Why is a family on public assistance spending $100/month of other peoples
generosity on its "entertainment"? What kind of mindset feels justified
in doing that? It is a sign of how gov't run welfare destroys the
sensibilities of the excipients.o
Could they be spending less on housing because they have subsidized rent? Could
they be spending less on food because they receive food assistance with WIC and
food banks? Could you be averaging in the "very rich" to skew the data
to make it look like those supporting themselves ( along with those on
government assistance) spend more? When I go to a grocery store in
Hawaii (where I live) I see steak in the cart of those using government
assistance to buy food after I have passed by the hamburger without buying any
because it was too expensive. I see professionally decorated birthday cakes
purchased with food stamps when I just bought a cake mix on sale because it cost
less than baking from scratch. I have never once afforded a professionally
decorated sheet cake. Our son in college using food stamps and WIC ate far far
better than his parents who were trying to live on only two incomes.
This is a classic example of how to mislead with statistics. First of all, what
type of averages were used - mean, median, mode? It doesn't say, but I
will guess that they use mode to emphasize their points. Second, are they
comparing apples and oranges? If we assume that both sets of subgroups have the
same income, then the total spending doesn't match up. If a family who
"earns" $40K a year is compared with a family who "collects"
$40K who spends more on housing and food and so forth. Clearly a family making
$100K will spend higher in virtually all categories than a family that makes
"$40K.Perhaps percentages of income should be shown rather than
total values, and, as a control, a family who "earns" $100K should be
used for contrast with a family who "earns" $40K.With a
limit on words I can't go on, but you will get the picture. As Disraeli
said, there are Lies, Darned lies (cleaned up for the DN) and Statistics.
I just returned from the Hale Center Theater's EXCELLENT performance of the
classic story of an ultra-conservative Republican who, with the help of four
phantasmal visitors comes to realize the error of his ways. In one night he
changes from a man consumed by greed and lust for wealth and is transformed into
a man whose generosity and fairness will illuminate and bless the world and
people around him. He becomes a Democrat and the world is better for it.This should be required watching for people who have bought the cruel
mythology of today's GOP and conservative hate radio hosts.The
Hale Center Theater's actors caught the spirit of the season, and as one of
them says at the end, "God bless us, everyone!"Everyone.
Even those who, for whatever reason, must depend in part on help from others.
"...According to the Atlantic, the welfare queen is a myth...".Wait a minute...Ronald Reagan spent years directing his political
messaging around lampooning the welfare queen...Why would Ronald
Reagan lampoon a myth?
"If we pay our taxes we are 100% compliant with a secular government's
program. To extend Christian virtues to such programs is foolhardy." Now that's something I can agree with. Who cares if it meets
Christian, Muslim, Taoist, Buddhist, or any other religious standard. Social
welfare programs are how we as an American society have decided to deal with our
fellow citizens in need. This has nothing to do with religion.If
you want to conflate these programs with some religious principle you support in
order to assuage your conscience that's your prerogative but please
don't transfer that meaning to the rest of us.
We know how much the govt spends on assistance programs, we don't know what
religious organizations spend on assistance programs. We don't know what
percent of fast offerings and humanitarian aid collected every year by churches
are disbursed every year. One study by Indiana Univ found that of money donated
to churches, 20% went to programs for the needy and 70% went for church
To those passing judgment on comments here as unchristlike, may I suggest a
couple of ideas:1) If we pay our taxes we are 100% compliant with a
secular government's program. To extend Christian virtues to such programs
is foolhardy, but as long as I pay my taxes, I should be considered a charitable
person according to you critics.2) If I pay my fast offerings and
volunteer at the storehouse, you likewise have no complaint. Besides, you have
no idea what I am doing as a Christian.3) Do you recall when the Savior
chided the folks who followed him around the lake after being fed? Was he being
unchristlike to turn them away when they were looking for a second handout?
The comments on this thread lead me to question the veracity of those who claim
they're follower's of Christ.
The thoughtless selfishness displayed in many comments here is simply pathetic.
DNSub says: "Within food vendors, the SKU codes should show what was
purchased, and I bet it is not wholesome basic foods and baby formula, but
mainly junk food and prepared stuff."The first comment is
completely false. Check Snopes and other fact checkers.The second is
OPINION not founded in fact. But there is some basis to it. Look at prices in a
grocery store. The food with lowest prices is usually not very healthy while
food that is will have large price tags.Thus, if a person is trying
to stretch an EBT card to feed a family, what will they buy? What CAN they
buy?Here's a challenge for those who feel others are should not
receive our help -- try living in a wheelchair using public assistance for a
couple of months. You will change your opinions.
Way back in 1973 I heard Elder Featherstone talk about welfare in conference.Maybe you remember it, too. He told of a Bishop who gave 67 pounds of beef
each month to one family. He was teaching a lesson that welfare programs need
common sense.Articles like this do not help us control expenses and
incentives.Do these housing costs reflect the subsidy for housing under
section 8? Or are the figures based on what the person paid?Torture
numbers and they will confess to anything.
Here's a secret, too. Commit a crime, be placed in prison -- get free
education, housing, food, healthcare, dental care, eye care, gym facilities,
clothing, security... Just saying, if you are willing to give up
"freedom" and make adjustments... Those on welfare assistance (at least
in theory) have their financial lives open to ridicule and have to juggle
jumping through legal hoops. If this really makes some folks envious, by all
means take your piece of the pie.
An example of the misleading nature of the conclusions can be found in the
"Insurance and Pensions" portion of the graph. People on public
assistance programs don't get subsidized life insurance or pensions, both
of which would fall in this category. So they probably don't spend anything
at all on these products. What little there spend here would be for auto
policies, and perhaps a health premium if they don't qualify for 100%
subsidy. People who are not on that assistance plan there finances, and purchase
appropriate insurance products to protect their families against risk.
Pragmatist, thanks for reminding us that it is "persons" who are
receiving assistance. It reminded me that the greatest abusers of government
assistance are those "persons" who are CORPORATIONS.
Actually this graph does have relevance to this conversation. It may not have
all the details of spending that would be interesting but here's why
it's relevant.The thrust of many of the comments here is that
welfare payments are miss spent. The study however shows that 70% of aid
recipients income is spent on food, housing, and transportation, compared to 65%
of non aid recipients. So the studies point is that aid recipients are in fact
spending their money exactly where you and I spend our money..taking care of the
basic needs of our families. My guess as to why this is so is
because contrary to the Republican meme, normal aid recipients are hard working
responsible people just like you and me who for a myriad of reasons don't
make enough to get by.Hey, we all know "a person" who in our
opinion abuses govt. programs, but one person here speculates that aid
recipients don't buy healthy food, and another tells about how snap
recipients buy steaks. Go figure.
This is hilarious. What in the world is this supposed to prove? Didn't we
already know that families with higher incomes spend more than families with
Having been in school with 4 kids and receiving SNAP benefits for my wife &
kids and now having a decent, but definitely NOT great income, since I have
graduated, I can say that I am not able to spend as much money, particularly on
food. What this does not compare is how much GOVERNMENT money these people are
spending. On welfare while in school: we got our rent completely paid every
month; SNAP benefits to buy pretty much any food that we wanted as long as it
wasn't already cooked (no fast food); some assistance to heat our house
(utility money for the gas company); and completely covered healthcare for my
wife & kids. One of my kids has a health condition that requires daily shots
that cost about $1500 per vial and she gets 4 vials per month. My mortgage is
more than the government was paying on our rent, but I definitely cannot afford
to pay for my kid's shots and we are not eating steak for dinner anymore.
Please report how much of their OWN money AND how many TAXPAYER dollars are
re:mecr"I know somebody who receives public assistance. Somehow he
manages to have a boat, a nice truck, 4 wheeler's and other toys. Yes,
it's nice to see my tax money going to those "necessities".What type of public assistance does this person receive? With some
programs there are "asset" limits. Perhaps this person is fraudulently
receiving assistance? If so, you ought to report them to authorities there in
UT. UT has an asset limit of $2000 for people receiving TANF, however all
vehicles owned by the applicant are excluded from the asset test in UT. Other
states have different limits/exclusions. re:pb47Likewise, if
you witness people buying and returning food just to get cash, you ought to
notify/question your local legislators and state authorities about the
practices. Howard BealDid you look at the study itself?
Jeepers!Living on welfare sounds great (according to some of you)! 4
wheelers, boats, mansions, man maybe we should all go onto welfare! According to
some of you it sounds like everyone is just "dying" to go onto welfare
and food stamps!I've never seen such classy envy as those with
jobs and salaries looking down upon those without.
Not sure how they tracked the spending, was it self reported? Census data is
self reported to a worker. Can't see them reporting that they sold their
SNAP card to get a manicure. My own experience has been seeming
them buying steaks at the meat counter and paying for it with welfare. Obviously there are those that squander and those that don't.When I was a manager of an apartment complex a single mother of two was
bragging how much money she was spending on Christmas and how many programs she
had signed up for. She was bragging how she told them she didn't have
money for Christmas but was instead spending $500 and this was in 1980.
I love the fist premise of the article... This "proves" the welfare
queen does not exist. Does anyone here think that the term welfare queen means
they are getting rich on welfare? It is a tongue in cheek saying that means
they are too lazy to work so they sit around like queens on the little that they
can get from welfare. And forget about the attack against the "rich"
slant of the article and the associated graph. Good work AP.What
they should really do is show this data to the chronic welfare abusers so show
how they could be living. Sadly they would just use the data to "prove"
how unfair life is.
@Dn Sucscriber. Are you jealous of people on welfare? I am not. I am sure there
is abuse of the system but I think it is small in comparsion to the number of
people these programs actually help.
Every day I see people use their food stamps card to buy food at Walmart, then
push their cart straight over to the customer service area and return it all. In
exchange they get a Walmart debit card that allows them to buy anything in the
store. Walmart needs to stop this charade and refuse to allow food items to be
returned, except in exchange for other food, perhaps. Everybody plays the game
and we all see no evil, hear no evil.
I know somebody who receives public assistance. Somehow he manages to have a
boat, a nice truck, 4 wheeler's and other toys. Yes, it's nice to see
my tax money going to those "necessities".And about the
article, of course I spend more than the one that receives public assistance! I
make more money! Also, don't they get reduced price housing, food stamps,
etc? Whoever made that study is certainly lacking some good brain cells.
@ Truthseeker2- Thanks for the correction that the public aid spent at strip
clubs was from the "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" program,
not the "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program." There are so many
overlapping welfare programs it is easy to get confused. However,
both programs are part of the "families receiving public aid" scope of
this story.As Lady Thatcher said "The trouble with socialism is
that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend."
What would be more insightful is to have the percentage of money spent on things
rather than a raw dollar figure. Of course, those not on assistance with more
money are going to spend more money on anything...
re:DNSubscriber2"Past reports have shown a lot of it spent at strip
clubs and other obviously non-food operations."You are confusing
TANF (cash cards) with SNAP (foodstamp cards)To be eligible as a
store in SNAP program a store(s) must sell food for home preparation and
consumption and meet one of the criteria:(A) Offer for sale, on a
continuous basis, at least three varieties of qualifying foods in each of the
following four staple food groups, with perishable foods in at least two of the
categories: meat/poultry/fish bread/cereal
vegetables/fruits dairy products OR (B) More than 50% of the total dollar amount of all retail sales sold in the
store must be from the sale of eligible staple foods.It is up to
states to find/prosecute fraud. Fraud involving SNAP benefits often occur at
small mom-and-pop type stores where retailers give cash in exchange for the EBT
cards. (google: foodstamp fraud Ogden). Several states have passed legislation
making it illegal to use TANF cards at liquor stores, casinos etc. I would recommend DN readers click on the link to the BLS report cited in the
article for additional information.
Do we know the average time that people are relying on taxpayers? I would be
People spending taxpayer money SHOULD spend much less than people spending their
own money. I certainly hope this is the case always.
This really needs better research, photos and captions.First, the
photo and its caption from the Administration Propaganda (or Associated Press as
they sometimes call themselves) is clearly advocacy "journalism" aimed
at passing the Democrats perpetual extensions of welfare benefits.Second, the source of the data, the "Consumer Expenditure Survey" is
actually based on self reported data. Accuracy or trustworthiness of data from
welfare recipients is questionable.Third, the spending by families
on welfare does NOT include "in kind" aid, such as housing which is free
or subsidized; free medicare; free child care (under multiple programs) or the
charitable contributions from soup kitchens, shelters, etc.It should
be possible to use the electronic purchase records of the EBT ('food
stamp") cards to tell where the money was actually spent. Past reports have
shown a lot of it spent at strip clubs and other obviously non-food operations.
Within food vendors, the SKU codes should show what was purchased, and I bet it
is not wholesome basic foods and baby formula, but mainly junk food and prepared
stuff.The actual use of OUR welfare money by the recipients needs a
real thorough study, far more than this selective reporting.
Is this surprising? It is called basic statistics and averages. I am a college
graduate with a salary; I make a lot more than someone on welfare. I hence can
spend a lot more. (This isn't to say that there are not college grads on
welfare, just that my earning potential is much higher than what welfare pays.)
But if the government paid for my housing and my food, ummm yes, my costs would
go down. Duh. How is it surprising that people on welfare spend less on such
things? If the government pays for everything for you, you tend to not need to
spend much. What a bunch of crock. As a career math person, this sort of study
is highly suspect to me. If you are living on government
assistance, that is fine; best luck in finding employment. But it seems like
there are far too many people who live off the government as their employment.
Dole earner is actually their employment.
People on welfare can't spend as much. How many people in HUD housing have
TV's with cable or dish? Drive decent cars and have washers and dryers?
Some don't but many may do. Even people on food stamps and living in hud
homes have a decent standard of living.
This would be good, but there is a good chance this data is heavily skewed. If
the study compares all families receiving assistance against all families not
receiving, then this result is completely expected. OBVIOUSLY families who have
a larger income are going to spend more. In order for this study to be useful
it needs to compare families with similar income levels who are, or are not,
receiving assistance. Probably the most useful would be to compare families who
miss out on eligibility assistance by $100 to those who are $100 under the
qualification. THAT would be an interesting data set.