What counts as welfare?

I was looking at this article on money.cnn.com about how welfare reform has slashed money paid to recipients in half and I was struck by this:

What programs actually count as welfare?


You’d pretty much have to count Medicaid to get to that number because $700 billion dollars is almost the entire federal budget spent on non-interest, non-military, non-old-people related programs. cite.

Some people count anything you get from the government that has income and/or asset limits. So the obvious ones and then also things like Head Start, free/reduced school lunch, EITC (which is a big one, and one that a lot of people who rail against “welfare” get, so that’s fun), discounts on phone service for the low income, needs-based financial aid for college, etc, etc, etc.

I’d say it includes all selective tax breaks.

There hasn’t been welfare in the USA since Clinton signed the Welfare reform act of 1996.

It’s a Teaparty bugaboo.

Welfare is any government spending that goes to those people.