illegal — moves America in the wrong direction. Or, perhaps more accurately, it makes Americans more dependent on government. According to The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Dependence on Government:

Today, more people than ever before—67.3 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries—depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions. The United States reached another milestone in 2010: For the first time in history, half the population pays no federal income taxes.

We can do better. It’s time to fix our broken welfare system.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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Jesus H. Christ!

Who writes this Sh*t??

ToddPA on August 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Adam Carolla has talked about this before, and even liberal sociology professors will admit that the current system keeps people down. If they make too much, they lose the benefits and it’s a net loss, so where’s the incentive?

changer1701 on August 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Don’t call them “welfare recipients”. Call them subsidized Democrat voters.

NickDeringer on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Barry and the Dem swill not do anything. They need to pander to and protect their voting base. As a matter of fact, they love to have more people depend on them.

And the welfare benefits make bad economy and unemployment meaningless to those who might have a disinclination to work anyway.

bayview on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

At the congressional hearing, it was liberal Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) who provided some of the most enlightening testimony. As a single mother with kids, Moore once relied on welfare. She spoke in personal terms about the tradeoffs recipients must make when their employer offers a promotion or pay increase. In her case, she once “begged my supervisor not to give me a 50-cents-an-hour raise lest I lose Title 20 daycare.” Moore said the same factors were at play with her Medicaid.

At least she was working. We’ve got people out there refusing minimum wage gigs because the government handouts are more valuable.

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

All part of the plan for this thug and his dog-like minions; put as many people as possible on the dole and buy their votes year after year.

Bishop on August 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

OT: NBC News journolists upping Mitt to Mass murderer!!

faraway on August 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

They’re also claiming he oversaw some tax avoidance scandal or whatever. The Romney team needs to start fighting fire with fire.

changer1701 on August 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

We’ve got people out there refusing minimum wage gigs because the government handouts are more valuable.

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Just raise minimum wage.

/libtards

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was the centerpiece of President Bill Clinton’s landmark reform in 1996

uhhh … pretty sure BillyJeff was dragged along kicking and screaming during welfare reform.

Lost in Jersey on August 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

NBC News

we’re not calling Mitt Romney a murderer. What we are saying is that if he’s elected President, a lot of people will die.

faraway on August 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was the centerpiece of President Bill Clinton’s landmark reform in 1996.

Let’s have some intellectual honest here. This was GOP reform. At the time Clinton made it clear he signed it under duress but with a GOP-controlled Congress he had no choice. It worked. Suddenly Clinton was taking credit for the whole thing as “landmark reform” when he was hardly the architect or even willing participant.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

When in the city, if I have to make a store run, there are droves of them. Wish them to be stripped of the free stuff. A rude awakening is due them all. Concealing the laziness by making their teet sucking look like a credit card is just wrong.

Bmore on August 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Am I missing something? Are welfare payments open ended? Isn’t there some finite time length involved?

Khun Joe on August 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

… pretty sure BillyJeff was dragged along kicking and screaming during welfare reform.

Lost in Jersey on August 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I remember it well. And yes he was.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

We may yet see a return to the glory days as was displayed on “60 Minutes” years ago, when the late great Mike Wallace interviewed a welfare recipient who was just getting out of his limo to pick up his check from the welfare office.

pilamaye on August 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Whatever the black-robed eggheads think of poll tax in their ivory towers, people on welfare should have their voting rights curtailed. It is absolutely inconceivable that people would vote themselves into handout money.

Archivarix on August 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

So I heard that states only get a waiver from the work program if they can prove that their own methods that they put in place will increase the employment of those on welfare by by 20%. Is that true? If it is true I think that’s shady journalism to emit that fact from the article.

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

In Maryland, the maximum unemployment a person can receive is $430 per week.

The max a person can earn to help stay afloat without losing benefits is $50 per week (recently lowered from $100 per week).

It just doesn’t make sense.

Laura in Maryland on August 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

So I heard that states only get a waiver from the work program if they can prove that their own methods that they put in place will increase the employment of those on welfare by by 20%. Is that true? If it is true I think that’s shady journalism to emit that fact from the article.

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Yeah. Cause everything that government does works just as they say it will./

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

They’re also claiming he oversaw some tax avoidance scandal or whatever. The Romney team needs to start fighting fire with fire.

changer1701 on August 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Is this what you’re referring to?

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/08/10/new-obama-ad-questions-whether-romney-paid-taxes/

It’s pretty obvious what they’re doing. Have someone(in this case Harry Reid) throw out a baseless accusation of tax evasion. Let it simmer for a while. And then start to treat it like it’s a legitimate issue. They’ll find someway to use the “Romney is a murderer” charge in the weeks to come.

I sincerely hope this doesn’t work. Maybe it’ll depress turnout among disgusted independents(although one would think that hurts Obama just as much), but if it p-sses off enough conservatives and Republicans to get them to the polls, it could backfire bigtime on Barry. Remember, Bush won in 2004 largely by getting the base to show up. Romney can do likewise.

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

“It’s about the economy, stupid” may be failed rhetoric as part of the GOP platform. The leeches of society are absolutely content with their subsidized lifestyle. Those who are not moochers already understand the failure of Obamanomics. Hence, I have a ravenous appetite to go full blown negative and expose every Obama lie in order to gain the Indy vote (Solyndra, Delphi emails, F&F, Lightsquared, gutting welfare, food stamp program with Mexico, DOMA revocation, priv sector is fine, you didn’t build that, etc.). EVERY DAY FOR 30 DAYS LAUNCH A NEW AD!

hillsoftx on August 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

*Omit

But drives home what I love about the internet. No longer do we have to get our news from one source. I think its important to have a wide variety of different news providers to help filter out facts from those pushing agendas, on both sides.

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

You want your welfare check? There’s a bus waiting outside to take you to the roadside cleanup site. At the end of the week, after you’ve logged 30 hours, you can have your check.

Bat Chain Puller on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

The problem with welfare is that there work should actually be rewarded, and continued steady work more so. We should be offering welfare subsidies for those holding minimum wage jobs and who can document working 50+ hours a week with dependent children. Instead of kicking women off the rolls when they get a job.

libfreeordie on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

But drives home what I love about the internet. No longer do we have to get our news from one source. I think its important to have a wide variety of different news providers to help filter out facts from those pushing agendas, on both sides.

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Sure. I hear ya. Both sides are equally guilty of pushing equally odious agendas. Sure…/

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The problem with welfare is that there work should actually be rewarded, and continued steady work more so. We should be offering welfare subsidies for those holding minimum wage jobs and who can document working 50+ hours a week with dependent children. Instead of kicking women off the rolls when they get a job.

libfreeordie on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Between 1995 and 2010, work was rewarded — it was required to stay on welfare in the first place. Thank Obama for changing it back.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

The problem with welfare is that there work should actually be rewarded, and continued steady work more so. We should be offering welfare subsidies for those holding minimum wage jobs and who can document working 50+ hours a week with dependent children. Instead of kicking women off the rolls when they get a job.

libfreeordie on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

How about not having children until you are stable in a career? Oh, that’s right, that would have detrimental consequences on your Child Tax Credit and E-I-C. And, your employer should reward hard work, but with the consequence of Obama’s regulation and taxation, they can’t as they prepare for the worst.

hillsoftx on August 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Gryph…so its okay to leave facts out of articles if you think that they won’t work?

So Learn James leads the league in scoring but I don’t think he should win the m.v.p award so Im going to say Kevin Durant is leading the league in field goals made and not report those other pesky facts I personally don’t agree with.

(0-0)

Sounds shady..

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Liberals love to talk about human dignity but nothing has destroyed the dignity of the poor more than the liberal welfare state.

gwelf on August 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

First… how does a President have the power to rescind a law all by himself that it took congress and another President to pass?

More and more its like our system is devolving into some kind of government where… yeah, we have a congress but if they don’t do it then the President can just dictate it.

He has no power to do this! If I were in congress I’d be making speeches telling any government official that obeys these illegal orders will be held responsible! That they are acting illegally! Start challenging this crap in court immediately!

Congress has a duty.. a duty blast it to stop this dictator! They should not be sitting on their hands while this little Marxist goes around making his little decrees! If he keeps getting away with it he will just keep doing it and the decrees will get larger and larger!

I remember how the libs blasted Nixon for all the power he had! Where are they now? Stupid question, I know.

JellyToast on August 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Hillsoftx

So the problem of people having kids before they could afford them started under Obama?

Ok.

(0-0)

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Gryph…so its okay to leave facts out of articles if you think that they won’t work?

So Learn James leads the league in scoring but I don’t think he should win the m.v.p award so Im going to say Kevin Durant is leading the league in field goals made and not report those other pesky facts I personally don’t agree with.

(0-0)

Sounds shady..

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

If the facts in this article don’t count because one at-best-tangentially germane fact was left out, then I guess you and I have a difference of opinion. I can live with that. But is there anything in the article as-presented that you disagree with, moby?

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Am I missing something? Are welfare payments open ended? Isn’t there some finite time length involved?

Khun Joe on August 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

No, for most of the programs, so long as you meet the eligibility requirements (e.g., low income, limited number of assets, etc.), you can continue receiving benefits until you die.

There are no incentives to get off the dole. In most of the programs, the incentives work in the opposite direction. Also, there is an organized industry (composed of “community organizing” groups like ACORN) that give people instructions in how to most effectively scam the system (i.e., taxpayers) by doing things like getting paid for work off the books, transferring assets into a friend or family member’s name, etc.

AZCoyote on August 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Hillsoftx

So the problem of people having kids before they could afford them started under Obama Democrats?

Ok.

(0-0)

Politricks on August 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

With that little fix, I can say YUP.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

The problem with welfare is that there work should actually be rewarded, and continued steady work more so. We should be offering welfare subsidies for those holding minimum wage jobs and who can document working 50+ hours a week with dependent children. Instead of kicking women off the rolls when they get a job.

libfreeordie on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

No. What we should be doing is stop subsidizing other people’s lifestyles. You want kids? Fine. Pay for them your damn self. Otherwise use contraception(it ain’t that expensive, Sandra) or don’t have sex.

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

We should be offering welfare subsidies for those holding minimum wage jobs and who can document working 50+ hours a week with dependent children. Instead of kicking women off the rolls when they get a job.

libfreeordie on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

So essentially rewarding people with minimum wage jobs for having kids? Here’s a better idea peabrain. How about helping that breeder with training and other programs (of which there are many) so that they can get something better than a minimum wage job! Of course that would make that individual much less reliant on the government for existence and you filthy commies are having none of that!

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

No. What we should be doing is stop subsidizing other people’s lifestyles. You want kids? Fine. Pay for them your damn self. Otherwise use contraception(it ain’t that expensive, Sandra) or don’t have sex.

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

This is why conservatives are heartless and poor people can’t have nice things.

/libtards

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

“One thing I’ve discovered, when you pay people to be poor, you find you have a lot more people willing to be poor.”
…Ronald Reagan.

jaydee_007 on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Hunger and cold are the best incentives to work. Take them away, and you’ve taken away the motivation to work.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

So essentially rewarding people with minimum wage jobs for having kids? Here’s a better idea peabrain. How about helping that breeder with training and other programs (of which there are many) so that they can get something better than a minimum wage job! Of course that would make that individual much less reliant on the government for existence and you filthy commies are having none of that!

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Only thing I’d add to this is that such training should be handled at the state and/or local level. The feds have no business getting their mitts in programs such as this.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

First… how does a President have the power to rescind a law all by himself that it took congress and another President to pass?

JellyToast on August 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Executive Order. The filthy jug-eared traitor is not rescinding the law per se. He is telling the Executive Branch to selectively enforce the law. That is why the illegals are running around- ICE has been told to let anybody go who claims they are a “Dreamer.” That is why the sodomites are so happy- DoJ will no longer enforce DOMA. Same holds true here. The Cyber Security Bill that the Dems tried to push through on the last day of business in the Senate could well show up as an EO for the truly unConstitional things the
Dems were trying to sneak into the bill. It truly is a scary precedent

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Guilty as charged!

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Now here is a man after my own heart. Representative Steve King. “Repeal every freaking bill Obama has signed the last 4 years!” (I added freaking.. I thought it would be a nice touch)

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/08/09/steve-king-wants-to-invalidate-all-obama-done

He’s introducing a bill to undo every single thing Obama has done. My gosh it must be massive. The mother of all freaking bills!

JellyToast on August 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

This is why conservatives are heartless and poor people can’t have nice things.

/libtards

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

I know, but I’m at the point where I’ve had it. I’m a pretty compassionate dude(hell, I even feel a little bad for Adam Smith), but I draw the line at people gaming the system so they can draw government checks without even attempting to find work.

Being poor needs to actually feel like being poor again in this country. Otherwise you’ll have an entire segment of society living off the government dole because they’ve got a lifestyle just as comfortable as the “chump” down the street who’s busting his ass at a low wage manual labor gig. And when that money runs out and the checks stop coming(and that day is fast approaching), you’ll have the unrest in Greece times 100(with a bunch of guns thrown in the mix).

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Only thing I’d add to this is that such training should be handled at the state and/or local level. The feds have no business getting their mitts in programs such as this.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I’d agree with that addition in principle. However, the feds can not be completely hands-off if the program involves the use of federal funding like VA retraining efforts.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

That should say “unrest like in Greece”. MUST PROOFREAD!

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

He’s introducing a bill to undo every single thing Obama has done. My gosh it must be massive. The mother of all freaking bills!

JellyToast on August 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Can’t be any longer than the Obamacare bill.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

It says a lot that Obama would do something so seemingly stupid right before an election. He could have only done it because he thinks there are more votes to gain by doing it than by not doing it. That is an interesting thing to ponder.

Buddahpundit on August 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Has any governor taken Obama up on waiving the work requirements? That alone, would be very telling.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

you’ll have the unrest in Greece times 100(with a bunch of guns thrown in the mix).

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

It’s kinda interesting (like a looking at a car wreck interesting) the way people on the public dole will show so much energy, drive, and ability to manipulate the system when their benefits are threatened. People that supposedly need “a hand not a handout” because they are so much the victim of the economy, low education, medical condition, etc. become as skilled as any lawyer and as passionate as any activist when it is their monthly payout that is being questioned.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:12 AM

When we stilll have “jobs Americans won’t do” with an 8%+ unemployemnt rate, we need more incentives.

And something needs to be done about the disability system. It’s a complete scam.

NoDonkey on August 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

…the feds can not be completely hands-off if the program involves the use of federal funding like VA retraining efforts.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Don’t even get me started, Nomad. I could go on and on and on and on about all the stuff the federales are doing that is, strictly speaking, unconstitutional. I have a fantasy of the executive branch being summarily gutted, and a constitutional amendment ratified saying that every act of congress must be ratified by 3/5 of the states before it becomes effective. Then I remember that the founding fathers didn’t believe in pure democracy, and I go back to my depressive slump.

gryphon202 on August 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

It seems to me that good people who find themselves on welfare should be the most opposed to Obama’s rule change because it only benefits the bad-acters and solvency of the program. It’s got to mean that there are a lot of professional welfare recipients and they are extremely important to dems.

Buddahpundit on August 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM

We should be offering welfare subsidies for those holding minimum wage jobs and who can document working 50+ hours a week with dependent children. Instead of kicking women off the rolls when they get a job.

libfreeordie

All 10 of them?

xblade on August 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

There is no way to reform the system! It has grown steadily since the ’60s, when the Great Redistribution started. Even a GOP House, Senate and White House in 2013 will not have the guts to end it. Too many people hooked on opium (Other People’s Money).

Forty years ago a friend of mine got pregnant and applied for welfare. Her then husband was a broke artist. All the other ladies said, “You just have one child? You have to have more! You get more money for each one!”

Nothing has changed.

PattyJ on August 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Going Galt is liberating, and stop Government and the dependence class from leeching on you.

bayview on August 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

When we stilll have “jobs Americans won’t do” with an 8%+ unemployemnt rate, we need more incentives.

NoDonkey on August 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

No, we need less incentives.

We also need to lower the corporate tax rate to encourage private sector employers to hire more workers. But, apparently the private sector is doing fine.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

So… if it is illegal, who in the Congress has the cajones to fix this? Not one….. spineless a**holes.

ultracon on August 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Illegals cross that Goal Line known as the border.

The hand goes out: “You Owe Me.”
And, they get it.

This has to stop.

TimBuk3 on August 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

It’s time to fix our broken welfare system

and our tax system.

burt on August 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

At least she was working. We’ve got people out there refusing minimum wage gigs because the government handouts are more valuable.

Doughboy on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Okay there are some misconceptions about TANF, not necessarily you Doughboy. First the program before Obama gutted it did require taking a job for so many hours a month…usually 80. If you refused a certain number of times you were off the program.

Many of the jobs were with non-profits like Goodwill or food pantries, etc. While you were working there, get ready for this, these non-profits received government pay-outs so you actually worked for the government, us. You were also required to look for a non-government assisted position. But that had more lee-way and many people simply didn’t or used a myriad of excuses…transportation, etc.

Because TANF, formerly ADC, was supposed to help children it often over-lapped with SSI. Some welfare family recipients get SSI for their children and utilize it to support the family…a whole other can of worms, which is actually in worse straits than TANF.

Back to TANF, if you failed to meet the job requirements you were removed from the program. Here’s the kicker, you could get back in after a couple of months as long as you showed the same need. It’s all for the children don’t you know. So people were often off and back on within weeks.

Then there are the free educational programs which are in most cases a joke. People took the training but often turned down jobs. I saw many reicpients trained in healthcare, all levels, turn down jobs. Again they were given so many chances and then off the program…for a while.

Also, none of this affected their SNAP or Medicaid.

There’s lots more which was bad enough, but what Obama did was take us back to the concept of generations on welfare with no intention of improving themselves, and no incentive at all.

There are other programs which are abused such as HEAP and Emergency HEAP. and of course Medicaid and SNAP. I would guess that a second term for Teh One would remove any obstacles in those programs as well.

Deanna on August 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Someone (WSJ? can’t find it now) did a chart that shows total income from job and government and how good a job you’d have to get to overcome the income of a crappy job with welfare. The numbers were obscene.

besser tot als rot on August 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

You want your welfare check? There’s a bus waiting outside to take you to the roadside cleanup site. At the end of the week, after you’ve logged 30 hours, you can have your check.

Bat Chain Puller on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Exactly. No work, no pay. That way, there’s no disincentive.

It’s paying people to do nothing that creates the disincentive. The flaw is built into the very premise of the system.

Of course, it’s the unions that object to work-for-welfare: “They’re stealing our jobs!”

Remember this about unions: they’d rather have 5 people earning $10, and 5 people earning $0, than 10 people earning $5.

mr.blacksheep on August 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

“One thing I’ve discovered, when you pay people to be poor, you find you have a lot more people willing to be poor.”
…Ronald Reagan.

jaydee_007 on August 10, 2012 at 9:58 AM

The sad part is that smart people have been observing this axiom for centuries…

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

Yet the so-called “geniuses” of today either don’t understand it, or know it full well, but take advantage to cynically buy votes. Either way, to not acknowledge it is just plain stupidity and runs counter to the principles upon which this nation was founded.

right of the dial on August 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Can someone point me to the quote from Gwen Moore at the link provided?

oconp88 on August 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Out: ‘The end of welfare as we know it.’

In: ‘Totalitarian end run around Congress.’

Welcome to the Obamanation.

locomotivebreath1901 on August 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

The welfare disincentives have been there a long time, a testimony to the idiocy of the people who design the program parameters. Way back in the seventies, my sister took a 40 hour a week job as a secretary to get off of welfare and netted less than $20 a week. She despised being on welfare, but not many will do as she did.

I studied political theory and public policy analysis under Vince Ostrom in college, which assumes that programs and institutions can and should be designed with an understanding of human behavior and likely responses to the systemic rules, rewards and penalties. Apparently it is an idea that remains completely lost on politicians and bureaucrats.

novaculus on August 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM

There are more than 70 separate welfare programs operated by the federal government today.

70 programs? 70? That’s a career opportunity just beckoning. How many ways do you need to provide food, shelter and clothing?

lynncgb on August 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Apparently it is an idea that remains completely lost on politicians and bureaucrats.

novaculus on August 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Not at all: they avoid it like the plague. Increasing dependence is a feature, not a bug. Remember, they all have a vested interest: the more people who “need” them, the bigger their “empires”.

They, in general, have completely abandoned the idea of helping anyone but themselves — they don’t really give a damn. All they want is money, power and control.

Maybe, in some abstract, theoretical way, one could argue that government “programs” to help the poor are a good thing. In practice, the inevitable result is what we have: an industry hell-bent on expanding at any cost.

mr.blacksheep on August 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Can someone point me to the quote from Gwen Moore at the link provided?

oconp88 on August 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Had me stumped for a bit, too! It’s in the next link provided. Keep That Pay Raise. I’d like to see video or transcript, though.

VerbumSap on August 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I read Hot Air and comment every day… does that count as work?

KenInIL on August 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

This graph explains it all: Fear the Welfare Cliff

slickwillie2001 on August 10, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Obama campaigns on a bogus war between the rich & poor.
Romney should be hammering the fact that the REAL war is between the Makers & Takers.

SheVee on August 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Romney’s Truthful Welfare Ad…Smoking Gun Provided By The New York Times

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/08/romneys-truthful-welfare-adsmoking-gun.html

M2RB: Robert Cray at Montreux

Resist We Much on August 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Remember this about unions: they’d rather have 5 people earning $10, and 5 people earning $0, than 10 people earning $5.

mr.blacksheep on August 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Bingo…this is EXACTLY how the corrupt union thugs operate…”workers paradise” (until the company goes bankrupt…then, blame the selfish rich owners…
Commies never change…

Strike Hornet on August 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM

taking all incentives to work if able out of welfare keeps people in the dependency gulag- and spawns generations of the same. it’s the new slavery and it has destroyed the inner city and the black family in particular.

this documentary was an eye opener- men were specifically kept from their families in the pruitt-igoe projects. women would have to sneak their husbands in- destroy the family, remove the fathers, keep women and children in poverty. in what culture is it EVER ok to purposely destroy a family? the welfare state is the racist state, the new plantation with new masters who own you and your children.

http://www.pruitt-igoe.com/

the same sort of twisted thinking is mirrored in the immigration/ illegal problem we have. those who come here illegally are showered with the gifts of the welfare state, are not beholden to the tax/punishment/regifting of obamacare/romneycare but can easily get all the ER and freecare they desire. the president is even giving them free work permits in the time of devastating unemployment ( particularly among african americans). when one goes through the immigration process the legal, right way it is a nightmare- a long drawn out nightmare drowned in bureaucracy and making some lawyers rich off the never ending legal maneuvers . it’s going around in circles of frustration whereas you get all the same bennies by just flouting the law, ignoring the rule of law all together. the federal government created this charade and by coddling illegals and considering them oppressed victims they have created a grave injustice against the law abiding and legal immigrants. it is destroying our rule of law and culture.

that a large segment of our society not dependent and not here illegally see no problem with these 2 very expensive, very damaging policies is a huge part of the problem- liberalspeak has actively fostered a highly destructive sociological and political atmosphere that encourages the worst in people . this ethos has has made a virtue out of dependency and sloth while punishing quite actively the independent and hard working, responsible. that is the real difference between barry and romney.

mittens on August 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM

My family is barely getting by and really cannot keep all of our bills paid on my husband’s meager military retirement pay since both of us have been laid off. I resent having any of my husband’s pay go to freeloaders who won’t work. We have a disabled child to support that we are trying hard to keep off the government dole.

sherrimae on August 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I can tell you all first hand that is so true that working seems to be discouraged while being on benefits.

Not getting into too much detail about our situation, I will say that the more I make the less the benefits are. I think what we get the bar is set at :
Under 2K worth of assets. So you own a second car, and it is worth more than 2K your SOL. This includes anything and everything under the sun. One of the very few things not counted is your 401K… but anything you can sell and turn into money, it counts, and 2K really is not that much when you think about it.

Once you start hitting 2200 before taxes, you start getting docked for any money over.

I still work and I still work as much as I can. I guess I was raised somewhat decent. I know there are many that will flame and say no help to anyone, including me… but sad to say, these programs are here to stay.

Instead of getting mad at me, why not direct your anger at the people who are committing fraud… like those claiming food stamps and all that fun stuff when they make 2x as much and have boats, 4 cars ect ect… they just hid them. I know of a few people at my place of work who do just that.

Get rid of the fraud I can almost bet you that the cost goes down 25%

watertown on August 10, 2012 at 6:25 PM

One more thing.

Good to see Moore actually doing something. She is nothing but a pile of something that comes out of the backside of my dog. Milwaukee must be so proud.

watertown on August 10, 2012 at 6:28 PM