Welfare Reform: Hand Up or Hand Out? There are approximately 67,891,000 Americans receiving government assistance, that is roughly 21% of the American population using some form of welfare. (Statistic Brain) While situations may arise, and people need help, the welfare system is now being used as a crutch rather than a stepping stone to becoming independent. The government should place more conditions on the various welfare programs. People all across the country are now abusing a system that was put in place to help people survive in a time of need.
Welfare was created in he 1930s following the Great Depression to provide people with some assistance while the economy was at a low point. Welfare includes several different programs within it such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANE (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Medicaid and WIC (Women, Infant, Children). These are the four most abused programs in the welfare system. For example, California pays out one of the highest cash aid amounts at $638 and that doesn’t include food stamps. Many times people can make more money from these programs than working, so they choose to live off the system.
There are many policies within the welfare system that need to be adjusted to help hold people accountable and to stop using the system as their main source of income. Welfare recipients receive cash aid for each child within their family and even if the parents are no longer eligible, the children still are. California had a policy in place called the, “Maximum Family Grant Rule”, but it was recently repealed as the state felt it was doing more harm than good. This policy did not reduce the number of children being born to welfare recipients as they had hoped and
California felt children were not getting the benefits they needed. If you are on welfare and make the decision to have another child, you should not be allowed to receive even more compensation for that child. Many women are using the system to justify having more children and see these programs as “free money. ” Not to say that women are having more children because of this program but it’s not deterring them either. We need to stop throwing money at the problem and instill more programs to help people to be employed and learn how to live on their own.
It goes back to the old saying that if you give a an a fish, he eats for a day, you teach him to fish and he eats for the rest of his life. The government feels like it’s doing its job by taking care of the children but it actually is putting children at a disadvantage later in life. “A study by Gordon Dahl looks at data from Norway’s “disability insurance” (DI) system and finds that when a parent is allowed DI, their adult child’s likelihood of participation over the next five years increases by 6%, and grows to 12% after ten years…
As a contrast, they find that children of parents who have been denied welfare have only a % probability of being on welfare as adults” (Kapur). Applying family caps on the system isn’t going to solve the problem, but it will stop making other people’s choices, the taxpayers problem. Government officials state that state welfare programs are supposed to be temporary programs used to aid citizens in getting back on their feet. 19. 6% of welfare recipients have been on welfare for five or more years, this doesn’t seem to be “temporary”.
In many states to qualify for unemployment benefits you have to show that you are making a valiant effort to obtain employment, why is this not required for welfare ecipients? By not holding people accountable, we are creating a generation of people that believe more in hand outs and leading to a sense of entitlement. Many people feel like the benefits of the welfare system outweigh what they could make working, so why work? This is an awful mentality and the government itself is responsible for this. “In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more an-hour job.
In 12 states and DC, the welfare than a $15-an-hour job. Of than an $8- package is more generous course, not everyone on welfare gets all seven benefits in our study. But, for many recipients – particularly the “long-term” dependents – welfare clearly pays substantially more than an is no evidence that people on welfare surveys of them consistently show their desire for a job. they’re also not stupid. If you pay them more not to work than they can earn by working, many will choose not to work” (Tanner). These funds need to be more focused towards of the entry-level job.
To be clear: There are lazy. Indeed, But job skills and training, rather than just passing out cash with little incentive to change the way people are living. With all of he different welfare programs the government offers, it becomes much easier for someone to apply for them instead of applying for a job or working, and this needs to change. There are many requirements to see if someone is eligible for welfare benefits including job status and income, family size, and disabilities but surprisingly there is no requirement to check for the use of drugs. 0% of welfare recipients have admitted to recent illicit use of illegal drugs (Pollack).
That’s saying basically 1 in every 5 applicants are using drugs. Drug testing should be mandatory for welfare benefits for many reasons. Welfare is supposed to be a temporary measure to help people get back on their feet, heavy drug users are not going to be able to hold a steady job or in some cases, aren’t even employable. If you have to be drug tested to gain employment, why don’t we make it mandatory to receive benefits also. Many people use unemployment as a means to get financial assistance to help feed their drug habits.
Some states have proposed requiring applicants to pay for their drug tests and if the test comes back clean, the state will reimburse them, but if it’s positive they are denied benefits and are out the $30-$40 for the test. States believe this approach will deter many drug users from applying for benefits and help save the taxpayers money. There should be a way to distribute the funds so that welfare recipients could only purchase basic needs as well as pay for bills and housing. No citizen on welfare should receive a “cash” handout.
We should go back to food vouchers, rather than money put on a card, rent payments should be made directly from the program to the landlord, and bills should be paid the same way. This idea would probably not fare well with some of the welfare recipients as they may feel like they are being coddled and reated like children if the government is handling all of their affairs for them but the recipient who would have a problem with the government stepping in on a larger level would be the same recipient that is using government funds for things other than strictly providing the basic necessities for themselves and their families.
Tighter government control could be a motivational tool to ensure that welfare recipients are trying to stand on their own two feet again and that they are actively seeking jobs and partaking in activities that are for the improvement of themselves and their family’s situation. By nstituting stricter guidelines and requirements in our welfare system, not only would we be saving our taxpayers money, we would also be helping people be accountable for themselves and their situations.
Welfare programs are supposed to be a supplemental income not used as a primary income. The less financial help we give someone, the more they will feel the need to do for themselves. If the government is providing everything then there is no need for them to help themselves. I am not against the welfare system as a whole when it’s being used for he proper purpose but I believe it is being overused and abused.