The thing that disgusts me the most about so much of our modern welfare program in the US, as a liberal, is that it does not actively encourage escaping from it. If you make more than a certain point, you lose your benefits, and these numbers are often ridiculously low. I'd much prefer expanding programs like America Works and EIC, where the more you make the more you earn until you are weaned off of it.
That and I think irresponsible parents ought to get vasectomies and tied tubes rather than be allowed another child, but I have to wonder how politically feasible that is.
He's mixing in the entire welfare budget and assigning the money only to those who were actually on the TANF.Doesn't quite work that way, according to his own source
The welfare budget includes
- Child tax credits that exceed liability
- EIC that exceeds liability (which pretty much means you have a child)
- Food assistance programs (now feeding 43 million people, most of whom are working)
I think that's an honest mistake on his part, as if he were really dishonest he'd note that the figure doesn't actually include Medicaid (at $260 billion).
That $664 billion did not go to two million people. It went to something closer to sixty million people
. Or more. The biggest programs are health care, unemployment and food assistance, and in many cases there isn't going to be overlap.
Or about $11,000 per recipient, on average, at the most.
So, $260 billion went to nearly sixty million persons in 2005, for health care.
$50 billion went to nearly forty million persons in 2005, for food assistance.
~$20 billion went to the two million families on the TANF program the guy quoted, or about ten thousand per family.
~$40 billion went to the seven million people who are on supplemental security income.
~$50 billion went to EIC and Child credits that exceeded tax liability. This is just about everyone in poverty with a child, so tens of millions, probably.
~$65 billion went to Unemployment
~$20 billion went to worker's comp
That's just for the number of beneficiaries. His efficiency argument is even worse since the codes for direct payments are given in his source. Some of the descriptions are a bit excessively vague but in the worst possible case scenario we're looking at ~80% efficiency for government welfare outside of Medicaid. Most of the overhead, if it's there, is in the E79 code. I would like to know what's going on with that, but it's not a $300 billion question.