EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSReport Breaks Down Welfare Benefits State-By-State
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Latasha Hughes
Also Contributing: Kristine Frazao
Reported: Aug. 7, 2013 9:33 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 7, 2013 10:11 PM EDT
How would you like to make $49,000 a year to not work?
It's happening because government entitlements are exploding, paying some people more than they can make by working.
A new report from the Cato Institute finds the average welfare recipient gets $27,727 in total benefits from various program in West Virginia.
If you went on a shopping spree of federal and state government handouts, the place to head to first is Hawaii.
According to the report from the Cato Institute, if you're a single, out of work, mother of two it's possible to earn more than $49,000 pre-tax dollars a year doing nothing, making the Aloha State the most generous welfare state.
Mike Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He just finished revising his groundbreaking study “Work Versus Welfare,” a project he first visited in 1995.
"Welfare essentially pays people to not work, and to have children,” Tanner said. “Is it any surprise that's what they do?"
That’s the same observation tanner would have made in the mid-1990's, during the height of welfare reform.
Here's the breakdown for that mother of two in Hawaii:
She'll get as more than $7,600 in temporary cash assistance, nearly $24,000 a year for housing, almost $9,000 a year for food assistance and about $6,700 in Medicaid for health care premiums.
Throw in supplements for WIC, assistance for utilities, and emergency food assistance, and it adds up to the pre-tax salary of an entry level computer programmer.
Welfare benefits have declined, after inflation in 18 states, such as Texas and Florida, where recipients receive slightly more than $18,000. But in the majority of states such as New York, Maryland and Ohio, handouts have increased.
Tanner believes most people want to work but can't for physical reasons or won't because sitting at home pays more money.
After Hawaii, the other top states for government benefits include the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.
The full report will be officially published Aug. 19. For a preview, visit the Cato Institute website.
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.
WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.