How To Talk About…
CYCLE OF DEPENDENCE
- Since the beginning of the War on Poverty in the 1960s, the federal welfare system has grown dramatically, yet the poverty rate has remained nearly unchanged.
- Welfare tries to treat the symptoms of poverty but fails to address the root causes. Instead, today’s welfare system traps people in a cycle of growing dependence.
- Able-bodied adults who receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance would be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.
ELIMINATE MARRIAGE PENALTIES
- Lawmakers should look for responsible ways to reduce disincentives for marriage–one of the top predictors of childhood poverty–in today’s welfare programs.
- Require welfare programs to have a work requirement component.
- Require states to gradually assume greater revenue responsibility for welfare programs such as public housing and food stamps.
- Make welfare spending as transparent as discretionary spending by requiring the President to include it in his annual budget submission to Congress.
- The U.S. spends 16 times as much on welfare as it spent in the 1960s–yet the federal poverty rate remains nearly unchanged.
- Welfare spending programs total around $1 trillion annually.
- Welfare is the fastest-growing part of government spending. Between 1989 and fiscal year 2008, means-tested welfare spending increased by 292 percent.
- Today, children in single-parent homes are more than five times as likely to be poor compared to their peers in married-parent homes.
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