Welfare recipients blowing taxpayer money in Vegas?

October 6, 2010

Responsible Americans who skipped a vacation this summer, prepare to be angry. While you’ve been cutting back during this economic downturn, some California welfare recipients were using your money to travel to Las Vegas, Hawaii, and a bunch of other places you and your family couldn’t afford to visit.

The L.A. Times reported that between January 2007 and May 2010 more than $69 million of California’s welfare dollars were accessed through the state-issued debt cards outside of the state. Welfare recipients not only were using taxpayer cash in stores outside of the state, they also were withdrawing taxpayer money to spend while on cruise ships and in hotels and casinos. In fact, Las Vegas was the destination of choice for those abusing the welfare system, with $11.8 million in cash benefits withdrawn in Sin City.

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn, put it well: “California taxpayers, who are struggling to keep their own jobs, are subsidizing other people’s vacations. That’s absurd.”

Politicians love to say there’s no “low hanging fruit” when it comes to finding spending cuts. We’d suggest this is yet another place they may want to look.

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48 Responses to Welfare recipients blowing taxpayer money in Vegas?

  1. Robin says:

    Years ago I was fond of the idea of a negative income tax to replace all the welfare programs and their enormous spending (as in it took $6 of “oversight” to deliver $1 benefits). People thought I was cruel because poor people don’t have the financial skills to balance complicated living costs). With people spending their welfare for the proverbial welfare cadillac (which I personally know have actually happened) or lottery tickets or in barter for cigarettes and booze, these mistakes will not pay the rent or put food on the table. If these welfare recipients were wasting it in Vegas or the like, they would waste it elsewhere — as in some of them. Unfortunately, I also know some poor people who don’t use all the government offers because they are functionally illiterate and can’t even read the direction signs in the government office wall. While we like to fuss at those who abuse the system there are people out there who don’t know enough to fully use the system that could help them. Some people really do need this help.

  2. Robin says:

    Years ago I was fond of the idea of a negative income tax to replace all the welfare programs and their enormous spending (as in it took $6 of “oversight” to deliver $1 benefits). People thought I was cruel because poor people don’t have the financial skills to balance complicated living costs). With people spending their welfare for the proverbial welfare cadillac (which I personally know have actually happened) or lottery tickets or in barter for cigarettes and booze, these mistakes will not pay the rent or put food on the table. If these welfare recipients were wasting it in Vegas or the like, they would waste it elsewhere — as in some of them. Unfortunately, I also know some poor people who don’t use all the government offers because they are functionally illiterate and can’t even read the direction signs in the government office wall. While we like to fuss at those who abuse the system there are people out there who don’t know enough to fully use the system that could help them. Some people really do need this help.

  3. Robin says:

    Years ago I was fond of the idea of a negative income tax to replace all the welfare programs and their enormous spending (as in it took $6 of “oversight” to deliver $1 benefits). People thought I was cruel because poor people don’t have the financial skills to balance complicated living costs). With people spending their welfare for the proverbial welfare cadillac (which I personally know have actually happened) or lottery tickets or in barter for cigarettes and booze, these mistakes will not pay the rent or put food on the table. If these welfare recipients were wasting it in Vegas or the like, they would waste it elsewhere — as in some of them. Unfortunately, I also know some poor people who don’t use all the government offers because they are functionally illiterate and can’t even read the direction signs in the government office wall. While we like to fuss at those who abuse the system there are people out there who don’t know enough to fully use the system that could help them. Some people really do need this help.

  4. Twang says:

    What about all the welfare spent on Israel every year? At least the money spent in Vegas stays in America.

  5. Twang says:

    What about all the welfare spent on Israel every year? At least the money spent in Vegas stays in America.

  6. Twang says:

    What about all the welfare spent on Israel every year? At least the money spent in Vegas stays in America.

  7. taxlady says:

    I say tax the benefits. I pay tax on the income I make that is used to pay for food with. Unemployed workers pay tax on the money they use to pay for food as well. This should also help in getting the dependents on the

  8. taxlady says:

    I say tax the benefits. I pay tax on the income I make that is used to pay for food with. Unemployed workers pay tax on the money they use to pay for food as well. This should also help in getting the dependents on the

  9. taxlady says:

    I say tax the benefits. I pay tax on the income I make that is used to pay for food with. Unemployed workers pay tax on the money they use to pay for food as well. This should also help in getting the dependents on the

  10. DOUG says:

    MY FATHER HAS ALWAYS SAID YOU WILL HAVE MORE OF WHAT YOU SUBSIDIZE AND LESS OF WHAT YOU TAX!!
    GUESS WHAT THE BALANCE HAS BEEN SWUNG TI THE NEGATIVE SIDE FOR MANY YEARS. THIS COUNTRY WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO IF IT HAD LEADERS WITH AMERICAS OUTCOME AT THE FOREFRONT OF THEIR THOUGHTS INSTEAD OF THEIR OWN BETTERMENT.

  11. DOUG says:

    MY FATHER HAS ALWAYS SAID YOU WILL HAVE MORE OF WHAT YOU SUBSIDIZE AND LESS OF WHAT YOU TAX!!
    GUESS WHAT THE BALANCE HAS BEEN SWUNG TI THE NEGATIVE SIDE FOR MANY YEARS. THIS COUNTRY WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO IF IT HAD LEADERS WITH AMERICAS OUTCOME AT THE FOREFRONT OF THEIR THOUGHTS INSTEAD OF THEIR OWN BETTERMENT.

  12. DOUG says:

    MY FATHER HAS ALWAYS SAID YOU WILL HAVE MORE OF WHAT YOU SUBSIDIZE AND LESS OF WHAT YOU TAX!!
    GUESS WHAT THE BALANCE HAS BEEN SWUNG TI THE NEGATIVE SIDE FOR MANY YEARS. THIS COUNTRY WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO IF IT HAD LEADERS WITH AMERICAS OUTCOME AT THE FOREFRONT OF THEIR THOUGHTS INSTEAD OF THEIR OWN BETTERMENT.

  13. David says:

    Enough nonsense with all this just go to www.paynoincometax.com and get the truth about the lying, cheating, and stealing that the Federal Mafia perpetrates on the American citizen

  14. David says:

    Enough nonsense with all this just go to www.paynoincometax.com and get the truth about the lying, cheating, and stealing that the Federal Mafia perpetrates on the American citizen

  15. David says:

    Enough nonsense with all this just go to www.paynoincometax.com and get the truth about the lying, cheating, and stealing that the Federal Mafia perpetrates on the American citizen

  16. Christopher Boyce says:

    This article distracts people from the real reasons behind the national debt- military, tax cuts, and entitlements. Growing up during the 80s I regularly heard my elders complain at the kitchen table about welfare recipients in the city wasting their tax dollars and running up the deficit. They only one who knew better was my grandfather who would point to Reagan’s tax cuts and relentless military spending that required deficit spending. Most of the current debt was created by trying to maintain the largest military machine the world has ever seen and by cutting taxes to buy votes, but in more recent years social security and medicare have become unsustainable as well.

    This is the elephant in the room that Republican and Democratic leaders won’t acknowledge and most Americans can’t even see!!

  17. Christopher Boyce says:

    This article distracts people from the real reasons behind the national debt- military, tax cuts, and entitlements. Growing up during the 80s I regularly heard my elders complain at the kitchen table about welfare recipients in the city wasting their tax dollars and running up the deficit. They only one who knew better was my grandfather who would point to Reagan’s tax cuts and relentless military spending that required deficit spending. Most of the current debt was created by trying to maintain the largest military machine the world has ever seen and by cutting taxes to buy votes, but in more recent years social security and medicare have become unsustainable as well.

    This is the elephant in the room that Republican and Democratic leaders won’t acknowledge and most Americans can’t even see!!

  18. Christopher Boyce says:

    This article distracts people from the real reasons behind the national debt- military, tax cuts, and entitlements. Growing up during the 80s I regularly heard my elders complain at the kitchen table about welfare recipients in the city wasting their tax dollars and running up the deficit. They only one who knew better was my grandfather who would point to Reagan’s tax cuts and relentless military spending that required deficit spending. Most of the current debt was created by trying to maintain the largest military machine the world has ever seen and by cutting taxes to buy votes, but in more recent years social security and medicare have become unsustainable as well.

    This is the elephant in the room that Republican and Democratic leaders won’t acknowledge and most Americans can’t even see!!

  19. Sirs I am liberal in the belief that no one should go hungry in the richest country in the world. However one only ned look at thye food stamp program to realoize there need to be much more oversight on these type programs. My wife worked in a grocery store and stated that o n food stamp day they would come to the check out counter with carts full of junk food. (donuts, cookies, cakes potatoto chips etc) I believe this should be for only nutritious foods as many of these people are obese and we will then pay for a diabetic epidemic. Also the selloing of food stamps to buy drugs is prevalent. THIS COULD BE STOPPED BY i.d. required and the only way anyone could pick other peoples food stamps would be with a certified letter the the person was dfisabled and unable to pick them up.We have heard much about improving diets in schools due to overweight children m which is good but the food stamp program could help this situation much more. i have written my elected reps. about this but have really heard no logical answer why the abuses in the food stamp program is allowed to continue..

  20. Sirs I am liberal in the belief that no one should go hungry in the richest country in the world. However one only ned look at thye food stamp program to realoize there need to be much more oversight on these type programs. My wife worked in a grocery store and stated that o n food stamp day they would come to the check out counter with carts full of junk food. (donuts, cookies, cakes potatoto chips etc) I believe this should be for only nutritious foods as many of these people are obese and we will then pay for a diabetic epidemic. Also the selloing of food stamps to buy drugs is prevalent. THIS COULD BE STOPPED BY i.d. required and the only way anyone could pick other peoples food stamps would be with a certified letter the the person was dfisabled and unable to pick them up.We have heard much about improving diets in schools due to overweight children m which is good but the food stamp program could help this situation much more. i have written my elected reps. about this but have really heard no logical answer why the abuses in the food stamp program is allowed to continue..

  21. Sirs I am liberal in the belief that no one should go hungry in the richest country in the world. However one only ned look at thye food stamp program to realoize there need to be much more oversight on these type programs. My wife worked in a grocery store and stated that o n food stamp day they would come to the check out counter with carts full of junk food. (donuts, cookies, cakes potatoto chips etc) I believe this should be for only nutritious foods as many of these people are obese and we will then pay for a diabetic epidemic. Also the selloing of food stamps to buy drugs is prevalent. THIS COULD BE STOPPED BY i.d. required and the only way anyone could pick other peoples food stamps would be with a certified letter the the person was dfisabled and unable to pick them up.We have heard much about improving diets in schools due to overweight children m which is good but the food stamp program could help this situation much more. i have written my elected reps. about this but have really heard no logical answer why the abuses in the food stamp program is allowed to continue..

  22. john q taxpayer says:

    no one should just get welfare, you should have to earn in. like the people who pay there taxes to make welfare possible. no one should get something for nothing.
    idea: pass a drug test, put in 40 hours a week, get paid. its that simple. no matter what your physical condition, you can do something to contribute to the nation that is keeping you fed and housed. NO ONE SHOULD GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

  23. john q taxpayer says:

    no one should just get welfare, you should have to earn in. like the people who pay there taxes to make welfare possible. no one should get something for nothing.
    idea: pass a drug test, put in 40 hours a week, get paid. its that simple. no matter what your physical condition, you can do something to contribute to the nation that is keeping you fed and housed. NO ONE SHOULD GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

  24. john q taxpayer says:

    no one should just get welfare, you should have to earn in. like the people who pay there taxes to make welfare possible. no one should get something for nothing.
    idea: pass a drug test, put in 40 hours a week, get paid. its that simple. no matter what your physical condition, you can do something to contribute to the nation that is keeping you fed and housed. NO ONE SHOULD GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

  25. david says:

    Why is it that everybody complains and no one wants to get tough
    the way to get someones attention is through their pocket
    so i say get tough and cut off the money going to washington all obama
    is doing is creating more of his own kind to go underground they will never ever become a snitch for the Internal Revenue Service income tax people if i paid you more than $600.00 why in the world would i fill out a stupid form and send it in to the IRS this is no notsee or Natzi Germany what a fool we have stinking up a FREE country but hey welkome to Amerika!
    a snitch ends up in a ditch so i have been told

  26. david says:

    Why is it that everybody complains and no one wants to get tough
    the way to get someones attention is through their pocket
    so i say get tough and cut off the money going to washington all obama
    is doing is creating more of his own kind to go underground they will never ever become a snitch for the Internal Revenue Service income tax people if i paid you more than $600.00 why in the world would i fill out a stupid form and send it in to the IRS this is no notsee or Natzi Germany what a fool we have stinking up a FREE country but hey welkome to Amerika!
    a snitch ends up in a ditch so i have been told

  27. david says:

    Why is it that everybody complains and no one wants to get tough
    the way to get someones attention is through their pocket
    so i say get tough and cut off the money going to washington all obama
    is doing is creating more of his own kind to go underground they will never ever become a snitch for the Internal Revenue Service income tax people if i paid you more than $600.00 why in the world would i fill out a stupid form and send it in to the IRS this is no notsee or Natzi Germany what a fool we have stinking up a FREE country but hey welkome to Amerika!
    a snitch ends up in a ditch so i have been told

  28. Kevin says:

    I don’t see the problem as the odds are much better that playing a state sponsored lotto. Plus if they hit it big maybe one of my tenants will catch up on their rent. HA HA HA.

  29. Kevin says:

    I don’t see the problem as the odds are much better that playing a state sponsored lotto. Plus if they hit it big maybe one of my tenants will catch up on their rent. HA HA HA.

  30. Kevin says:

    I don’t see the problem as the odds are much better that playing a state sponsored lotto. Plus if they hit it big maybe one of my tenants will catch up on their rent. HA HA HA.

  31. Vanessa says:

    My granny used to say, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. I hate, hate, hate when people pick on welfare recipients and ignore the welfare given to corporations that have taken jobs out of this country. Why isn’t their more focus on them? How about the subsidized tax cuts to those who make over 250,000 dollars a year–oh right, they create jobs. Well they’ve had tax cuts for years and the unemployment is still high–WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS PEOPLE?
    I can’t imagine that a welfare check would get you to Vegas, let alone Hawaii. Less than 1000 a month, if someone can vacation in Vegas for that much money and still keep up a place to live and have food to eat, they should be asked how they do it, don’t ya think? We all could learn from that budgeting, including the government.

  32. Vanessa says:

    My granny used to say, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. I hate, hate, hate when people pick on welfare recipients and ignore the welfare given to corporations that have taken jobs out of this country. Why isn’t their more focus on them? How about the subsidized tax cuts to those who make over 250,000 dollars a year–oh right, they create jobs. Well they’ve had tax cuts for years and the unemployment is still high–WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS PEOPLE?
    I can’t imagine that a welfare check would get you to Vegas, let alone Hawaii. Less than 1000 a month, if someone can vacation in Vegas for that much money and still keep up a place to live and have food to eat, they should be asked how they do it, don’t ya think? We all could learn from that budgeting, including the government.

  33. Vanessa says:

    My granny used to say, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. I hate, hate, hate when people pick on welfare recipients and ignore the welfare given to corporations that have taken jobs out of this country. Why isn’t their more focus on them? How about the subsidized tax cuts to those who make over 250,000 dollars a year–oh right, they create jobs. Well they’ve had tax cuts for years and the unemployment is still high–WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS PEOPLE?
    I can’t imagine that a welfare check would get you to Vegas, let alone Hawaii. Less than 1000 a month, if someone can vacation in Vegas for that much money and still keep up a place to live and have food to eat, they should be asked how they do it, don’t ya think? We all could learn from that budgeting, including the government.

  34. katykat says:

    Vanessa,

    The reason that these people can take vacations is because of several different reasons.

    1) They don’t have a job, so they have nothing but free time.
    2) They get a check for each child and possible themselves each month. That is a lot more than just $1,000 They also get free food, free or extremely below-cost housing, free medical and dental care, free transportation, free phone service, and many of them sell drugs on the side for extra money. They have no budgeting skills, they simply don’t have any bills to pay. That is also why they live in trashy section 8 housing, but drive a Cadillac Escalade, or Dodge Charger. They get everything for free.
    3) As with welfare, it isn’t our responsibility to bail out businesses when they go under. The people who make over $250,000 a year have had to work to make that kind of money. They possibly take their jobs out of country to avoid the tax-happy government that we’ve ended up with. We don’t have to work to get money in this country, because of welfare. If there’s all this supply and need, but no domestic demand, then what other choice do these businesses have? Unemployment is calculated off of the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. They can sit at home watching daytime soap operas and get a check, so why would they want to go back to work? There is not a lack of jobs, rather a lack of work ethic or motivation.

    • mommaL says:

      I never thought that I would end up needing the welfare system, I have worked hard for years and can’t get a job, I made one mistake in my life and I must continually be hunted by this for the rest of my life. Everything is not free, I do have bills stacked up as high as my celing, mostly educational loans, I am still in school and supporting my children and self, I don’t vacation because my kids need clothes which welfare doesn’t supply. It is not even enough money to scratch the surface of bills We have every month. My rent is not free nor is it subsidized. I also do not live in a trashy community. My budgeting skills are outstanding. I just happen to be in a point in my life where I need a little help until I am able to find a job. I want to work I need to work I love working, but I also love going to school and challenging myself to further my career. Not all on welfare sit around and live free.I am in debt and will be for the next some odd years until I WORK my way out of it. Plus paying off school loans just take forever.
      I am not working and I don’t have any free time, if I am not attending to my children, I am in school or studying at home for my next exam.
      You people need to get your heads out of you a**hole and realize that some people simply need help.
      Also who cares if I buy cookies with food stamps, my children deserve what every other child is getting at home, should they not have just because mommy is struggling a little right now. NO! I pay taxes just the same,( I only been out of work for a few months).
      Welfare is not a lifestyle( well not for me and my family), you can’t properly survive on it.

  35. katykat says:

    Vanessa,

    The reason that these people can take vacations is because of several different reasons.

    1) They don’t have a job, so they have nothing but free time.
    2) They get a check for each child and possible themselves each month. That is a lot more than just $1,000 They also get free food, free or extremely below-cost housing, free medical and dental care, free transportation, free phone service, and many of them sell drugs on the side for extra money. They have no budgeting skills, they simply don’t have any bills to pay. That is also why they live in trashy section 8 housing, but drive a Cadillac Escalade, or Dodge Charger. They get everything for free.
    3) As with welfare, it isn’t our responsibility to bail out businesses when they go under. The people who make over $250,000 a year have had to work to make that kind of money. They possibly take their jobs out of country to avoid the tax-happy government that we’ve ended up with. We don’t have to work to get money in this country, because of welfare. If there’s all this supply and need, but no domestic demand, then what other choice do these businesses have? Unemployment is calculated off of the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. They can sit at home watching daytime soap operas and get a check, so why would they want to go back to work? There is not a lack of jobs, rather a lack of work ethic or motivation.

    • mommaL says:

      I never thought that I would end up needing the welfare system, I have worked hard for years and can’t get a job, I made one mistake in my life and I must continually be hunted by this for the rest of my life. Everything is not free, I do have bills stacked up as high as my celing, mostly educational loans, I am still in school and supporting my children and self, I don’t vacation because my kids need clothes which welfare doesn’t supply. It is not even enough money to scratch the surface of bills We have every month. My rent is not free nor is it subsidized. I also do not live in a trashy community. My budgeting skills are outstanding. I just happen to be in a point in my life where I need a little help until I am able to find a job. I want to work I need to work I love working, but I also love going to school and challenging myself to further my career. Not all on welfare sit around and live free.I am in debt and will be for the next some odd years until I WORK my way out of it. Plus paying off school loans just take forever.
      I am not working and I don’t have any free time, if I am not attending to my children, I am in school or studying at home for my next exam.
      You people need to get your heads out of you a**hole and realize that some people simply need help.
      Also who cares if I buy cookies with food stamps, my children deserve what every other child is getting at home, should they not have just because mommy is struggling a little right now. NO! I pay taxes just the same,( I only been out of work for a few months).
      Welfare is not a lifestyle( well not for me and my family), you can’t properly survive on it.

  36. katykat says:

    Vanessa,

    The reason that these people can take vacations is because of several different reasons.

    1) They don’t have a job, so they have nothing but free time.
    2) They get a check for each child and possible themselves each month. That is a lot more than just $1,000 They also get free food, free or extremely below-cost housing, free medical and dental care, free transportation, free phone service, and many of them sell drugs on the side for extra money. They have no budgeting skills, they simply don’t have any bills to pay. That is also why they live in trashy section 8 housing, but drive a Cadillac Escalade, or Dodge Charger. They get everything for free.
    3) As with welfare, it isn’t our responsibility to bail out businesses when they go under. The people who make over $250,000 a year have had to work to make that kind of money. They possibly take their jobs out of country to avoid the tax-happy government that we’ve ended up with. We don’t have to work to get money in this country, because of welfare. If there’s all this supply and need, but no domestic demand, then what other choice do these businesses have? Unemployment is calculated off of the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. They can sit at home watching daytime soap operas and get a check, so why would they want to go back to work? There is not a lack of jobs, rather a lack of work ethic or motivation.

    • mommaL says:

      I never thought that I would end up needing the welfare system, I have worked hard for years and can’t get a job, I made one mistake in my life and I must continually be hunted by this for the rest of my life. Everything is not free, I do have bills stacked up as high as my celing, mostly educational loans, I am still in school and supporting my children and self, I don’t vacation because my kids need clothes which welfare doesn’t supply. It is not even enough money to scratch the surface of bills We have every month. My rent is not free nor is it subsidized. I also do not live in a trashy community. My budgeting skills are outstanding. I just happen to be in a point in my life where I need a little help until I am able to find a job. I want to work I need to work I love working, but I also love going to school and challenging myself to further my career. Not all on welfare sit around and live free.I am in debt and will be for the next some odd years until I WORK my way out of it. Plus paying off school loans just take forever.
      I am not working and I don’t have any free time, if I am not attending to my children, I am in school or studying at home for my next exam.
      You people need to get your heads out of you a**hole and realize that some people simply need help.
      Also who cares if I buy cookies with food stamps, my children deserve what every other child is getting at home, should they not have just because mommy is struggling a little right now. NO! I pay taxes just the same,( I only been out of work for a few months).
      Welfare is not a lifestyle( well not for me and my family), you can’t properly survive on it.

  37. tiffanyB says:

    I agree with mommaL…u people are heartless.I bet most of these comments are for black peolpe but I know a nice amount of white people on it also…so fu** off..And I don’t recieve it but

  38. tiffanyB says:

    I agree with mommaL…u people are heartless.I bet most of these comments are for black peolpe but I know a nice amount of white people on it also…so fu** off..And I don’t recieve it but

  39. tiffanyB says:

    I agree with mommaL…u people are heartless.I bet most of these comments are for black peolpe but I know a nice amount of white people on it also…so fu** off..And I don’t recieve it but

  40. dink says:

    I beleive our society wants a handout more than a job. Its a lot easier. welfare spending needs cut. bottom line. Too much abuse is going on. Especailly when you see welfare people buying cigeratets alcohol and drugs with taxpayers money……

  41. dink says:

    I beleive our society wants a handout more than a job. Its a lot easier. welfare spending needs cut. bottom line. Too much abuse is going on. Especailly when you see welfare people buying cigeratets alcohol and drugs with taxpayers money……

  42. dink says:

    I beleive our society wants a handout more than a job. Its a lot easier. welfare spending needs cut. bottom line. Too much abuse is going on. Especailly when you see welfare people buying cigeratets alcohol and drugs with taxpayers money……

  43. Matt says:

    Only about 7 percent of people below the federal poverty line receive direct cash assistance (Meyers & Wallace, 2006). Most of those people are receiving social security disability checks. People also receive unemployment compensation, but it is for a limited time. Both of those programs are federal insurance programs that people pay into, so it is fair that people can receive money from them.

    The other programs that provide direct cash are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both of these programs require that people work in order to receive payments and have very low income cut-offs. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is what people usually think about when they think of “welfare queens.” However, TANF is limited to 5 years and requires people to work 30 hours a week.

    Most of the people on TANF are single mothers that work long hours at low paying jobs without benefits. The TANF payments mostly only offset the cost of childcare and transportation. The average income for people below the poverty line in America is $13,756 for a family of four (Meyer & Wallace, 2006). People receive assistance in other forms such as medicaid, food stamps, and education, but this doesn’t increase direct income. The cost of TANF is about the same as one month in Iraq (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/research_desk_tallies_how_expe.html)

    Almost no one on welfare is selling their food stamps for drugs, and hardly anyone on welfare is even using drugs. A study commissioned by Republican governor Rick Scott found that only 2% of drug users in Florida tested positive in drug tests. (http://www2.tbo.com/news/politics/2011/aug/24/3/welfare-drug-testing-yields-2-percent-positive-res-ar-252458/) Given that Florida has a strong history of drug importation, particularly cocaine, odds are that the drug use rates in Florida are higher than most parts of the country.

    Almost no one on welfare is driving a Cadillac or taking a trip to Vegas. Most welfare recipients are people who are pushed into poverty because work wages have been declining for the last thirty years in America. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/weekinreview/20uchitelle.html?pagewanted=all)(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304248704575574213897770830.html)

    Even if someone works full time, it is hard at many jobs to make ends meet. This is particularly true for people without a college degree, who have been severely impacted by the economic changes in America, and who don’t have any prospects for a living wage in the economy in the future.

    There are things that can be done that would help and should be popular with both parties. The easiest thing you can do is provide early childhood education. This would help poor and middle class people with their childcare costs. It would also help incentive people to work, and is shown to help improve lifetime outcomes in education. You can also provide additional support for people if they choose to go to school for skills training. This will improve income and decrease the chance that people will rely on government support.

    The hysteria around welfare distracts from the real economic issues in the country. Globalization has shifted jobs for uneducated workers to other parts of the world, and they are never coming back. At the same time, there is has been resistance to increasing funding for education and research. This has caused there to be a income gap in the country. People with low education can mostly only work low paying service jobs. Additionally, the tax system allows people with larger incomes to payer a smaller percentage of their income in taxes. Currently America ranks as the 39th most unequal country in the world; below Cambodia, the Ivory Coast, and Uzbekistan, among others. (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html)

    Americans need to stop being hysterical and short sighted, and start looking critically at the reasons most of the people in country are unable to find work that allows them have a standard of living that should be possible in such a rich country. This doesn’t mean you go occupy wall street or ride on the tea party express. It just means that you encourage policy makers to find the right mix between government and private sector approaches to encouraging middle and working class employment and wage growth. It also requires that you recognize that most news media is for-profit entertainment that makes money from pandering to a specific demographic. People in the country need to make sure that they are taking the time to get their information from a diverse mix of reliable sources. If people can do that, and hold their politicians accountable, the problems in the America are far from insurmountable.

  44. Matt says:

    Only about 7 percent of people below the federal poverty line receive direct cash assistance (Meyers & Wallace, 2006). Most of those people are receiving social security disability checks. People also receive unemployment compensation, but it is for a limited time. Both of those programs are federal insurance programs that people pay into, so it is fair that people can receive money from them.

    The other programs that provide direct cash are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both of these programs require that people work in order to receive payments and have very low income cut-offs. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is what people usually think about when they think of “welfare queens.” However, TANF is limited to 5 years and requires people to work 30 hours a week.

    Most of the people on TANF are single mothers that work long hours at low paying jobs without benefits. The TANF payments mostly only offset the cost of childcare and transportation. The average income for people below the poverty line in America is $13,756 for a family of four (Meyer & Wallace, 2006). People receive assistance in other forms such as medicaid, food stamps, and education, but this doesn’t increase direct income. The cost of TANF is about the same as one month in Iraq (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/research_desk_tallies_how_expe.html)

    Almost no one on welfare is selling their food stamps for drugs, and hardly anyone on welfare is even using drugs. A study commissioned by Republican governor Rick Scott found that only 2% of drug users in Florida tested positive in drug tests. (http://www2.tbo.com/news/politics/2011/aug/24/3/welfare-drug-testing-yields-2-percent-positive-res-ar-252458/) Given that Florida has a strong history of drug importation, particularly cocaine, odds are that the drug use rates in Florida are higher than most parts of the country.

    Almost no one on welfare is driving a Cadillac or taking a trip to Vegas. Most welfare recipients are people who are pushed into poverty because work wages have been declining for the last thirty years in America. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/weekinreview/20uchitelle.html?pagewanted=all)(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304248704575574213897770830.html)

    Even if someone works full time, it is hard at many jobs to make ends meet. This is particularly true for people without a college degree, who have been severely impacted by the economic changes in America, and who don’t have any prospects for a living wage in the economy in the future.

    There are things that can be done that would help and should be popular with both parties. The easiest thing you can do is provide early childhood education. This would help poor and middle class people with their childcare costs. It would also help incentive people to work, and is shown to help improve lifetime outcomes in education. You can also provide additional support for people if they choose to go to school for skills training. This will improve income and decrease the chance that people will rely on government support.

    The hysteria around welfare distracts from the real economic issues in the country. Globalization has shifted jobs for uneducated workers to other parts of the world, and they are never coming back. At the same time, there is has been resistance to increasing funding for education and research. This has caused there to be a income gap in the country. People with low education can mostly only work low paying service jobs. Additionally, the tax system allows people with larger incomes to payer a smaller percentage of their income in taxes. Currently America ranks as the 39th most unequal country in the world; below Cambodia, the Ivory Coast, and Uzbekistan, among others. (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html)

    Americans need to stop being hysterical and short sighted, and start looking critically at the reasons most of the people in country are unable to find work that allows them have a standard of living that should be possible in such a rich country. This doesn’t mean you go occupy wall street or ride on the tea party express. It just means that you encourage policy makers to find the right mix between government and private sector approaches to encouraging middle and working class employment and wage growth. It also requires that you recognize that most news media is for-profit entertainment that makes money from pandering to a specific demographic. People in the country need to make sure that they are taking the time to get their information from a diverse mix of reliable sources. If people can do that, and hold their politicians accountable, the problems in the America are far from insurmountable.

  45. Matt says:

    Only about 7 percent of people below the federal poverty line receive direct cash assistance (Meyers & Wallace, 2006). Most of those people are receiving social security disability checks. People also receive unemployment compensation, but it is for a limited time. Both of those programs are federal insurance programs that people pay into, so it is fair that people can receive money from them.

    The other programs that provide direct cash are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both of these programs require that people work in order to receive payments and have very low income cut-offs. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is what people usually think about when they think of “welfare queens.” However, TANF is limited to 5 years and requires people to work 30 hours a week.

    Most of the people on TANF are single mothers that work long hours at low paying jobs without benefits. The TANF payments mostly only offset the cost of childcare and transportation. The average income for people below the poverty line in America is $13,756 for a family of four (Meyer & Wallace, 2006). People receive assistance in other forms such as medicaid, food stamps, and education, but this doesn’t increase direct income. The cost of TANF is about the same as one month in Iraq (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/research_desk_tallies_how_expe.html)

    Almost no one on welfare is selling their food stamps for drugs, and hardly anyone on welfare is even using drugs. A study commissioned by Republican governor Rick Scott found that only 2% of drug users in Florida tested positive in drug tests. (http://www2.tbo.com/news/politics/2011/aug/24/3/welfare-drug-testing-yields-2-percent-positive-res-ar-252458/) Given that Florida has a strong history of drug importation, particularly cocaine, odds are that the drug use rates in Florida are higher than most parts of the country.

    Almost no one on welfare is driving a Cadillac or taking a trip to Vegas. Most welfare recipients are people who are pushed into poverty because work wages have been declining for the last thirty years in America. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/weekinreview/20uchitelle.html?pagewanted=all)(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304248704575574213897770830.html)

    Even if someone works full time, it is hard at many jobs to make ends meet. This is particularly true for people without a college degree, who have been severely impacted by the economic changes in America, and who don’t have any prospects for a living wage in the economy in the future.

    There are things that can be done that would help and should be popular with both parties. The easiest thing you can do is provide early childhood education. This would help poor and middle class people with their childcare costs. It would also help incentive people to work, and is shown to help improve lifetime outcomes in education. You can also provide additional support for people if they choose to go to school for skills training. This will improve income and decrease the chance that people will rely on government support.

    The hysteria around welfare distracts from the real economic issues in the country. Globalization has shifted jobs for uneducated workers to other parts of the world, and they are never coming back. At the same time, there is has been resistance to increasing funding for education and research. This has caused there to be a income gap in the country. People with low education can mostly only work low paying service jobs. Additionally, the tax system allows people with larger incomes to payer a smaller percentage of their income in taxes. Currently America ranks as the 39th most unequal country in the world; below Cambodia, the Ivory Coast, and Uzbekistan, among others. (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html)

    Americans need to stop being hysterical and short sighted, and start looking critically at the reasons most of the people in country are unable to find work that allows them have a standard of living that should be possible in such a rich country. This doesn’t mean you go occupy wall street or ride on the tea party express. It just means that you encourage policy makers to find the right mix between government and private sector approaches to encouraging middle and working class employment and wage growth. It also requires that you recognize that most news media is for-profit entertainment that makes money from pandering to a specific demographic. People in the country need to make sure that they are taking the time to get their information from a diverse mix of reliable sources. If people can do that, and hold their politicians accountable, the problems in the America are far from insurmountable.

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