Surprise: People like free stuff

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, so far, “the vast majority of Obamacare sign-ups are in Medicaid.” Indeed, some states report “a crush of people applying for an expansion of Medicaid and a trickle of sign-ups for private insurance.” In Maryland, for example, more than 80,000 people have signed up for Medicaid, compared to the 3,000 or so who have signed up for private health insurance. In Washington State, the corresponding »

Welfare nation

Featured image It was a long time coming, but we appear to have reached a tipping point. Terry Jeffrey picks up the news buried in Census Bureau data: Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau. They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines. There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth »

If the Lights of L.A. County Were Diamonds In the Sky…

Featured image …they still wouldn’t be enough to pay the tab for the county’s illegal immigrants. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich announced the latest figures yesterday: A projected $650 million in welfare benefits will be distributed to illegal alien parents in 2013, county officials said Monday. Approximately $54 million in welfare payments are issued each month, consisting of nearly $20 million in CalWORKs and $34 million in food stamp issuances, according to the »

What’s the Matter With Poor Voters? A Reconsideration

Featured image The great but frustrated hope of liberals is that people will vote their supposed class interest, that is, that people of modest incomes will vote for higher taxes (on others) and bigger government.  It is a matter of frustration for liberals when the working class doesn’t vote for Democrats: see Thomas Frank’s famous What’s the Matter With Kansas?  (Actually, don’t see it; it’s stupid; one can just as easily ask, »

The welfare angle

Featured image The Boston Herald seems to have struck a nerve in its efforts to uncover the public support that sustained Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family over the years: The Patrick administration clamped down the lid yesterday on Herald requests for details of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s government benefits, citing the dead terror mastermind’s right to privacy. Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for »

NPR goes rogue

Featured image Reader EC advises: We interrupt this forum for a special bulletin: *****NPR HAS GONE ROGUE***** They just broadcast an hour-long episode of “This American Life,” which was a devastating critique of the disability program. Devastating. They called it the new default welfare program, pointing out that it costs the taxpayers vastly more than all other welfare programs put together. They went on and on and on and on and on »

Senate Democrats Block Welfare Reform

Featured image We have written several times about the extravagant budget offered by Patty Murray and Senate Democrats, and will return to that topic in the days to come. For the moment, one significant point that has received hardly any publicity relates to welfare. With welfare now the biggest item in the federal budget, one would think that any sane budget would look for ways to control burgeoning welfare costs. But no: »

Why Are We Bribing Welfare Recipients to Come to the US?

Featured image For more than a century, the law has been that any application for a visa to enter the United States must be denied if the applicant is likely to become a “public charge” on the American people. (“An alien who…is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”) Yet the Obama administration has not only ignored this aspect of our immigration laws, it has actively recruited immigrants »

How the Obama Administration Defies Federal Law on Immigration and Welfare

Featured image Immigration is in the news, and legislation is being proposed that relies on the Obama administration to execute, in good faith, the nation’s laws. But the Obama administration doesn’t do that. Instead, the administration arrogantly ignores laws it doesn’t like, in violation of Barack Obama’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This is most notoriously the case with respect to immigration and welfare. We have »

Not a Nation of Takers? Roll Tape Please

Featured image Obama rejects the idea that we’ve become or are becoming a “nation of takers.”  Someone tell it to the folks at the Food Stamp office in East St. Louis: Here’s the local TV news report on the fracas, “Brawl Erupts at Food Stamp Office.” »

A nation of takers

Featured image Nicholas Eberstadt is the author of A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic. The book, it should be noted, includes dissenting essays by Yuval Levin and William Galston. President Obama seems to have been responding to Eberstadt in a key passage of his second inaugural address: “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. »

Living On Welfare in the U.K.

Featured image Welfare has become a major political issue in the United Kingdom. During the 13 years when Labour was in power, it seems not to have occurred to most Britons that Labour’s open-door immigration policy, combined with the U.K.’s liberal welfare benefits, were likely to lead to abuse. Now, people are starting to notice. The Sun, a tabloid published in London, is the U.K.’s largest-selling newspaper. It focuses mainly on soccer »

$weet Charity…

Featured image (and Destiny, Crystal, Bambi…) That’s the headline on this New York Post expose of the food stamp/TANF program in New York. Federal welfare spending has exploded under the Obama administration, now accounting for nearly as much as defense spending. The food stamp and TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, i.e., cash) programs are among the largest. EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards are issued to participants in these federal programs; EBT »

Welfare Spending Dwarfs Poverty

Featured image 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 »

It Doesn’t Pay to Work

Featured image In the wake of President Obama’s re-election victory, there has been a lot of discussion about makers and takers. Mitt Romney said on a conference call with supporters, among many other things, that Obama bought a lot of votes with “gifts” to various constituencies, an evidently true observation for which he mysteriously was maligned by Bobby Jindal and others. The truth is much worse than Romney suggested or than most »

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to cash welfare checks…”

Featured image Federal law prohibits the admission of aliens to this country who are “likely at any time to become a public charge.” This is one of many statutes that the scofflaw Obama administration brazenly flouts. Rather than ensuring that immigrants will not become liabilities to the public purse, the Obama administration explicitly lures them to the U.S. with promises of lavish welfare benefits–a policy that is both illegal and perverse. This »

The Federal Welfare Explosion

Featured image Welfare is now the largest item in the federal budget, and under Barack Obama’s budget–the one that didn’t get any votes, but may nevertheless be a blueprint for the next four years–it is slated to grow another 30% in Obama’s second term. Welfare is now the largest category of federal spending; note that the figures in the chart include state contributions to federal welfare programs: This is an astonishing fact: »