16 Jan Welfare Restrictions
The United States has social subsidies to meet the basic needs of the citizens. On state and federal level, these subsidies include cash assistance, food, healthcare, energy, housing, childcare, education, and many others to support the basic needs of the poor and the needy. Some employers also offer services privately; either due to government policies or voluntarily. All these welfare programs vary from individual-to-individual on federal, state, local, or private level. Welfare programs are different from entitlement programs. Entitlement programs are majorly based on the prior contribution; whereas welfare programs are based on family income.
The welfare funding is provided by the federal government, which is further proffered by the state governments along with some additional benefits. Sometimes, the federal government reduces the funds without cutting down the responsibilities of state governments, leading to an unfunded mandate. In 1998, the federal government reduced the cost for food stamps, and the states got short on $5 million.
As per the congressional budget office study, social programs have significantly improved the lives of low-income and elderly American citizens. Political Scientist Benjamin Radcliff believes that these programs uplift people from poverty and insecurity, which strengthens the nation and reduces crime. However, it is also essential to find out a perfect balance for the distribution of these welfare benefits. Several people have their views on it; some think that the restrictions should increase, and some want them reduced. But what is the ideal way?
Those who are in favor of cutting benefits believe that it will motivate Americans to work; because some Americans have not-so-genuine reasons to stay unemployed and feed their families on the hard work of others. The argument continues and blankets childbirth; one should not have children more than the ability to raise them. Sometimes, it also resembles like a divide to them, when they see someone on benefits having an equal or better life. The opposition doesn’t end here. Opponents also connect easy access to welfare benefits with teenage pregnancy arguing that the government provides enough facility to raise the babies.
A vast majority of Americans believe that government is spending funds on too many people unnecessarily. Ironically, most of these people are from the states receiving maximum aid. These people don’t realize the benefits government is offering them. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in 2012 that 47% of Americans would vote for Democrats. He was so sure because of the benefits people were receiving. However, being unaware, states that were most dependent voted for Republicans. They only considered obvious federal benefits. So, they didn’t believe that the government did anything for them. One of the researches showed that people dependent on obvious federal benefits don’t vote, as they are too busy surviving.
Welfare benefits have their pros as well as cons. There can be a countless number of factors in deciding the right approach. Your opinion matters. What do you think? Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits?