There’s an old saying: If you’re not going to get out of the car to help push, at least take your damn foot off the brake.
In this upside-down economy, the American taxpayer is pushing a car with its brakes fully engaged by welfare recipients.
The 2011 median household income was $50,054, or $137.13 per each day of the year. Assuming the breadwinner of this average household is an hourly employee working 40 hours a week and 50 weeks a year, that would put his pay scale at a shade over $25 an hour. Subtract withholding taxes and that wage-earner takes home about $22 for each hour worked.
As taxpayers, these are the ones pushing the car. Now, what about the riders?
According to a recently released Senate Budget Committee report, the total in benefits received — money, food stamps, housing, child care and the administrative costs to implement these programs — comes to a whopping $168 per day. If they were earning this sum, just like our average household breadwinner above — 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year — their hourly wage would amount to almost $31 per hour.
Part of the problem is program redundancy.
Katie Pavlich, writing for Townhall, reported that the Congressional Research Service “identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011 — more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion.”
Not only can we expect things to get worse, the president is providing for it.
“Under the President’s FY13 budget proposal, means-tested spending would increase an additional 30 percent over the next four years,” Pavlich wrote.
In a recent article, liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof made the following concession: “This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.”
Again, I don’t mind pushing. I just want people to take their damn foot off the brake.
Read more at Townhall.