Welfare queens may exist, but they aren’t typical

23 Dec

Something to remember this Christmas season:

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Here’s a useful graph to keep handy for the next time Fox News airs a report about food stamp users buying lobster with their benefits.

This month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics compared yearly spending between families that use public assistance programs, such as food stamps and Medicaid, and families that don’t. And surprise, surprise, households that rely on the safety net lead some pretty frugal lifestyles. On average, they spend $30,582 in a year, compared to $66,525 for families not on public assistance. Meanwhile, they spend a third less on food, half as much on housing, and 60 percent less on entertainment.

These figures, drawn from the 2011 Consumer Expenditure Survey, don’t capture all non-cash perks some low-income families get from the government, such as healthcare coverage through Medicaid. But they give you a sense of the kind of tight finances these families deal with.

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2 Responses to “Welfare queens may exist, but they aren’t typical”

  1. mv123 December 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Does this include the benefits themselves? For example you said that food was $34/person/week. Does that include the cash amount of foodstamps used?

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    • thereformedmind December 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Doesn’t say explicitly, but I think it includes the cash value of food stamps

      Like

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