Welfare Programs

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The Story

More than one-fifth of the US population is on some form of government aid.

What’s the issue?

If, when, and how the government should be involved in giving money to people who are struggling. Btw, there isn’t just one program that constitutes “welfare.” There are a couple. Like...

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families...

The one that gives low-income families a financial assist. It’s temporary. So people only get federal assistance to be on it for five years over the course of their lives. More than one million families rely on TANF each month to get on their feet.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program...

When people say ‘food stamps,’ this is what they mean. SNAP provides grocery money to low-income individuals and families. To get it, people generally have to prove that they’re working or trying to work. More than 40 million Americans rely on it.

Women, Infants and Children...

This one’s for the moms. WIC is designed to help cover the nutritional needs for low-income moms, moms-to-be, babies, and kids up to five years old. More than seven million moms and kids get it each month.

These aren’t the only programs giving low-income Americans an assist.

There’s also Medicaid and CHIP, which brings insurance to low-income people and kids. Some people get housing assistance. If you’re unemployed, you may qualify for unemployment insurance.


What does the right say?

Ever heard of the deficit? These programs are expensive. They often mean taking from people who work hard and giving to people who don’t – encouraging recipients to stay poor, unemployed, and dependent on the government. Not good for anyone.

What does the left say?

Most of the people using these programs are already working but still need the help. Minimum wage is not a living wage. And it’s the gov’s responsibility to give citizens an assist.

What can my elected reps do?

State legislators can put restrictions on how some welfare recipients use their money

— Governors can vote ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on turning it into law

— Mayors can also expand or reduce access to welfare benefits

— House and Senate reps may try to pass more changes to welfare, like adding work requirements to people receiving certain benefits. They can also pressure companies to pay living wages

— State attorneys general can focus on prosecuting people accused of welfare fraud


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