$61,194 in Welfare Spending for Every Poor Household

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


What the class warriors know and their critics often don’t understand is that the real welfare queens aren’t the ones shouting about voting for Obama because they’re getting free phones. They’re the ones who administer the free phone programs.

The welfare state isn’t run for the benefit of welfare recipients, it’s run for the bureaucracy that dispenses welfare and their contractors, with the welfare recipients as the pretext for the whole scam.

Imagine a doctor who makes up phony bills for Medicaid patients and splits a tenth of it with them. Now imagine that the doctor is Medicaid and you get some sense of where we are here.

“According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,” the Senate Budget Committee notes. “If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.”

This dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household on poverty lives on per year. “If the spending on these programs were converted into cash, and distributed exclusively to the nation’s households below the poverty line, this cash amount would be over 2.5 times the federal poverty threshold for a family of four, which in 2011 was $22,350 (see table in this link),” the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee note.

Of course the actual recipients get a fraction of the spending intended for them. We are not spending money to help the poor. We are spending money on a bureaucracy that claims to advocate on behalf of the poor.

  • EJL

    This is the kind of statistic that really clarifies rather than obscures. We continue to remain indebted to Mr. Greenfield for his clear grasp of reality.

  • Libertarian=Liberty

    For a real eyeopener apply this same logic to, social security, maintaining an empire, war on drugs, and foreign aid. All are scams which keep bureaucrats in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is only a mater of which set of bureaucratic scams will get more support. Neither have the political will to actually cut the overall size and scope of government.

  • Susan

    I have been a teacher (28 years), teaching affluent, rural at risk, urban at risk public school students; private school students, and now in a large inner city charter school. My point, I speak from years of experience. The only policy maker who has taken action (cared enough) to protect the children is our Governor Snyder when he and the State of Michigan laid down new rules when it comes to giving welfare to parents who do not get their children to school. Effective October 1, 2012, if your child is truant, missing more than 10 days of school, your family's welfare cash benefits will be cut off. This policy is getting our wonderful children to school which did not happen previously. Michigan has always had a attendance law, but trying to get the children to school, hold the parent accountable was impossible after the welfare money was received by the parent. These parents dismiss the school and if held accountable or the attempt to take to court, the parent would throw a scene, swear and haul their child out of one school to begin again. Awful for our children. We hear excuse after excuse for students absent, tardy, picking up early. Teachers spending hours trying to call parents who would not give us new Obama phone numbers. State money (PaPa money and power) before checks go out from the state (school carefully documents and looks carefully for legal doctor scripts) are the only way to train the "baby mama's" accountability. Simple expectations and training, i.e. you get up out of bed and get your babies to school so they can learn and get a shot at life and learning; get a job, become independent. I can tell you more money to baby mommies does not benefit the children. Teaching the baby mommies with expectations and follow through will protect the children's education and their future. Governor Snyder's policy takes away all the layers and puts the responsibility on the parent. We use attendance officers to send out the rules, letters when students enroll, and send out the 7th absence reminders, documentation for court if it gets to that point.. It is the 7th day reminder warning them funding will be cut when the child/children reach 10 days. Wow, do the phone call come in on that letter. The importance here . . . phone calls, the time involved is taken from the teachers and put on "parent responsibility". I would like to see a policy ($50.00 each time) parents do not update the school on their new Obama free phones numbers. I would like to see a $100.00 fine for parents who do not attend Parent-Teacher conferences fall and spring. With the understanding if the parent cannot make it (most can, but choose not to) it will be the "parent duty" to find a substitute to represent them, i.e. grandparent, aunt, friend, etc. This is massive to "training not enabling" parents to dismiss the importance of education. Our wonderful children would learn the importance of the parent-school connection, would learn responsibility while listening and watching the mama's come to conferences or find another who represent the child. Why? Because the children are worth it!