Maybe fire hydrants cause fires…
I did a study and figured out a few things. First, we have like ten thousand fire hydrants for every house that is actually on fire. How come we need so many fire hydrants for every burning house? Second, the more often I see fire hydrants used, the more fires I see. Perhaps fire hydrants cause fires?
I’m righting this hoping that Poor Richards News will feel better about this thing he posted. I don’t want him to have to live with the ignominy of having posted the dumbest thing on the Internet for the day.
Feds spend over $61,000 per year for every household below the poverty line**
If you needed any more proof that government bureaucracy is a horribly inefficient manger of money, new analysis of Federal spending shows that the government spends over $61,000 per year for every household below the poverty line.
from the Weekly Standard:
New data compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee shows that, last year, the United States spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs per each household that is in poverty. The calculations are based on data from the Census, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congressional Research Services.
“According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,” the Senate Budget Committee notes. “If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.”
This dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household on poverty lives on per year. “If the spending on these programs were converted into cash, and distributed exclusively to the nation’s households below the poverty line, this cash amount would be over 2.5 times the federal poverty threshold for a family of four, which in 2011 was $22,350” the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee note.
This serves as damning evidence that the welfare state is completely ineffective at lifting people out of poverty. Even Federal spending on welfare increases astronomically, the poverty rate grows right along with it.
Government redistribution of wealth does not work.
Either the Weekly Standard’s writers are not-very-clever or whether they think their readers are insufficiently clever to notice when somebody is trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
Let’s break this down.
- About 110 million Americans receive some sort of means-tested assistance. That’s around one in three. This includes reduced priced school lunches, veterans pensions, and things like pell grants.
- By contrast, somewhere around 46 million people live in poverty. In other words, most of the people receiving assistance are not in poverty.
- When you count this sort of assistance as income, the poverty rate plummets. So apparently it does lift people out of poverty.
- The whole point of “means-tested assistance” is that if your income and assets are under a certain point you qualify. If income falls, eligibility increases. Increased poverty triggers increased poverty spending.
Here’s the bottom line. Our spending to alleviate poverty is a bit like piling sandbags on a levy. It’s critical to hold back the flood. But at some point, you’ve got to figure out what’s causing the flood. (Hint: Republicans aren’t going to want to talk about that.)