The Republicans in the Senate Budget Committee compiled some data that showed that on average, over $60,000 was spent per household below the poverty line on welfare programs last year. Federal and State governments spent over $1 trillion on welfare programs, and over 16 million households were below the poverty line, which was $22,350 last year. The middle class is paying taxes to fund welfare programs that end up being able to pay out more money to poor households than what most households make in a year. The median household income last year was around $50,000. The Senate Budget Committee noted:
“A congressional report from CRS [Congressional Research Services] recently revealed that the United States now spends more on means-tested welfare than any other item in the federal budget—including Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. Including state contributions to the roughly 80 federal poverty programs, the total amount spent in 2011 was approximately $1 trillion. Federal spending alone on these programs was up 32 percent since 2008.”
It’s this kind of spending that has inflated the recent GDP numbers. For the third quarter, GDP growth was measured at 2%, less than half the rate the Obama administration promised would come of the stimulus money. We’re over $16 trillion in debt with a $1 trillion deficit. This data shows that our government recklessly spends our tax dollars. And we’re somehow supposed to feel optimistic about the economy?
The government thinks that welfare is good for the economy. The USDA has been encouraging people to sign up for food stamps because they say that will help revive local economies. They elaborate on their website:
“SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – food stamps] brings Federal dollars into communities in the form of benefits which are redeemed by SNAP participants at local stores. These benefits ripple throughout the economies of the community, State, and Nation. For example: Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates a total of $9.20 in community spending. Every additional dollar’s worth of SNAP benefits generates 17 to 47 cents of new spending on food. On average, $1 billion of retail food demand by SNAP recipients generates 3,300 farm jobs. In fiscal year 2009, the average monthly SNAP benefit per household was approximately $272. These benefits, funded by Federal dollars, create business when they are redeemed at your local food retailers. Eighty-six percent of benefits, totaling $25 billion, were redeemed at the nation’s 35,000 supermarkets. The remaining benefits, totaling $3.6 billion, contribute to the viability of 121,000 other firms which include grocery stores, convenience stores, combination stores, farmer’s markets, and other retail food stores; plus wholesalers and meal services.”
They want a nation full of government dependents who, once they’re hooked on the government’s dole, will vote for more socialism every 4 years. 47 million Americans are on food stamps, and 8.8 million are on social security disability benefits, 1.3 million of these recipients applied during Obama’s term. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that nearly 110 million Americans received some kind of welfare last year. Despite the USDA’s claim that welfare users will stimulate the economy, the economy is still in the doldrums, and 23 million Americans are either underemployed or unemployed.