Why Work When You Can Make More On Welfare?

These days it makes more sense (or cents) for people to just live on welfare than to get a job. In many states welfare recipients haul in the equivalent of what they’d bring home if they were earning $25.00 or more an hour. Where’s the incentive to go out and find an entry level job and work one’s way up? This is perverse.

The (Cato Institute) study is an updated version of one Tanner put out in 1995 that estimated the full value of welfare benefits packages across the states. The 1995 study found that such tax-free welfare benefits greatly exceeded the poverty level and “their dollar value was greater than the amount of take-home income a worker would receive from an entry-level job.”

Despite efforts to curb welfare spending, many welfare programs and benefits have continued to outpace the income that many workers can receive for working an entry-level job, which disincentivizes work, according to the study.

“The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” reads the study. “Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour.”

According to the study, the federal government funds 126 separate programs designed to support low-income earners. Seventy-two of these programs provide cash or in-kind benefits to recipients. This is on top of additional welfare programs operated by state and local governments.

Welfare recipients in Hawaii get the most benefits, according to Tanner, at $29.13 per hour — or $60,590 pre-tax income annually. However, the state’s minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour, according to the Labor Department. Hawaiians on welfare also earn 167 percent of the median salary in the state, which is only $36,275. (Read More)

Geez, I feel like a chump for getting up every day, working and paying taxes so others can enjoy the same lifestyle while doing nothing.