The finds come 17 years after the Clinton administration, with bipartisan support from Congress, passed landmark welfare reform legislation that was supposed to move Americans away from entitlements and into the workforce.
However, “welfare benefits continue to outpace the income that most recipients can expect to earn from an entry-level job,” the study authors said. “And the balance between welfare and work may actually have grown worse in recent years.”
Among the other findings is that welfare in 13 states pays more than $15 an hour, compared with the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25.
The disparity was even higher in nine states in which welfare pays more than the average first-year teacher’s salary and in the six most-generous states, which pay more than the entry-level salary for a computer programmer.
The 52-page study, titled “The Work Versus Welfare Trade Off,” points out a full package of welfare benefits often exceeds take-home pay in part because benefits are tax-free.
The study’s author argues that if Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening welfare-to-work requirements, removing exemptions and narrowing the definition of work.
These are nervous times in the Gulf region. But they are not without hope. The interim nuclear deal struck by six major world powers and Iran last month could be the first step toward a new-- and less contentious-- regional landscape. But many Arab leaders worry Iran has simply bought itself time and a breather. They accuse Iran of meddling in their countries and stirring sectarian strife, and fear the Islamic Republic’s activities won’t diminish now that some of the pressure long put upon it has eased.