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Most Americans on Welfare Are Working and Low Wages Are to Blame

Image From Al Jazeera

We often hear the propaganda and lies peddled by Republicans who say that people on welfare are just freeloaders and lazy, however, it would seem that all statistical analysis and data is quite the contrary.

We also hear that if we raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour, the American taxpayers will be forced to pay more as a result of inflation, but what if I were to tell you that we already do that?

The truth is that 73 percent of recipients of social programs are part of a working family. According to a study done by The Labor Center Of UC Berkeley: “Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of enrollees in America’s major public support programs are members of working families; the taxpayers bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America.”

Hear a lot of Republicans complaining that food stamp recipients are lazy? Well, anywhere from 42 percent to 56 percent of SNAP recipients working. According to an analysis by Politifact: “We’ve also got 2011 numbers that weren’t officially released by the Census or SNAP: 42 percent for SNAP and 56 percent for the Census, Rosenbaum said, based on public use data she accessed. So by both accounts, things haven’t changed much since the year Lee took her data from.”

They continue to go on stating that this number is massively deflated:

“Although all this data excludes those with disabilities, people with disabilities who don’t receive benefits from programs like Veterans Affairs, Social Security or Supplemental Security Income are still in the category of those expected to work. If all adults with disabilities were moved to the proper category of the data, the work rate percentage would shoot up to a more accurate value.”

It is very common that when someone proposes a raise in minimum wage, often to 15 dollars an hour, Republicans state that the taxpayers would be paying for it by paying higher prices for items. The taxpayers are already paying, with their taxpayer dollars being allocated to help these workers who have disgustingly low wages just to survive. If the United States were to higher its wages, we would be able to allocate these funds elsewhere and something that Republicans claim to love, lower federal expenditures and balance the budget.

Referring back to the study by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education: “Higher wages and increases in employer-provided health insurance would result in significant Medicaid savings that states and the federal government could apply to other programs and priorities.”

They continue: “Higher wages would also significantly reduce federal expenditures on the EITC and SNAP.15 Overall, higher wages and employer-provided health care would lower both state and federal public assistance costs, and allow all levels of government to better target how their tax dollars are used.”

Overall, Republicans are not only lying to you about welfare recipients being “lazy”, but they are insulting your intelligence so much that they are attempting to say that you will pay more in taxes for higher wages. Low wages are the cause of plenty of welfare recipients, which you pay for through your tax dollars. They are also claiming to be “fiscal conservatives” while preventing wage increases, which leads to massive spending in federal assistance.

Written by Sahil Habibi

Sahil Habibi

Sahil Habibi is the host of The Progressive Voice on YouTube, which airs segments dissecting the news daily. Follow Sahil on Twitter @ProgressVoice.

Sahil is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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Akina Nbuta Tudor
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I am all for a wage increase but I have discussed this $15 minimum wage with friends who are small business owners & it has made them sick to their stomachs. Some stated that they would have to drastically raise the prices at their store, others said they would either have people work under the table or just have no employees& just work themselves to death. These people barely stay afloat most months. They hire a lot of “down & out” people & try to give them 2nd chances. Some hire neighborhood kids to help them get work experience. Sure… Read more »
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Most Americans on Welfare Are Working and Low Wages Are to Blame