The Cato Institute has released its most recent study of how much Americans can collect on the dole if they qualify for all the programs states make available.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Massachusetts ranks 3rd in the nation for generous welfare benefit. Or maybe you are surprised–that it’s not number one. But we’re hardly alone in being very, very generous to people who don’t work–and don’t want to:
Nationwide, our study found that the wage-equivalent value of benefits for a mother and two children ranged from a high of $60,590 in Hawaii to a low of $11,150 in Idaho. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job. In 12 states and DC, the welfare package is more generous than a $15-an-hour job.
Of course, not everyone on welfare gets all seven of the benefits in our study. But, for many recipients — particularly the “long-term” dependents — welfare clearly pays substantially more than an entry-level job.
Note that, not only do welfare recipients in Massachusetts earn $42, 500 in benefits, but they’re earning $5,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars than in 1995. So not only on the “poor” getting rich, they’re getting richer.
As Cato reports:
Far from condemning welfare recipients to a life of poverty, welfare actually exceeds the FPL in 42 states and the District of Columbia. In fact, in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, welfare pays more than twice the poverty level.
And if $42,515 to not work a day in your life sounds like a lot, consider this: If you actually DID work–and pay taxes–you’d have to earn $50,540 to take home that $42k. Do you earn $50k working fulltime? Then why are you working at all, when you can collect the post-tax equivalent by sitting on your butt?