The poor on the other hand, defined as the bottom 50 percent of income earners, pay essentially no federal income taxes. Many of these poorer Americans enroll in Medicare and receive free health care. If they don’t qualify for Medicare, they can now, thanks to Obamacare, receive taxpayer-funded federal subsidies to pay their own health care expenses.
But this is not all government does; it also provides funding for poorer Americans’ food. Today, one out of every six Americans receives food stamps. Recently renamed SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal government now spends almost $80 billion helping feed the poor.
Last year, the Cato Institute came out with a study named “The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013,” in which Cato found that individuals receiving all government welfare benefits make more money than they would working a minimum wage job in 35 states. In 13 states, government welfare benefits are more lucrative than a $15 per hour full-time job. Our current welfare system is completely backward. Government should be encouraging work and independence, not trapping individuals in the welfare system.