Fw: welfare not fair

In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year

Tyler Durden's picture
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2010 23:18 -0500



Tonight's stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the "Evil Empire", Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year." And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper - it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world's most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.
From Emmerich:
You can do as well working one week a month at minimum wage as you can working $60,000-a-year, full-time, high-stress job.

My chart tells the story. It is pretty much self-explanatory.
Stunning? Just do it yourself.
Almost all welfare programs have Web sites where you can call up "benefits calculators." Just plug in your income and family size and, presto, your benefits are automatically calculated.

The chart is quite revealing. A one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimu wage) has more disposable income than a amily making $60,000 a year.
And if that wasn't enough, here is one that will blow your mind:
If the family provider works only one week a month at minimum wage, he or she makes 92 percent as much as a provider grossing $60,000 a year.
Ever wonder why Obama was so focused on health reform? It is so those who have no interest or ability in working, make as much as representatives of America's once exalted, and now merely endangered, middle class.
First of all, working one week a month, saves big-time on child care. But the real big-ticket item is Medicaid, which has minimal deductibles and copays. By working only one week a month at a minimum wage job, a provider is able to get total medical coverage for next to nothing.

Compare this to the family provider making $60,000 a year. A typical Mississippi family coverage would cost around $12,000, adding deductibles and copays adds an additional $4,500 or so to the bill. That's a huge hit.
There is a reason why a full time worker may not be too excited to learn there is little to show for doing the "right thing."
The full-time $60,000-a-year job is going to be much more demanding than woring one week a month at minimu wage. Presumably, the low-income parent will have more energy to attend to the various stresses of managing a household.
It gets even scarier if one assumes a little dishonesty is throwin in the equation.
If the one-week-a-month worker maintains an unreported cash-only job on the side, the deal gets better than a regular $60,000-a-year job.  In this scenario, you maintain a reportable, payroll deductible, low-income job for federal tax purposes. This allows you to easily establish your qualification for all these welfare programs. Then your black-market job gives you additional cash without interfering with your benefits. Some economists estimate there is one trillion in unreported income each year in the United States.

This really got me thinking. Just how much money could I get if I set out to deliberately scam the system? I soon realized that getting a low-paying minimum wage job would set the stage for far more welfare benefits than you could earn in a real job, if you were weilling to cheat. Even if you dodn't cheat, you could do almost as well working one week a month at minimum wage than busting a gut at a $60,000-a-year job. 
Now where it gets plainly out of control is if one throws in Supplemental Security Income.
SSI pays $8,088 per year for each "disabled" family member. A person can be deemed "disabled" if thy are totally lacking in the cultural and educational skills needed to be employable in the workforce.

If you add $24,262 a year for three disability checks, the lowest paid welfare family would now have far more take-home income than the $60,000-a-year family.
Best of all: being on welfare does not judge you if you are stupid enough not to take drugs all day, every day to make some sense out of this Mephistophelian tragicomedy known as living in the USA:
Most private workplaces require drug testing, but there is no drug testing to get welfare checks.
Alas, on America's way to to communist welfare, it has long since surpassed such bastions of capitalism as China:
The welfare system in communist China is far stringier. Those people have to work to eat.

We have been writing for over a year, how the very top of America's social order steals from the middle class each and every day. Now we finally know that the very bottom of the entitlement food chain also makes out like a bandit compared to that idiot American who actually works and pays their taxes. One can only also hope that in addition to seeing their disposable income be eaten away by a kleptocratic entitlement state, that the disappearing middle class is also selling off its weaponry. Because if it isn't, and if it finally decides it has had enough, the outcome will not be surprising at all: it will be the same old that has occurred in virtually every revolution in the history of the world to date.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't have the time to break this nonsense down point-by-point right now.

But I do have to stay - stringier? As in "having more sinews and strings"? Or did they mean "more stringent"? Or perhaps "stingier"?

These things would be so much more - well, no, not more plausible, really - but at least less idiotic if the writers could actually right in, you know, English.

Hibryd said...

The biggest problem the comparison has it that it assumes that the minimum-wage family is eligible and receiving all benefits available to them (while ignoring that many of those benefits come with a time limit), while assuming that the $60K family is not receiving a single work-related benefit. Add in employer-sponsored health care or retirement benefits and the balance tips immediately towards middle-classdom.

Look, we all know that no matter what system is in place, some people will use it and some people will abuse it. Cutting or expanding benefits affects genuine hard cases, not just Cadillac-driving "welfare queens". The question is how many of the former do you want to leave out in the cold in order to cut off the later.

Anonymous said...

The crap some people will believe.

If we add up all the (potential) benefits from all the (potential) forms of assistance and every (potential) gaming of the system, which would never actually be used at the same time and have time limits and compliance tests, then you could maybe make a lot of money. It so simple!

I love the bit about health care costing a lot for the family playing "by the rules". Yes, health care is too expensive. So why did Republicans fight tooth an nail against a system which tries to provide affordable coverage for all Americans without bleeding them dry? Why is their biggest (and apparently only) policy goal now to repeal the system which did get passed, in order to leave middle class families back out in the cold? And worst of all, why do the people who believe and forward this crap keep supporting a party dedicated to fucking them over at every possible opportunity?

gruaud said...

Right off the bat, any sane person calls bullshit.

Let me amplify that:

This forward is INSANE.

And then you google all the right wing sites that run with this crap, and you realize that there are a whole lot of people nuttier than pecan pie out there.

Marc with a C said...

Some stuff is simply so asinine and on-its-face stupid that you don't need to research it to know that its crap.

Put it to you this way. If you honestly believe that a household with three kids makes more money working one week at minimum wage than a family making $60,000 a year, I invite you to quit your job and give it a try at your local 7-11.

Seriously. What? Don't believe me?

Didn't think so.

Jacquie said...

Why should that single parent household with three kids get any benefits? The damn kids can go work in the coal mines if they're so "hungry." Bootstraps, people, bootstraps!

womzilla said...

Notice that in order to get the part-time minimum wage family up to parity with the $60K family, the author has to assume that three members of the poor family are receiving the maximum full Social Security Disability Insurance benefit.

That means that it has at least four adults below age 65 as part of the family--one working part-time and three of SSDI.

So that would be a household of four adults, but they're also claiming a childcare cost deduction, school lunch, TANF, and CHIP, all of which are only available to . . . families with children.

So, really, bullshit from the headline on down.

Valeyard said...

This e-mail loses some of its punch without the chart it refers to. You can look it up on ZH if you feel like giving them hits for posting this slime.

First, benefits are not disposable income. If you make $60,000, even if all of this guy's numbers are correct, you still have over $30,000 in cash, while the poor family merely has "aid."

Second, if you make $60,000 a year, you probably have company-provided health care. Don't underestimate the huge hidden cost to your employer. Don't believe me? Try buying health care for a family of four on your own.

Third, choice: On food stamps/Section 8/Medicaid, your options are very limited. Many doctors don't even accept Medicaid anymore.

Fourth, qualifying for Medicaid: It varies by state, but Medicaid is based on where you sit on the Federal Poverty Level. For example, in Mississippi, kids are covered up to 100-185% FPL, while adults have to make less than 34% ($7,497). This is actually one of the problems Obamacare will help with.

(And again, good luck buying health insurance for yourself on $14,500 a year.)

Fifth, Medicaid numbers: For our theoretical Mississippi family (isn't Wyatt from Cleveland?), I'm not entirely sure it's possible to make it add up to $16,500. Maybe if it's a single working mother with triplets.

Sixth, welfare benefits are limited: The chart lists SNAP (food stamps), which is part of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. You can only use TANF for 60 months in your lifetime, can't have any assets above $2,000, and must participate in the TANF work program.

Seventh, you must be blind or disabled to apply for SSI. "Cultural or educational skills" has nothing to do with it, especially since those three checks are for your children, so employability doesn't matter.

Eighth, what about the $30,000 family? According to the chart, this nebulous "total benefit" adds up to $31,630 for a family making almost nothing, but $27,379 for a family making $30,000 a year. They're making 136% of Federal Poverty Level or less than 65% of Americans, yet they're hung out to dry.

But after all that, I'm sure Republicans would be much happier to argue about whether it's okay to tax the rich instead. Let's see the "benefit" chart for $250,000!

Valeyard said...

This e-mail loses some of its punch without the chart it refers to. You can look it up on ZH if you feel like giving them hits for posting this slime.

First, benefits are not disposable income. If you make $60,000, even if all of this guy's numbers are correct, you still have over $30,000 in cash, while the poor family merely has "aid."

Second, if you make $60,000 a year, you probably have company-provided health care. Don't underestimate the huge hidden cost to your employer. Don't believe me? Try buying health care for a family of four on your own.

Third, choice: On food stamps/Section 8/Medicaid, your options are very limited. Many doctors don't even accept Medicaid anymore.

Fourth, qualifying for Medicaid: It varies by state, but Medicaid is based on where you sit on the Federal Poverty Level. For example, in Mississippi, kids are covered up to 100-185% FPL, while adults have to make less than 34% ($7,497). This is actually one of the problems Obamacare will help with.

(And again, good luck buying health insurance for yourself on $14,500 a year.)

Fifth, Medicaid numbers: For our theoretical Mississippi family (isn't Wyatt from Cleveland?), I'm not entirely sure it's possible to make it add up to $16,500. Maybe if it's a single working mother with triplets.

Valeyard said...

There's a chart that goes with the original article; you can look it up to be even more disgusted.

1. Benefits are not disposable income. $60,000 - $30,000 = $30,000. $3,600 + Medicaid = $3,600.

2. A $60,000 job with no health care? Your employer foots a lot of the bill for that, you know.

3. Section 8 housing and government cheese isn't the same as having money to buy food and pay a mortgage.

4. Medicaid is judged per state by Federal Poverty Level. Working full-time minimum wage qualifies your kids for SCHIP but not you. (And just try buying insurance for a family of four on $15,000 a year!)

5. Comment box is choking on my first draft, so getting those Medicaid/CHIP numbers is left as exercise to reader.

6. TANF (the umbrella for all these programs) cuts off after 60 lifetime months, and you can't have more than $2,000 in assets, and if you don't work, it cuts off at 24 months.

7. You must be blind or disabled to apply for SSI. Period. And why would your mythical can't-speak-English loophole matter for children who wouldn't be working anyway?!

8. While the chart actually says the worst-off is the family making $30,000 a year, Republicans argue that we're mean to talk about raising taxes on people making $250,000.

ferschitz said...

Can't be bothered to read such crapulous junk. It's quite something how our zillionaire Overlords have managed to bamboozle a significant segment of our population into getting *insanely angry* about *some* citizens gaming the system. Does this happen? Sure it does. Is it right? No. Do I like it? Not at all.

Yet the amount of "rip off" by those abusing various "welfare" programs is miniscule in the scheme of things, esp now.

The VERY real rip-offs come from things like zillionaire Hedge funders only paying 15% taxes, the super wealthy only being a tax bracket minimally higher than someone earning waaaaay far less, and so on.

People who are distracted by stupid stuff like this are easily led, which is just how RushGlennSarah want it... more for THEM, less for the ripped off rubes.

Hammerstrike said...

Valeyard, I agree with much of what you said, but I have to correct you on EBT (food stamps). They're actually not a part of TANF, but rather SNAP and as such are not subject to the 60 month rule. I would know, my family of four (two parent household, my better half working several part time jobs and selling Avon, while I'm "full time" and being a middle man between my coworkers and wife for that damned Avon crap, we qualify for EBT, but not for TANF.

I'm calling bs on anyone being able to pull home $14,500 a year on a ten hour week, minimum wage job, especially in a state such as Mississippi!. The only way someone making minimum wage can make that much is if he or she is working full time, consistently the entire year. Surprising that none of these other comments, from what I've read (maybe my reading comprehension is suffering tonight?) have pointed that out.

Hammerstrike said...

I forgot to add: TANF can be redeemed via an EBT card under the "cash" option, if one is receiving both TANF and SNAP, this is what probably leads to many misconceptions about food stamps.

 
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