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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:14 PM   #1
illini80
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The United States spent $61,000-plus last year supporting welfare programs for each household in poverty, according to U.S. Census, Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Research Services data.
If the money had been handed directly to those families, they would have arrived in the middle class, their poverty eradicated, at least until they spent the money. Instead, hundreds of billions of dollars were passed through costly, inefficient and, apparently, ineffective government channels.
Can we agree that welfare does not work, or did we just not spend enough?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:57 PM   #2
zoggle101
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I find that number pretty high. Is that 61,000 before or after Taxes. 5 k a month after Taxes isn't too shabby.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by illini80 View Post
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Can we agree that welfare does not work, or did we just not spend enough?
Fairly poorly written analysis.
If the money were paid directly to the families, the other consequence is that all of the people in those very inefficient organizations that distribute the money would move from employment to welfare.

Don't get me wrong. I do not like welfare. I'm just pointing out that it takes only a few seconds to see that the article is poor analysis. Shallow, incomplete.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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Not trying to be callous but I would love to see their finances to see how they spend their money. There are always exceptions but I have a feeling that the majority of them could live comfortably if they were able to see the difference between a need and a want.

My bro for the longest time made just $30,000 - 35,000 a year with a wife and two kids and are able to not only get by but with proper budgeting own a home, have no non-mortgage debt, and invest in retirement.

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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:30 PM   #5
illini80
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Originally Posted by FeelYourPaign View Post
Fairly poorly written analysis.
If the money were paid directly to the families, the other consequence is that all of the people in those very inefficient organizations that distribute the money would move from employment to welfare.

Don't get me wrong. I do not like welfare. I'm just pointing out that it takes only a few seconds to see that the article is poor analysis. Shallow, incomplete.
True enough. Of course the end result is the same, but at least they are doing something.

Of course this is way over simplified. But the numbers are not lying. We are spending unbelievable amounts of money and we are not fixing the problem. We are making it worse. I am in no way saying there should not be any kind of a program. Just that the "investment" is producing a negative return the way it is run currently.

Zog, it is my understanding that most benefits of this type are not taxable, but there are exceptions. For example, I did find an article that said the IRS considers fraudulently obtained benefits to be taxable.:laugh:
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:04 PM   #6
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Not trying to be callous but I would love to see their finances to see how they spend their money. There are always exceptions but I have a feeling that the majority of them could live comfortably if they were able to see the difference between a need and a want.

My bro for the longest time made just $30,000 - 35,000 a year with a wife and two kids and are able to not only get by but with proper budgeting own a home, have no non-mortgage debt, and invest in retirement.
Well that's also dependant on how much your sister-in-law made. With a family income of 60K, a family can get buy just fine. It takes not being frivilous (sp?) of course and credit goes to your brother for his current situation.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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Well that's also dependant on how much your sister-in-law made. With a family income of 60K, a family can get buy just fine. It takes not being frivilous (sp?) of course and credit goes to your brother for his current situation.
Also just as likely, if not more likely, based on any stock investments, if the sister-in-law was raising the children.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FeelYourPaign View Post
Fairly poorly written analysis.
If the money were paid directly to the families, the other consequence is that all of the people in those very inefficient organizations that distribute the money would move from employment to welfare.

Don't get me wrong. I do not like welfare. I'm just pointing out that it takes only a few seconds to see that the article is poor analysis. Shallow, incomplete.
My simplified response to your simplified response to a simple analysis

If the only reason that those people have jobs is because we're inefficiently spending money, then we'd be better off just giving them money too. They're either making way too much money, thus enhancing inefficiencies or their not paying taxes and thus glorified welfare regardless.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:15 AM   #9
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My simplified response to your simplified response to a simple analysis

If the only reason that those people have jobs is because we're inefficiently spending money, then we'd be better off just giving them money too. They're either making way too much money, thus enhancing inefficiencies or their not paying taxes and thus glorified welfare regardless.
It also neglects the idea that had that money stayed in our pockets, we would have spent it and other people would have been able to create more jobs based on that spending. It ignores that had that money not been available to these people, many of them would have become productive instead of lounging around off the fat of the land.

I am struck by zoggle's comments who wanted to know if the $5K a month was pretax or post tax. Since these people DON'T pay income taxes but actually receive CREDITS for not working, it's hard to imagine that the tax status matters. Couple that with $5K, even pre-tax, is pretty heady money for sitting on your ass and doing nothing and I think it is obvious that the welfare system is broken.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:34 AM   #10
CaptainHindsight
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When I clicked the link I was hoping to find a thread about government sponsored mushroom farming. How disappointed I was to find this bickering....
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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When I clicked the link I was hoping to find a thread about government sponsored mushroom farming. How disappointed I was to find this bickering....
What bickering? Is anyone going to defend spending 61K on each welfare family? All I see is lamenting where we are as a nation. Ayn Rand was right on the money. We have become a nation of parasites, pigs at the trough. We vote for whoever we think will give us the best goodies.

We are headed towards inevitable bankruptcy. Actually we are well past bankruptcy. We'll see skyrocketing interest rates and hyperinflation, food riots and complete gutting of the government pension plan and safety net. It is coming to a theater near you soon (or you can simply tune in to Spain and Greece right now, Argentina a few years ago). This presidential term in all likelihood. If they come up with some Grand Bargain that actually impacts that, we are headed for a steep recession. We get what we deserve.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:09 AM   #12
Psycho 86
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If they made getting welfare as hard as it is now to get a home.......just sayin !!

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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Read the original link again. $61,000 is the result of a division problem where the numerator is total spending on means-tested programs, and where the denominator is the number of households below the poverty line.

But as the article points out, many of the beneficiaries are not below the poverty line; in fact, 110 million people benefit from such programs, while the denominator used to get the $61,000 figure is 16 million households. Change the denominator to people and you get that it's a little under $9000 per person.

Here's the testimony that I'm sure these claims are coming from:

http://www.heritage.org/research/tes...nnual-spending

Let's see what they say about the breakdown.

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In recent years, 52 percent of total means-tested spending went to medical care for poor and lower-income persons, and 37 percent was spent on cash, food, and housing aid. The remaining 11 percent was spent on social services, training, child development, targeted federal education aid, and community development for lower-income persons and communities. Roughly half of means-tested spending goes to disabled or elderly persons. The other half goes to lower-income families with children, most of which are headed by single parents.
That 52% spent on medical care captures that 70 of the 110 million recipients are on Medicaid. This has been the main long-term driver of spending on means-tested programs.

So what this article actually could say is that, at all levels of government, we spend about $4000 per year per recipient of non-medical means-tested welfare programs. This total spending amounts to about 3% of GDP.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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Is anyone going to defend spending 61K on each welfare family?
No way. Good thing that number stands up to literally no scrutiny whatsoever.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 04:48 PM   #15
DaytonIllini
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Read the original link again. $61,000 is the result of a division problem where the numerator is total spending on means-tested programs, and where the denominator is the number of households below the poverty line.

But as the article points out, many of the beneficiaries are not below the poverty line; in fact, 110 million people benefit from such programs, while the denominator used to get the $61,000 figure is 16 million households. Change the denominator to people and you get that it's a little under $9000 per person.

Here's the testimony that I'm sure these claims are coming from:

http://www.heritage.org/research/tes...nnual-spending

Let's see what they say about the breakdown.



That 52% spent on medical care captures that 70 of the 110 million recipients are on Medicaid. This has been the main long-term driver of spending on means-tested programs.

So what this article actually could say is that, at all levels of government, we spend about $4000 per year per recipient of non-medical means-tested welfare programs. This total spending amounts to about 3% of GDP.
No.

Because you are using some voodoo that suggests that means tested programs are distributed equally. In point of fact though there are near ZERO people above the poverty line receiving the Lion's Share of the money. or put another way a huge proportion of the money for means tested programs actually DOES fall to those below the poverty line. But those with a vested interest in continuing the endless subsidies to generationally dependent poor people would look to contort the numbers. Nobody above the poverty line qualifies for Medicaid (and in fact many below it don't). Foodstamps don't go to people above the poverty line. WIC doesn't.

The $61K is a ballpark estimate of spending on the poor. Not perfect but reasonably precise. The $9K nonsense you are stating is statist propaganda. Nothing less. I am surprised at you. You know that better than most.

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:13 PM   #16
Illest
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Medicaid eligibility rules vary by state. But there are 70 million people on Medicaid, according to the article itself, and Medicaid is by far the largest means-tested expenditure. Therefore using a denominator of 16 million, as the article does, is misleading. There are at least 70 million people receiving a substantial means-tested benefit from the government. Using 70 million as the denominator still gives a number much closer to $9000 than to the misleading $61,000 number.

You can argue what you want about how much and what kind of involvement the state should have with supporting poor families. But the implication of the article was that the money is inefficiently administered, and that poor families would be better off with a lump sum payment. That implication does not follow from the facts presented.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:50 AM   #17
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Medicaid eligibility rules vary by state. But there are 70 million people on Medicaid, according to the article itself, and Medicaid is by far the largest means-tested expenditure. Therefore using a denominator of 16 million, as the article does, is misleading. There are at least 70 million people receiving a substantial means-tested benefit from the government. Using 70 million as the denominator still gives a number much closer to $9000 than to the misleading $61,000 number.

You can argue what you want about how much and what kind of involvement the state should have with supporting poor families. But the implication of the article was that the money is inefficiently administered, and that poor families would be better off with a lump sum payment. That implication does not follow from the facts presented.
I would not advocate giving them the money in a lump sum.

You are correct though. I was wrong. We are giving medicaid to nearly 70 million people but only about 45 million are below the poverty line. I was unaware how dramatically they have eased access to Medicaid.

Poverty line is about 22K for a family of four according to one source I looked at. One could argue that is a pretty conservative definition of poor.

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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:04 AM   #18
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Well that's also dependant on how much your sister-in-law made. With a family income of 60K, a family can get buy just fine. It takes not being frivilous (sp?) of course and credit goes to your brother for his current situation.
Stay at home mom. And yes I agree my brother sadly is the exception to the rule but in the keeping up with the Jones and need it NOW mentality has contributed to how this has happened as well IMO

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