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.
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?
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed changes to Obama-era relief packages for students defrauded by for-profit colleges and left with no degrees and mountains of loan debt. DeVos has many connections to for-profit schools, and the proposed changes would not benefit students.read more
Although many Americans have become disillusioned with our two-party system—and for good reason—it’s important to take a look back at history and see what has been accomplished by each of these parties. Later today, we’ll have a similar post about Republican accomplishments.read more
Healthcare in the United States has been historically racist, and a new bill in the Michigan Legislature proves to be no different. The bill, had it passed, would have been racially lopsided, resulting in the loss of Medicaid primarily for people of color while exempting whites in similar situations.read more
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.read more
The president’s changes to health care policy, including cutting key subsidies to insurers and eliminating the individual mandate requiring all adults to obtain health care coverage, have caused a massive spike in monthly insurance premiums for 2019. The hardest hit? Middle class Americans.read more
While many on both sides of the aisle agree that our nation’s welfare programs need to be reformed, a new work requirement for Medicaid has sent states scrambling to request waivers. The trouble is, the proposed waivers tend to favor rural, white residents.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more