It never fails when I prove someone wrong in this never-ending slander against the poor, I am told that I am "entitled to my opinion," when I have actually demolished someone's lies with facts. It has become obvious to me that a great number of people do not know the difference between opinion and fact, so I start my post with a short tutorial:
The primary definition of "opinion," at least the one with which I am dealing here, is:
The peculiar North American definition of "Welfare" is:
I suspect that something that confuses these people is the fact that, if a person is born in this country, they are American, which means that, if the illegal aliens have babies in our country, then those babies are Americans and they are entitled to a small amount of government assistance. These children are sometimes referred to as "anchor babies" that serve to allow the foreigners a tenuous foothold in this country. Even so, the amount of money given to these children is so small (about $550 each, plus food stamps), it is a marvel to me how much certain people begrudge the food that goes into the mouths of these little ones.
What I hear continually from angry Americans, is that they resent their taxes being spent on the poor because of this false impression that illegal aliens are raking in big bucks. They also accuse the disabled of faking their injuries, but that is another topic for another day. The angry Americans are widely under the mistaken impression that they are spending huge amounts of money on "welfare" for illegals and other poor people.
As of 2012, a person who earns $50,000 a year only pays $36.82 in taxes for food stamps and $6.96 in taxes for welfare per year. It seems like an awful lot of squawking for $43.78 PER YEAR IN TAXES EARMARKED FOR WELFARE AND FOOD STAMPS, especially when you compare that figure to the $4,000.00 a year they spend on corporate subsidies. Below is a tax breakdown using $50,000 per year income for one tax payer. These tax figures are provided by the White House and government agencies, collected by commondreams.org. (3)
If we step back and look where all of the entitlement monies are spent after you have paid your taxes, the elderly, the disabled and the working poor account for the majority of it. Using the above model of the tax payer who earns $50,000 a year, his taxes for unemployment insurance, food stamps, welfare, retirement and disability to government workers and Medicare amount to $346.25, per year, added to which would be approximately $3,500 per year of Social Security taxes, making a grand total of $3846.25 paid into so-called "entitlement programs." These monies are spent out in the following percentages:
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities [February 2012] "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. This figure has changed little in the past few years."
"Federal budget and census data show that, in 2010, 91 percent of the benefit dollars from entitlement and other mandatory programs went to the elderly (people 65 and over), the seriously disabled, and members of working households. People who are neither elderly nor disabled - and do not live in a working household - received only 9 percent of the benefits.
"Moreover, the vast bulk of that 9 percent goes for medical care, unemployment insurance benefits (which individuals must have a significant work history to receive), Social Security survivor benefits for the children and spouses of deceased workers, and Social Security benefits for retirees between ages 62 and 64. Seven out of the 9 percentage points go for one of these four purposes."
The remaining 2% include able-bodied people who "choose" not to work (many of whom are suffering from undiagnosed and/or untreated mental and emotional illnesses): hardly the vast conspiracy of fraud and corruption that uninformed and angry Americans claim are bankrupting our country.
In the past, I have heard the angry Americans discount facts by falsely labeling them "statistics," rather than raw data, and claiming that statistics can be skewed to suit the situation. While that perception of statistics could be true, I would point out that I am not providing "statistics," but raw data instead. The definition of statistics is:
I present these facts in an effort to curtail the cruel myths that are circulating throughout the internet and to begin to direct the attention of the angry Americans to the truth of this portion of the discussion about welfare in America.