Welfare Spending Dwarfs Poverty

As Republican and Democratic negotiators look for places to cut the federal budget, welfare spending should be at the top of the list. The Senate Budget Committee reports that total spending on means-tested federal programs, if divided by the number of households living below the official poverty line, works out to $168 per day. How much is that? Well, the average American household lives on $137 per day:

That welfare spending also translates into better than a $30 per hour income.

This doesn’t mean that families on welfare live better than the median American family, but it does mean that they have more money spent on them. In part, this is a tribute to the remarkable inefficiency with which the federal government does just about everything. When it comes to welfare, it is time to get out the knife and start cutting.