The Senate Budget Committee Republican staff under Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Thursday released this depressing chart:
“Food stamps are only 1 of 80 means-tested public assistance programs,” the senator’s office explained.
“If all spending on federal welfare and public add was converted into cash one could send a check for $60,000 to each household living beneath the poverty line.”
And the Alabama senator, a long-time proponent of fiscal restraint, is not happy with the data.
“No longer can we measure compassion by how much money we spend on poverty but how many people we help to rise out of poverty,” the senator said.
“That is why compassion requires us to reform a broken welfare state that is fostering dependency, hurting families and communities, and failing in the most important goal of helping people achieve self-sufficiency,” he added. “Welfare spending has increased thirty percent in the last four years, but poverty has gone up, not down.”
The senator continued:
The best example of our broken welfare state may be the food stamp program: food stamp spending has increased every single year since 2000, even when the economy is improving. 1 in 6 Americans are now on food stamps and the USDA has an aggressive campaign to enroll millions more—whether they need the benefit or not.
We must return to the moral principles of the 1996 reform and the idea that, over time, welfare damages not only the Treasury but the recipient. Normal support structures like family, church and community are replaced by federal bureaucracy.
President Obama recently said that ‘every dollar we budget, every decision we make has to be an expression of who we wish to be as a nation, our values.’ It is through that prism that we should address the need to reform our welfare programs, ensure resources are targeted to those in genuine need, and help more people transition from dependence to independence.
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Featured image screen grab.