The public safety net, whose purpose is to catch people when they fall, has become a hammock, which too many use to take a long leisurely rest. When ever I level this criticism, I hear the same retort, “how do you expect people to live on minimum wage without help.” We’ll, let’s take a look at some of that help, shall we?
Each state differs, so I’ll use my liberal Northeast state as a reference. Let’s say a single-mother has two children and earns about $16,000 per year. There’s a good chance she will get subsidized rent, so instead of $1,000 per month, it might only be $300. A family health insurance plan might cost $15,000 per year, but it will be free for her. Daycare or an after school program might be $400 per week for two children, but it will be free for her. She will probably also receive $600 per month or so in food stamps, plus heating assistance, and free bus passes for the family.
All this help will probably cost somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000 per year, which is a conservative estimate. If you add the $16,000 she actually earned, that comes out to between $66,000 and $76,000 when earnings and tax payer largesse are included. Are you disgusted yet, because there’s more!
Let’s not forget that some parents receive an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for their children. For many of the people in the situation outlined above, it’s not unusual for them to receive a “tax return” of $6,000 or $7,000.
I have no problem with people getting a big return back if they over-paid, but I do have a problem with someone wo pays $1,000 in federal taxes, then gets a “return” of $6,000. That’s not a “return” of your money, it’s welfare, plain and simple.
By the way, that $7,000 brings the annual tally to between $73,000 and $83,000 per year. Most of it could be considered payments or having children out of wedlock that they couldn’t afford.
Welcome to the United States in 2013.
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