No matter how liberal or conservative, all politicians agree that welfare costs could be greatly reduced if abuse and fraud were eliminated. Welfare was first introduced in the 20’s as a program to help people get through the depression. The government created many public works jobs to employ the thousands that lost their jobs. At the time it was a great program but seventy-five years later, major reforms are necessary to eliminate the widespread abuse and fraud. Today, the U.S. spends well over three hundred billion dollars a year on welfare.(Federman 5) That is up over a hundred billion dollars from ten years ago.
Almost five million households receive benefits under the primary federally funded program, AFDC. For some recipients, government aid is a temporary substitute through hard times. But half of all welfare recipients will stay on welfare for more than ten years, and many for life. “The fate of their children is also bleak: a child raised on welfare is three times more likely than other children to receive government aid as an adult.”(LeVert 34) Current benefits include cash benefits provided by the AFDC. The national average monthly cash allowance is $399. Food stamps are given in addition to cash.
They are food redeemable vouchers that are given on average of $278 a month. Medicare is also provided to welfare dependents. It usually costs $4000 per person per year. The government also provides people with some sort of housing. It can be in a subsidized housing project, or the more recent option of providing rent for welfare recipients to live away from government subsidized building projects. This was created in hopes of creating a better life for welfare children.
... Constitution, where it specifically states tat the government may "provide for the general welfare of the people." He also broadened the ... see Table 1). In addition to this legislation disability benefits were introduced in 1956 and Medicare was signed into ... hungry children. In order to accomplish these goals he established liberalized requirements for government money. Over the next thirty years, ...
Welfare is definitely a helpful program; it just needs to be reformed. Jimmy Carter first attempted change the current system, but the reforms were under funded and nothing was enforced. The most recent reforms to be passed were in 1996 under Bill Clinton. The most significant changes he called for were time limits, work programs called “welfare to work”, and work incentives. The problem is, he didn’t increase the budget for welfare so chances are that these reforms will also go uninformed. Many have said that the current welfare system encourages dependency.
They say that the value of welfare benefits is more attractive to many long-term recipients than are entry level, minimum wage jobs. In several states, welfare programs pay recipients the equivalent of a $25,000 a year job. The value of the full benefits of the average welfare recipient exceeds the poverty level ( McCuen/Rector 29).
Welfare benefits are tax-free so the dollar value is greater than that of a comparable worker. The following are some prime examples of the abuse that takes place within the welfare system. -In 40 states welfare pays more than an $8.00 an hour job. -In 17 states welfare pays more than a $10.00 an hour job.
-Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Washington D.C. pays recipients the equivalent of $12.00 an hour. That’s more than twice minimum wage.(Tanner 18) -9 states pay more than the average first year salary of a teacher last year. -The largest pay off is in New York City where recipients receive $14.75 an hour. With these figures it’s no wonder why people choose to live off the government. Welfare makes their lives too comfortable.
The goal of welfare should be to encourage recipients to leave the welfare roles and enter the workforce. 68.6% of welfare recipients report that they aren’t actively seeking work. Why should they? There are plenty of lazy people who aren’t completely dumb. Why work when they can make more doing nothing. In the Opposing Viewpoints book, Rachael Wildavsky and Daniel R. Levine interviewed three life long welfare abusers.
Do you feel stress in your life? Does this affect the way you live and work? Many things currently going on in one's life, such as work, health, family and finances, can cause stress. It is how we individually identify the root cause and begin working on managing them effectively. As adult learners, there are various aspects of our work life that cause each of us some form of stress. We discovered ...
The story of “Marie” is a prime example of how easy welfare life can be. “Marie says she “hates” welfare, insisting that she is different from her mother, who “could have worked,” but was on the dole for more than 30 years. Now 43, Marie has had nine children by five different fathers. Her welfare includes rent-free housing, food-stamp benefits, Medicaid and- when any of her minor children are living with her- tax-free cash grants through the ADFC program. Marie stopped attending school in the seventh grade and became pregnant at 15. She hoped to marry her 17-year-old boy friend but things fell through. In the next nine years Marie married twice and bore six more children.
In 1982 she went on welfare and moved into subsidized housing. “I’ve been on public assistance ever since.” Her government subsidized home is a three-bedroom town house, complete with dining room, den, laundry room, dishwasher, and microwave. Marie had two more children and four or five abortions because she had reached her maximum allowable AFDC grant of $518 a month. In the last two years the police have been called to Marie’s apartment 72 times. She was finally kicked out of the trashed townhouse, but moved into another just down the road. This one cost 87,000 dollars. She has furnished the new house with a king-sized waterbed, three color TVs all with cable, and a stereo/video system that cost $2500. She has to pay for electricity, water and phone, and she complains that welfare does not pay enough.
“By the end of the month, my money is totally gone.”” This is a perfect example of why our welfare system needs severe reform. Another abuse, which has recently become a problem is elderly immigrants. The U.S. welfare system is quickly becoming a deluxe retirement home for the elderly of other countries. Many individuals are now immigrating to the U.S. in order to obtain welfare that far exceeds programs available in their native country.
“Non-Citizens today are among the fastest growing groups of welfare dependents. In 1994, there were nearly 738,000 legal non-citizens receiving aid from Supplemental Security Insurance program”(McCuen/Newbille 62).
Workfare - Welfare with a Twist Since nearly fourteen percent of all Americans live in poverty, the subject of welfare has become a political hot potato. Politicians anxious to win points by cutting welfare rolls are increasingly favoring "workfare", which mandates programs requiring those on welfare to get job training and jobs. (See Table 1) Workfare can be defined as a government administered ...
That was a 580% increase in twelve years. The majority of these immigrants are elderly and apply for benefits within five years of arriving in the U.S. In CA, a study showed that 45% of immigrants received cash from welfare in 1990. Among Russians it was 66%, and Chinese 55% and the figures were rising. Cynthia Newbille said “if this current trend continues, the U.S.
will have more than three million non citizens on SSI.” Without reform, the total cost of non-citizens will be over 328 billion dollars over the next ten years. Immigration should be open to people who want to come to the U.S. and work. Social spending on immigrants is an unfair burden on U.S. citizens. The generous benefits provided by the welfare system attract the elderly of other countries, encouraging them to immigrate. The economic well being of elderly immigrants should be the responsibility of their families and sponsors. America should not become a free path to welfare dependence. Obviously that reform is necessary.
To successfully reform our country’s current, pathetic welfare system, time limits must be enforced, work must be required not recommended, total family funding should be reduced to a helping number, not a supporting one, and most importantly people must quit being lazy. Clinton’s ideas weren’t all bad but there are a few minor details that are necessary for the success of modern welfare. “Welfare to work” programs have produced some good results. They need adequate funding and public works projects to support it when there is a bad job market. “Welfare originally was designed to provide single mothers with an alternative to work. In modern times however, women have joined the work force and the number of unwed mothers has skyrocketed”(Axinn 84).
“Welfare to work” program’s theory was that recipients had to search and find a job or participate in education. If not, they would risk losing benefits. The government agreed to provide work related supports such as child and health care. Welfare to work was intended to speed the transition to work and prove that welfare wasn’t a free ride. The reality is that these enforcements cost a lot of money, and insufficient funds has meant that most people haven’t had to apply to the work requirements. Time limits were another large part of the 1996 reform by Clinton.
Nowadays, there are more and more students work part-time job in their free time. Actually, a part-time job can provide money and working experience to them. But it partly disturbs their study as well. So the high school students should not be encouraged to have a part-time job because of the following reasons. Firstly, most high school students are too young to work. Specifically, they still lack ...
“He proposed that people could participate in work promoting services for up to two years”(Klier).
After that, those who could work had to get an unsubsidized job. Once again it all looks good and makes for a good speech, but some major problems face Clinton. Can enough real as opposed to make work jobs be created? Can they be created at a reasonable cost without disturbing the low wage labor market? Can and will the limits be enforced?(Clinton 23) These are all questions that only time will tell. The current reforms are being proposed at a time when the last ones are still far from being fully funded, or implemented. Congress has been in favor of requiring people to work and enforcing time limits for twenty years but they’ve never backed it with enough money. If it were up to me, all welfare abusers would be contained and forbidden to breed, therefore eliminating the abuse problem in two generations, but….
That’s one reason I’ll never be president..