This figure should prove to many that the problem of poverty cannot simply be solved by throwing money at it. We should all be able to agree that enough–or too much–money is being spent on welfare, and therefore the next step is to reform the system, so that it can accomplish the desired goals.
When $60,000 is being spent each year per household in poverty, this tells us a few things. 1) If the money was being spent appropriately, there would be no one in America wanting for any necessity. 2) People who are not officially in poverty are receiving taxpayer money, which is supposed to be only used as a safety net. 3) There is room for a vast amount of cuts in funding for the welfare system, as long as the system is reformed to better spend the money.
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.
To be clear, not all households living below the poverty line receive $61,194 worth of assistance per year. After all, many above the poverty line also receive benefits from social welfare programs (e.g. pell grants).
But if welfare is meant to help bring those below the poverty line to a better place, it helps demonstrate that numbers do not add up. (Full Article Here).
We would be better off financially if the welfare system was set up to cover the gap between the amount of money earned by each household in poverty, and the median American income of about $50,000, and still have welfare money left over to spend on people who are not in poverty. A household is considered to be in poverty if a family of four has less than $22,350 in yearly income.
The other day I wrote an article that details the obscene amount of money spent by the American government each year on welfare: over $1 trillion in 2011. This is in part due to the elimination of Clinton era welfare reform which sent welfare money to individual states in block sums to be distributed by the state government with incentives for keeping the costs low. Since that reform was trashed by the Obama administration, the price of welfare has skyrocketed. What was meant to be a safety net for those who found themselves between a rock and a hard place has turned into a means of buying votes. If you give out enough Obamaphones with tax payer money, and if enough people become dependent on the government, they can’t afford not to vote for you.
The point here is not that we should ignore the needs of the poor, or not take care of the elderly. The point is that what we are constantly being sold on by politicians as “helping your neighbor” and “taking care of those less fortunate”, has been exposed as a ploy by politicians to get votes, line their pockets, and raise your taxes without actually helping anyone. If this program were run correctly $60,000 being spent per household in poverty would practically eliminate poverty in America. That is why the discussion must be opened up to reform these programs which are ineffective in carrying out their specified purpose.
The argument is not simply that more tax money = fewer people in poverty and less tax money = more people in poverty. These numbers prove that it is not a matter of being for or against helping the poor, it is a matter of how to best accomplish the goals. Throwing more and more money at poverty has proven to not reduce poverty nor address the underlying causes.