Many Welfare Recipients Eligible for More in Benefits Than Several Full-Time Workers

Heather Ginsberg

8/20/2013 1:15:00 PM - Heather Ginsberg

A new study conducted by the CATO Institute finds that New York welfare recipients are eligible for more in benefits than teachers earn. The study says that a New York mother of two is eligible for $38,004 in welfare benefits, which is more than the annual salary of a New York entry-level school teacher.

But it’s not only New York. CATO also found that in many states welfare pays better than work. Hawaii had the highest wage-equivalent benefits for a mother and two children at $60,590. Seriously?!

That’s not all! The study also found that “33 states and the District of Columbia offer welfare benefits that pay recipients more than an $8-an-hour job would. Twelve states and the District of Columbia offer welfare packages that pay better than a $15-an-hour job does.”

Wow. Talk about a system that needs to be fixed! Now, I am not trying to say that people on welfare are lazy, but what incentive is there for unemployed Americans to try and get back in the work force? If you pay them more not to work than what they could actually earn at a full-time job, why would anyone choose to go and work?

Since the 1960s and the “war on poverty” programs started, the U.S. taxpayers have spent over $15 trillion on these anti-poverty programs. The federal government has 126 low-income programs of which 72 offer citizens cash or in-kind benefits.

If this is not a sign that the welfare system needs to be overhauled, I don’t know what is.