Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Submitted by: Kurt J Fitsch
The Goal is to Keep the Poor in Poverty

The threshold for determining if a family is living below the poverty level in 2011 is an income of $22,350 per year for a family of four. Keep this number in mind as we take a brief look at some older poverty numbers. This will shock you. Well, maybe it won’t. We’ve come to expect gross incompetence from our government officials, and that’s the problem.

In 1982, the total U.S. welfare bill at all levels of government (federal, state, and local) came to $403 billion. If we take figures from the Bureau of the Census (August 1984) which state that the number of people living in poverty in the U.S. was 15.2 percent of the population or 35.3 million people, an amazing fact emerges. Had we simply divided the 403 billion dollars this nation spent on poverty at every level of government among the estimated number of poor people, each poor person could have received $11,133.

For a family of four, this would have totaled $44,532. (Remember the above number for 2011: $22,350. That’s about half of what was being spent in 1982!) Since the official poverty level per family for that year was $9,287, it is clear that America’s fight against poverty involves enormous overhead costs. Most of the tax dollars collected to fight poverty end up as Thomas Sowell notes, “in the pockets of highly paid administrators, consultants, and staff as well as higher-income recipients of benefits from programs advertised as anti-poverty efforts.” Clearly, the bucket used to carry money from the pockets of the taxpayer to the poor is leaking badly. Many think the real beneficiaries of liberal social programs are not the poor and disadvantaged but the members of the governmental bureaucracy who administer the program.

Read more: The Goal is to Keep the Poor in Poverty | Godfather Politics

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