Mike Huckabee has been touting figures on welfare costs in his report:

As usual things look a bit different when you examine them closely. Republicans are arguing for cuts in social welfare programs and they need to make people angry about welfare first. If there is one thing that will make Americans angry it's the idea that poor people are getting something they haven't earned—that's the privilege of the rich, not the poor.

Huckabee attributes these figures to a Senate Budget Committee report. In fact they come from a minority report by Republicans on the committee and the numbers were prepared by the staff of Senator Sessions from Alabama. In other words they were prepared by people with an axe to grind and a case to make, not impartial observers.

Here is the graph the Republicans on the committee put up:

Note the bottom lines: staff calculations of data from…

Second, this is total welfare spending from all sources state and federal and which includes all the administrative costs of all the means tested programs included. It is spending, not what welfare recipients receive. Undoubtedly Sessions and his staff knew that the public would interpret these figures as money put in the pocket of welfare recipients, but it's not.

They even say in their report:

"Based on data from the Congressional Research Service, cumulative spending on means-tested federal welfare programs, if converted into cash, would equal $167.65 per day per household  living below the poverty level." [my emphasis]

Of course it is not converted into cash, most is provided in services and the cost of those services is not determined by the recipient.

Is the comparison with median income a fair one? Not exactly. Services provided are not meant to substitute for income and there is little or no choice available to recipients on how that money is spent. In addition to income, workers often receive other benefits such as health insurance which should be added to their side of the equation if comparisons are to be fair.

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This current issue of the New Yorker has a revealing graph showing the history of the United States defense budget since the Second World War. It is the cost of two wars coupled with the Bush tax cuts which have created the deficit—not welfare spending. Defense expenditures are accepted by both parties without question as necessary to the security of the country. The United States spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined.

While I'm all in favor of getting people off the roles who abuse Social Security Disability, and/or Food Stamps sold to the local merchant for $0.50 on the dollar for alcohol and tobacco, let's get a little clarity here.

According to the Wall Street Journal, corporate welfare spending is around $2.6 trillion - that's with a "T." There are approximately 350 million people in the US. That's a outlay of over $7,000.00 per year/per person. And, that doesn't include military spending. I'l grant you, not all of that comes from the taxpayers - though a good chunk does. A lot of it comes from giving business a waiver on taxes that the rest of us have to pay. Nevertheless.......

cat's outta the bag buncha PNAC lying fools.. but hey many would stab me in the back for such arguing..

Wow! The median income according to the GOP is $25 per hour?

As a disabled vet I get less than $12 (if being disabled were only a forty-hour week).

The Defence budget of course only counts up the cost of maintaining the active duty and retired personnel, operations, and equipment. It doesn't count a penny for disabled veterans (covered by the Veterans Administration), which the GOP is also looking to cut.

We need to get rid of corporate welfare. No tax breaks. No incentives. No bailouts. No subsidies. Period.

Public welfare is a mess too. Certainly disabled people, veterans and certain others. But frankly I even have a family member (single mother) who hasn't bothered to seriously hold down a job, and bitches when they tell her she has to go to job training.

Right now there are four people looking for jobs for every job open. The recession is long over with GDP above where it was at the start. Business has found it possible to prosper  without the number of workers it used to have. This is the new normal. Employment will probably never reach its previous levels. Generally that means a lower standard of living for most people except those at the top.


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