Social welfare programs examples

It's useful to remember that these graphs do not refer to cash benefits, and they represent averages that will vary across families. For example, the amount that families receive in Medicaid benefits is not received in cash, but in the form of access to health care services, and the amount will vary from year to year, depending on health. I find the details of these figures interesting for what they reveal about the size of spending and support from different programs and the income range over which programs operate. For example, the figures highlight that SNAP, more commonly known as "food stamps, " is a substantially larger program than TANF, more commonly known as "welfare." The figures also show the relatively large size of health care benefits like Medicaid, CHIP, and the "exchange subsidy" compared with other forms of benefits, following a pattern that as a society we are willing to pay large health care bills for those with low incomes, or to give them food stamps, but we are less willing to give them cash benefits.

But the main point that Steuerle emphasizes is in the overall hump shape of the curves: that is more support for those at lower incomes, and then declining support as income rises. This pattern makes perfect sense: more fish for those with very low incomes, less fish as people learn to fish and bring in their own income. But it also means that those with low incomes face what economists call a "negative income tax."

A "positive" income tax is the usual tax in which, as you earn additional income, the government taxes a percentage. A "negative" income tax arises when, as you earn additional income, the government phases out benefits it would otherwise have provided. Both kinds of taxes have the same result on incentives: when you earn an additional marginal dollar of income, you take home less than a dollar after taxes. When social programs phase out quickly as income rises, then a situation can arise where earning an additional dollar of income means losing 50 cents or more in benefits-thus greatly reducing the incentives to work.

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The culture of social welfare has changed

by UnderCurrentsReprt

What is our Country spending On Welfare?
A report recently released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) entitled “Spending for Federal Benefits and Services for People with Low Income” identified 83 overlapped federal welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget—more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense.
The total amount spent is $1.03 Trillion annually.
The CRS Findings "estimates that exclusively federal spending on these federal programs equaled approximately $746 billion, and further emphasizes that there is a substantial amount of state spending—mostly required as a condition of states’ participation—on these same federal programs (primarily Medicaid and CHIP)"

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American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities User's Guide: Mental Retardation: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Supports, 10th Edition: Applications for Clinicians, Educators, Disability Program Managers, and Policy Makers
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