FACT CHECK: Do Welfare Programs Encourage People to Stay Unemployed?
At today’s House Budget Committee hearing on “Strengthening the Safety Net,” Republicans continued to make the claim that welfare programs encourage people to stay unemployed.
FACT CHECK: This is a classic Republican talking point that is totally detached from reality.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “more than 90 percent of the benefit dollars that entitlement and other mandatory programs spend go to assist people who are elderly, seriously disabled, or members of working households — not to able-bodied, working-age Americans who choose not to work.” [CBPP, /10/2012]
Consequently, applying the “lessons of welfare reform” to other programs, as Republicans say they want to do, in many cases defies logic and common sense – what are they going to do, kick Grandma out of her nursing home unless she gets a job? Presumably not, but disguising their massive Medicaid funding cut as “reform” will put grandma at risk of losing her nursing home benefits – at the same time they give a $394,000 tax break to people making over $1 million a year. [CBPP, 4/12/2012]”