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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 02:30 PM
Rucksinator Rucksinator is offline
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Do people on welfare have babies just to get more money?

I'd actually like to have some factual numbers, such as how much someone gets per child and how much the average child costs to raise.

I'm in a FB discussion and someone wrote (after others said the same thing) "....people do continue to have kids so they can get extra money each month. It's called welfare!"

I'm sure we've done this before, but I searched and didn't find a thread on this in the first 3 pages. Also, the figures might have changed since the last time this was discussed. So if there is a recent thread feel free to point me to it, otherwise hopefully we can do this here.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2012, 02:53 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Welfare like that, as you are thinking of it, ended in 1996. So, the answer is no, not for 15 years or so.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 .
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2012, 03:02 PM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
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As far as I know, there are only two federal-level programs that will give you money if you have children.

WIC is money for food for children under 5 and for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Here are the maximum allowances: http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/benefits...allowances.HTM

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is the program for poor families. You have to meet work requirements and it is only temporary (hence the name). You can find more information here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/tanf/about.html

Suffice it to say, since 1996 nobody is making a positive impact on their personal financial situation by having children. If poor people are having children they are doing it for other reasons.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:04 PM
wmulax93 wmulax93 is offline
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Doesn't WIC still give more money for each additional child, though? That's how kids at my last school (whose mothers received WIC support) made it sound.

ETA: Gah! Ninja'd!

Last edited by wmulax93; 03-22-2012 at 03:04 PM..
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2012, 03:05 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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The EITC gives you more money the more children you have. Diminishing returns set in pretty quickly though, there's a big gain for having one kid, a decent gain for having two, and past that the extra money per kid is negligible.

Even for the first kid, though, I doubt you'd be making a profit given that even with food stamps and medicaid, a kid is likely to cost you signifigantly more then you'd get from the ETC.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:25 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Originally Posted by wmulax93 View Post
Doesn't WIC still give more money for each additional child, though? That's how kids at my last school (whose mothers received WIC support) made it sound.
According to Jas09's link, an additional child will get you, on a monthly basis:
- One gallon of fruit juice
- Four gallons of milk
- 36 ounces of breakfast cereal (that's roughly three large boxes)
- One dozen eggs
- $6 of fruit
- 2 pounds of whole-wheat bread
- 18 ounces of peanut butter

A quick trip through Peapod to buy these items (going for the lowest price per ounce, which was usually an off brand or store brand) yielded a total cost of $39.57. So, an extra $40 or so a month, maybe a bit more if you're able to get name brands on the WIC list. An extra $500 or so a year for another child, which can only go towards a very specific list of food.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2012, 03:50 PM
PrettyVacant PrettyVacant is offline
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2012, 03:57 PM
Sethcrzygy86 Sethcrzygy86 is offline
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You get priorities too. You can get on Section 8 faster if you're a family and the more kids the higher up on the list you go. Section 8 is hard to get on, but you can game the system. I know of one woman that went to West Virginia, where the waiting list was non-existent. She applied got on then moved back to Milwaukee and once you're on Section 8 you can go anywhere it's accepted.

The work requirements are easy to get around if you have kids or simply have a physician who will say you're needed at home to take care of an elderly or disabled relative.

You can easily sell your food stamps and find food at food pantries or local churches.

It's not easy, in fact it's probably easier to get a job. Staying on welfare would be a full time job in of itself.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:05 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
The EITC gives you more money the more children you have. Diminishing returns set in pretty quickly though, there's a big gain for having one kid, a decent gain for having two, and past that the extra money per kid is negligible.

Even for the first kid, though, I doubt you'd be making a profit given that even with food stamps and medicaid, a kid is likely to cost you signifigantly more then you'd get from the ETC.
The gains are more than negligible: they're nonexistent. You get nothing extra above two. The dollar amounts increase, but also the floor under which you're ineligible raises. With zero kids, you have to pretty much make less money than you can live on.

You can also get a child tax credit for each, and dependent care expenses credit for daycare. Some states like CA have additional amounts on that.

I doubt many consciously have kids for benefits. It's more like: they no nothing about contraception and keep having them. Any benefits are a bonus but not the goal, despite what commentators might think.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2012, 04:40 PM
erislover erislover is offline
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Originally Posted by Sethcrzygy86 View Post
It's not easy, in fact it's probably easier to get a job. Staying on welfare would be a full time job in of itself.
Which may be why the average time on welfare is not so long.
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:05 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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This ignores the other subsidies and programs.
Here in MA, a family on welfare gets free/reduced price public housing (some people pay as low as $50/month), free/reduced price meals at schools (breakfast/lunch), free medical insurance, clothing allowances, and personal allowances.
For example, Obama's Kenyan aunt (Mrs. Zeituni) is a resident in Boston Public Housing-she receives a one bedroom apartment for about $50/month. She also receives welfare and food (via ETB card).
Since she has made no move to seek employment, she must be satisfied with her present situation.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:14 PM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
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Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
This ignores the other subsidies and programs.
Here in MA, a family on welfare gets free/reduced price public housing (some people pay as low as $50/month), free/reduced price meals at schools (breakfast/lunch), free medical insurance, clothing allowances, and personal allowances.
For example, Obama's Kenyan aunt (Mrs. Zeituni) is a resident in Boston Public Housing-she receives a one bedroom apartment for about $50/month. She also receives welfare and food (via ETB card).
Since she has made no move to seek employment, she must be satisfied with her present situation.
What does any of this have to do with having more children?
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:17 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Since there is no welfare, this is false. According to wiki she does receive Disability. She is indeed disabled. She also was not always able to legally work in the USA until recently, until her deportation hearing was over. (She was here on a visa for a while, then under asylum).

Previously she lived on the streets or in a homeless shelter.

But yes, you are correct she is ‘satisfied with her present situation” as shw was quoted as saying “(wiki) I don’t mind,’’ she said. “You can take that house. I can be on the streets with homeless people. I didn’t ask for it. They gave it to me. Ask your system. I didn’t create it or vote for it. Go and ask your system.’’

Generally, here in the USA we don’t expect elderly disabled people to “seek employment”.
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:40 PM
sisu sisu is offline
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It is often claimed in Australia this happens but the cost of raising a child is far in excess of any supposed welfare benefits even when we had the baby bonus that was paid to new mums. It is just another way to have a go at the less fortunate.

There will always be those who are mentally challenged or ill who may claim they did it the money but really they are on the fringes and need more help than condemnation.

We have a strong welfare system, it would be interesting to see how many babies are born into welfare compared to US stats.

Last edited by sisu; 03-22-2012 at 06:42 PM..
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2012, 07:37 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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While the topic lends itself to contentious posts, the OP sought facts and the vast majority of respondents have provided facts.

Off to General Questions.

[ /Moderating ]

Last edited by tomndebb; 03-22-2012 at 07:38 PM..
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2012, 12:13 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Originally Posted by sisu View Post
It is often claimed in Australia this happens but the cost of raising a child is far in excess of any supposed welfare benefits even when we had the baby bonus that was paid to new mums. It is just another way to have a go at the less fortunate.

There will always be those who are mentally challenged or ill who may claim they did it the money but really they are on the fringes and need more help than condemnation.

We have a strong welfare system, it would be interesting to see how many babies are born into welfare compared to US stats.
My ex in-laws said their neighbours-across-the-road with 6 children were frank about the fact that they were "better off" on welfare than working. They were supposedly pulling in something like $45,000 tax free, and then had all the benefits of a consession card on top. I never actually met these people myself (and it's been years since my horrified in-laws told me about them) so I don't know how much truth there is to it or what details I might be screwing up. I also had the impression that they had more children to increase their benefits, but I can't recall if I was told that or assumed it because they had a large family.

I do recall a front page Herald Sun article a LONG time ago about three single mothers who had 10, 12 and 12 children respectively who were reportedly upfront about the fact that they kept having babies because their welfare payments went up. I have always remembered the paragraph where the reporter describes talking to one of the children about her father, and one of the other children sadly said "I wish I knew who my daddy was".
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:55 AM
GreedySmurf GreedySmurf is offline
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Originally Posted by sisu View Post
It is often claimed in Australia this happens but the cost of raising a child is far in excess of any supposed welfare benefits even when we had the baby bonus that was paid to new mums. It is just another way to have a go at the less fortunate.
Not at all another way to 'have a go' at those less fortunate.

I can't provide hard data exactly in line with the OP in so far as people having babies for the welfare, but it as an unfortunate reality in Australia, that if one or both parents can only secure work in 'low skill' type of employment, you will receive net less than being on welfare where there is one or more children in the family.

Don't want to derail the tread too much but in Australia Welfare benefits for parents include:

- Family Tax Benefit A - up to $164 fortnight,
- Family Tax Benefit B - up to $140 f/n,
- Parenting Payment - $442 f/n
If we're talking a couple, presumably one of the couple would be on a Newstart allowance (sort of like government funded unemployment for the Americans)
- Newstart - $442 f/n
- Rent Assistance (presuming they're not in public housing) up to $120 f/n

Just the first four payments provide a yearly income of $30,888 (tax free), and will often also mean the recipients are in public housing (or at worst receiving rent assistance of up $120 f/n if in the private rental market), and have a health care card.

The thing which may produce the argument for having kids to keep the welfare going is that
A - The Parenting payment is only paid when the youngest child in the household is <6 years old (for a couple), and
B - Baby Bonus is still around and equates to $5,437 paid in 13 monthly installments.

Last edited by GreedySmurf; 03-23-2012 at 12:56 AM..
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  #18  
Old 03-23-2012, 01:30 AM
obbn obbn is offline
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Since there is no welfare, this is false. According to wiki she does receive Disability. She is indeed disabled. She also was not always able to legally work in the USA until recently, until her deportation hearing was over. (She was here on a visa for a while, then under asylum).

Previously she lived on the streets or in a homeless shelter.

But yes, you are correct she is ‘satisfied with her present situation” as shw was quoted as saying “(wiki) I don’t mind,’’ she said. “You can take that house. I can be on the streets with homeless people. I didn’t ask for it. They gave it to me. Ask your system. I didn’t create it or vote for it. Go and ask your system.’’

Generally, here in the USA we don’t expect elderly disabled people to “seek employment”.
Thanks for that information. I had heard about his Aunt, but didn't know what the story was. I do have one question about your post however. You state she is on Disability. I too am disabled and recieve SS Disability. However, you also stated that until recently she was not legaly allowed to work in the US. If that is the case, then how did she qualify for SS Disability? Not judging or anthing, just curious. When I was injured while working my Disabliity was based on the number of years worked and the amount of money that I paid into the system via SS taxes. From what I have gathered, my monthly benefit is high compared to most as I was a high income earner when I was working. I have talked to others on disability that were not high income earners and they told me that their monthly befefit is around $800 a month. It must be very difficult to live on that. If you never worked in this country how can you apply for and recieve disability? I am not suggesting that we as a society turn our back on someone who is unable to provide for themselves, so don't take my comments the wrong way. I just don't understand that someone who is not a citizen (you said she was here on a visa) can take advantage of something that the rest of us have or are paying for.
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  #19  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:06 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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The gains are more than negligible: they're nonexistent. You get nothing extra above two. The dollar amounts increase, but also the floor under which you're ineligible raises. With zero kids, you have to pretty much make less money than you can live on.

You can also get a child tax credit for each, and dependent care expenses credit for daycare. Some states like CA have additional amounts on that.

I doubt many consciously have kids for benefits. It's more like: they no nothing about contraception and keep having them. Any benefits are a bonus but not the goal, despite what commentators might think.
The Earned Income Tax Credit changed a couple of years ago. Now you do get more for the third child.
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  #20  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:18 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Same thing in Canada - welfare goes up quite a bit with children in most provinces. Meanwhile, no matter how many kids you have, minimum wage stays the same, you just have to be away from the home - and find child care - 40 hours a week. Who's the stupid one - the person who works 40 hours, or the person who sits home and collects the same amount?

OTOH, same as the USA, I suspect it is not a scam to get money so much as they type of people that cannot manage to hold a job also have difficulty working their birth control properly; and each time they think they've found the man of their dreams and will live happily ever after, until about the second trimester ... which can start a new thread in a different forum, about why women always fall for the biggest jerks.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:31 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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I do know my sister was flat out told when trying to apply to Medicaid that, if she were pregnant, she could get it.

And I don't see what the fact that it costs more money in the long run has to do with whether people do it. People often prioritize the short term.
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  #22  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:21 AM
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Originally Posted by obbn View Post
Thanks for that information. I had heard about his Aunt, but didn't know what the story was. I do have one question about your post however. You state she is on Disability. I too am disabled and recieve SS Disability. However, you also stated that until recently she was not legaly allowed to work in the US. If that is the case, then how did she qualify for SS Disability? Not judging or anthing, just curious. When I was injured while working my Disabliity was based on the number of years worked and the amount of money that I paid into the system via SS taxes. From what I have gathered, my monthly benefit is high compared to most as I was a high income earner when I was working. I have talked to others on disability that were not high income earners and they told me that their monthly befefit is around $800 a month. It must be very difficult to live on that. If you never worked in this country how can you apply for and recieve disability? I am not suggesting that we as a society turn our back on someone who is unable to provide for themselves, so don't take my comments the wrong way. I just don't understand that someone who is not a citizen (you said she was here on a visa) can take advantage of something that the rest of us have or are paying for.
I'm not certain but my guess is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It fills in for SS at the low end of things, also the state may add to SSI.

Personal data point:

I currently receive $10.40 from SSI a month. It was $93 in April of 2009, but California's budget problems have cause cuts. When I first qualified for disability I got an extra $80 a month in SSI benefits because I had no cooking appliances. I lost it when I got a mini-fridge, a microwave & a coffee pot. My total current benefit for the month is $874.40.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:59 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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To approach the OP from a different angle (still hoping for the spirit of General Questions), interpreting the question as "Is the prospect of getting more money the reason that people on welfare tend to have yet more babies?" —

There is a sociological theory associated in the mainstream with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one not without controversy but for which substantive supporting arguments have been, generally referred to as "culture of poverty", which explains it more like this:

• There is a social stratum in which people grow up without employed parents in neighborhoods where that is the norm. Many of these are single-parent families (usually single moms, not that that's relevant in all the ways that some people, incuding Moynihan, have tended to make it).

• When you grow up without role models among peers and parents and parents of your peers and so on who have self-sustaining jobs and careers and whatnot, you are less likely to aspire to same, to assume you'll have them yourself, and so on. You're also less likely to acquire the formal and informal skills from your home and neighborhood environment that make you readily employable (watching mom balance the budget and seeing how the math works and discussing investments and capital and savings, going to Tosca with your Dad and discussing the history of religion and politics and of opera's relationship to modern movies, and simply picking up on the nuances of grammar and intonation and body language that are used by the socioeconomic class of the generally-employed and often-employers) or give you good prospects for getting into college. Or thinking that college is in your future, etc.

• People from puberty through adolescence and early adulthood start seeking ways of demonstrating that they are in fact adults (grown-ups). There are many such observable attainments, including moving out on your own (generally requires an income or admission to a school that provides dorm rooms), getting a job and therefore disposable income, getting a car so you're independently mobile (generally requires either an income or parents with an income), getting married (doesn't require economic independence but it tends to be expected); or becoming a parent.

• If you grow up in a social stratum where having a baby without having a job and being able to support yourself and your baby is not outside the norm, there is little stigma attached to doing so; and that tends to go hand in hand with the lack of expectation that you will be self-supporting (it's the same social stratum). So becoming a parent while (still) being on welfare or obtaining your own welfare (where previously you were supported via your parents' welfare) is one of the few available and locally-accepted avenues by which you change your status from child to adult.

• And if you're unemployed and out of school, what ELSE would you be doing with your time? It can look like a more responsible and grown-up way of being in the world than hanging out with your unemployed friends (outdoors on street corners and in parks and malls since most of you have no homes separate from those of your parents yet due to no income etc).


There's plenty of room to poke holes in bits and pieces of this, but as an overall way of looking at things, I think it rings true. It has often been twisted into a debate over whether or not the existence of unmarried moms is a huge social problem, but I suggest focusing more on the larger picture of what the theory is saying.
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  #24  
Old 03-23-2012, 10:18 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by obbn View Post
Thanks for that information. I had heard about his Aunt, but didn't know what the story was. I do have one question about your post however. You state she is on Disability. I too am disabled and recieve SS Disability. However, you also stated that until recently she was not legaly allowed to work in the US. If that is the case, then how did she qualify for SS Disability? Not judging or anthing, just curious. When I was injured while working my Disabliity was based on the number of years worked and the amount of money that I paid into the system via SS taxes. From what I have gathered, my monthly benefit is high compared to most as I was a high income earner when I was working. I have talked to others on disability that were not high income earners and they told me that their monthly befefit is around $800 a month. It must be very difficult to live on that. If you never worked in this country how can you apply for and recieve disability? I am not suggesting that we as a society turn our back on someone who is unable to provide for themselves, so don't take my comments the wrong way. I just don't understand that someone who is not a citizen (you said she was here on a visa) can take advantage of something that the rest of us have or are paying for.
She had apparently been in the USA on a visa that allowed her to work for a while. But yes, I think wiki sez her checks are only about $700/mo.

You do know that legal residents, on “Green Cards” can collect most benefits, right?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:44 AM
ColdPhoenix ColdPhoenix is offline
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In the UK we've had universal child benefit since the end of World War 2. Currently it is £20.30 ($32) per week for your first child and £13.40 ($21) per week for any additional child.

Unfortunately the new budget was announced this week and it will be stopped for families where one parent earns more than £60,000 ($95,000).

I'm sure some people here have children for the money but I would hope it's a very small number, it's not exactly a smart thing to do as it's very difficult to make a profit at that game!
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:07 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by ColdPhoenix View Post
In the UK we've had universal child benefit since the end of World War 2. Currently it is £20.30 ($32) per week for your first child and £13.40 ($21) per week for any additional child.

Unfortunately the new budget was announced this week and it will be stopped for families where one parent earns more than £60,000 ($95,000).

I'm sure some people here have children for the money but I would hope it's a very small number, it's not exactly a smart thing to do as it's very difficult to make a profit at that game!
Why is it unfortunate that those making close to $100,000 a year are losing a small stiphon from the Government? If you are making that kind of money you can take care of yourself and your children. Wouldn't that money be beter put to use somewhere else, perhaps to increase the benefit to those who are truly in financial need?

Thanks to those who responded to my question about Aunt Obama. I was afraid that by asking it, the comments would be of a political nature calling me a right wing shill just trying to take a dig at Obama. Of course, that wasn't the case, I was really interested to see the answer to my questions.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:36 PM
Rich G7subs Rich G7subs is offline
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Originally Posted by Sethcrzygy86 View Post
You get priorities too. You can get on Section 8 faster if you're a family and the more kids the higher up on the list you go. Section 8 is hard to get on, but you can game the system. I know of one woman that went to West Virginia, where the waiting list was non-existent. She applied got on then moved back to Milwaukee and once you're on Section 8 you can go anywhere it's accepted.

The work requirements are easy to get around if you have kids or simply have a physician who will say you're needed at home to take care of an elderly or disabled relative.

You can easily sell your food stamps and find food at food pantries or local churches.

It's not easy, in fact it's probably easier to get a job. Staying on welfare would be a full time job in of itself.
My loser step son and his mega loser wife do this. They get all the aid available, WIC, section 8, food stamps you name it. They are in their mid 20's and healthy but refuse to work. They really know how to play the system. He sells his foodstamps for 60 cents on the dollar to buy cigarettes.

Last edited by Rich G7subs; 03-23-2012 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:57 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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In many states, you can't sell food stamps because they don't exist. They've instead moved to EBT cards. I guess at least 10 states and 2 territories do this (probably lots more, those are what I can confirm from wiki/my knowledge). Maybe some enterprising ghetto economist has figured out how to buy booze and smokes with them somehow.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:01 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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it's not exactly a smart thing to do as it's very difficult to make a profit at that game!
Agree. But many of the people on these entitlement programs can't (or don't) do the math. Even if an extra child boosted the amount of their check by only $10 a month, there will be people who have a child for that purpose, even though it doesn't make financial sense to do so.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:04 PM
Amasia Amasia is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
In many states, you can't sell food stamps because they don't exist. They've instead moved to EBT cards. I guess at least 10 states and 2 territories do this (probably lots more, those are what I can confirm from wiki/my knowledge). Maybe some enterprising ghetto economist has figured out how to buy booze and smokes with them somehow.
EBT does not inhibit selling food stamps. There are several ways of doing it, which I am not sure if I can detail here but you should be able to google EBT & audit or selling & EBT and get a lot of information.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:38 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
In many states, you can't sell food stamps because they don't exist. They've instead moved to EBT cards. I guess at least 10 states and 2 territories do this (probably lots more, those are what I can confirm from wiki/my knowledge). Maybe some enterprising ghetto economist has figured out how to buy booze and smokes with them somehow.
Buy good steaks and sell them for cash, duh.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:14 PM
ColdPhoenix ColdPhoenix is offline
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Why is it unfortunate that those making close to $100,000 a year are losing a small stiphon from the Government? If you are making that kind of money you can take care of yourself and your children. Wouldn't that money be beter put to use somewhere else, perhaps to increase the benefit to those who are truly in financial need?
In theory I agree with you. On a personal level I've been paying taxes towards it for 10 years and as soon as I get kids they stop it!

That sort of money isn't that much where I come from anyway. I'm not struggling but when you lose almost half of it on taxes and pay $20k a year on childcare it quickly gets used up (it'll be almost $40k/year on childcare when my second child's born in a couple of months and starts nursery).

It would be good if the government spent the money elsewhere to help the needy but we've currently got the Tories (right-leaning party) who are cutting benefits across the board while reducing the top rate of tax for those earning over $240k....
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