Feature

A nation addicted to welfare

“Welfare spending has hit a stunning, all-time high.”

Robert Rector and Rachel SheffieldNationalReview.com

“Welfare spending has hit a stunning, all-time high,” said Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield. State and federal spending on about 80 means-tested welfare programs now costs taxpayers about $1 trillion a year, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to about 100 million lower-income Americans. That’s right: One out of three people is now on the dole, and they get an average of $9,000 apiece every year. This does not include what we spend on Medicare or Social Security. Liberals equate this massive welfare state with “helping the poor,” but creating dependency on this scale “is no way to promote the authentic well-being of Americans.” In launching his original “War on Poverty,” President Lyndon Johnson said his goal was to make people self-sufficient. But $19 trillion in welfare spending later, “our nation is further than ever from that original goal.” To break the self-defeating cycle of dependency, all aid programs should copy the welfare-reform program of the 1990s, and require recipients to work in return for their government handouts. When government gives people something for nothing, it isn’t helping them. It’s teaching them to do nothing.

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