Welfare Pays More than Minimum Wage in Most States

Welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, creating little incentive for Americans to take entry-level work and likely increasing their long-term dependency on government help, according to a new study by the Cato Institute. The findings come 17 years after the Clinton administration, with bipartisan support from Congress, passed landmark welfare reform legislation that was supposed to move Americans away from entitlements and into the workforce, says Fox News.

  • Among the other findings is that welfare in 13 states pays more than $15 an hour, compared with the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25.
  • The disparity was even higher in nine states in which welfare pays more than the average first-year teacher’s salary; in the six most-generous states, it pays more than the entry-level salary for a computer programmer.
  • The study points out that a full package of welfare benefits often exceeds take-home pay in part because benefits are tax-free.

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