VOTER POWER

Welfare

Myth: Americans believe welfare is a huge part of the budget and estimate that we spend four times the actual price tag.
Fact: Welfare makes up less than 15% of discretionary spending.

Myth: Americans believe welfare mostly goes to lazy people.
Fact: Welfare mostly goes to working people, children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Americans have always respected the concept of an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, but we also believe in helping those who are less fortunate. Many Americans believe the government dispenses public aid based on the principle of giving a hand up, not a handout.

Others are convinced that welfare programs are bankrupting the nation because they are riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse. Some even say welfare programs are counterproductive, hurting the very people they are supposed to help by creating a culture of dependency. Poor people are poor because they don’t work, or don’t work hard enough, and providing them a living enables and encourages laziness.

Do programs like welfare actually enable bad behavior in the “lazy” poor? Are there instances where these programs are wasteful and need to be reevaluated? Is it possible to find a balance between helping those in need while also minding the budget and encouraging self-sufficiency?

Law School Graduate Goes on Welfare

Law School Graduate Goes on Welfare

Society generally perceives people on welfare as being lazy, uneducated, low-skilled freeloaders. For those of you who find yourself agreeing with this stereotype, we invite you to consider the case of a law school graduate who was forced to go on government assistance.

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Thomas Jefferson Invented Progressive Taxation

Thomas Jefferson Invented Progressive Taxation

Progressive taxation is a concept first introduced in the 1780s by Thomas Jefferson. And until the 1980s, it was still seen as the best way to tighten the income gap between the wealthiest and poorest Americans. Looking back, Jefferson understood something important that we’ve lost track of today.

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Anti-Abortion Laws: Class Warfare?

Anti-Abortion Laws: Class Warfare?

A recent article shows that anti-abortion laws do more harm than good, especially for poor women. Restricting access to safe and legal abortions does very little to deter them. Instead, it makes women less safe and it hurts our economy by keeping mothers entrenched in poverty.

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Anti-Poverty Programs Really Do Work

Anti-Poverty Programs Really Do Work

Anti-poverty programs, first introduced after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty,” are actually very effective at doing what they were designed to do. Poverty levels have fallen nearly 40% since the enactment of several key anti-poverty programs.

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How Can We Enact Meaningful Welfare Reform?

How Can We Enact Meaningful Welfare Reform?

Welfare reform has done an exceptionally good job at one thing: keeping people poor. If we want to enact meaningful welfare reform that actually lifts people out of poverty, we may need to spend a little more in the short term to get long-term savings–and gains for families dependent on public funds.

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No, Welfare Benefits Are Not “Big Money”

No, Welfare Benefits Are Not “Big Money”

There’s been a lot of rage-fueled ink spilled over welfare benefits in the U.S., Who gets welfare, how much does welfare cost the government, and who is (and isn’t) eligible for welfare? The truth about government aid is complex and nuanced, and we’ve broken it down here.

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What Does a Welfare Queen Really Look Like?

What Does a Welfare Queen Really Look Like?

We’ve all heard it before: someone told a friend of a friend that they saw a designer jewelry-clad woman carrying a brand-new iPhone, who then whipped out her food stamp card to pay for her groceries. But this so-called welfare queen, who is allegedly living high on...

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Your Own Bootstraps?

Your Own Bootstraps?

Myth: Americans believe welfare is a huge part of the budget, and estimate that we spend four times the actual price tag. Fact: Welfare is less than 15% of discretionary spending. Myth: Americans believe welfare mostly goes to lazy people. Fact: Welfare goes mostly...

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