To The Reader's Forum:
Want a raise? You can stop looking! In 35 states, welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job, according to a new study by the libertarian Cato Institute, and in 13 states welfare pays more than $15 per hour.
The state-by-state estimates are based on a hypothetical family participating in ONLY seven of the 126 federal anti-poverty programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; the Women, Infants and Children program; Medicaid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; etc. and receiving help on housing and utilities.
In Hawaii, that translates into a 2013 package of $49,175 (with a couple kids up to $61,000). The top five areas for welfare benefits, along with their 2013 amounts, were: the District of Columbia ($43,099), Massachusetts ($42,515), Connecticut ($38,761), New Jersey ($38,728) and New York ($38,004).
One of the single best ways to climb out of poverty is by taking a job; but as long as welfare provides a better standard of living than an entry-level job (and much more), recipients will continue to choose the couch over work.
Dr. Donald V. Erickson
Lighthouse Baptist Church