More On Welfare Than Are Low-Income – How’s That?
Our Fixing the System: Freeing Maine Families from Welfare Dependency report, which we released on September 9, continues to get much attention. Thousands have visited our FixWelfare.com Web site to learn more about how many are trapped in poverty in their own towns and communities and what they can do about it.
On September 16, the US Census Bureau released updated information on those in poverty in Maine. The numbers are quite revealing:
- In 2009-2010, there were 152,685 individuals in poverty in Maine – about one in nine individuals. Poverty is defined as a family of two earning less than $14,570 a year or earning less than $22,050 for a family of four.
Yet, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ own September welfare report shows that:
- There were 392,398 people on at least one major welfare program in Maine (TANF cash assistance, food stamps and/or Medicaid) last month – almost one in three individuals.
How can this be? There are almost three times more people on welfare in Maine than the number living in poverty?
What about low-income individuals, typically defined as those earning less than twice the poverty limit or less than $29,140 for a family of two or $44,100 for a family of four?
- According to the Census Bureau, 29.9% of Mainers are low income or 390,673 low-income individuals in Maine.
This means that there are more individuals on welfare in Maine that there are defined as low-income.
And some still try to argue that Maine does not have a welfare dependency crisis?
Posted on Oct 12, 2010
I agree 100% that something needs to be done to reduce welfare rolls and dependencies, but come on! Let's get real. Poverty is defined as a family of two earning less than $14,570 a year or earning less than $22,050 for a family of four, and low-income individuals, typically defined as those earning less than twice the poverty limit or less than $29,140 for a family of two or $44,100 for a family of four. Do you know a family that can get by on $44k per year? not to mention that those are your numbers before taxes and health insurance. Our family makes about $54k and we have to decide whether we buy oil or food in the winter. The numbers they throw out there are deceptive at best. Let's concentrate on real life numbers and what it takes to get by. Then we can get a real picture of what is needed to fix it and get people back to supporting themselves.
Posted on Oct 23, 2010
Dianne, I agree with your points regarding the definition of poverty. I can't ever imagine trying to raise my family on 44K a year in Maine. There would be tough choices that would have to be made every day. I would however argue or ask why is it so expensive? The reality is that high dependency on the state programs raises costs for all families. Imagine the state as a sandwich shop. Every 3rd customer gets a free sandwich, chips and a pickle so the price of the first 2 sandwiches is much higher than prices would normally dictate. Maine faces the same issue when it comes to taxes and healthcare costs. Sales tax, excise tax, real estate taxes, income tax, business taxes, inheritance taxes and so many other taxes exist to support the state and fund the state budget. 400K people contribute zero to the economy of Maine..they get the free sandwich and the other 900K pay for it. I think it is time to say every free sandwich is now only 1/2 and there are no pickles or chips with it either.
Posted on Oct 28, 2010
I believe that some of the people living off the state are comfortable and happy that way. They have figured out how to play the system. A lot of your younger generation are getting their EBT cards and turning around and selling them, others trade them. I'm sure a good portion of the welfare systems money goes to drugs. Drive through downtown Lewiston, you'll see. It's frustrating that people are allowed to get away with this! shouldn't we implement drug tests or have more oversight! Stop giving away money and instead give people boxes of food. Then you know where your money went. I'm not trying to say that everyone is out to screw the state, but a good portion are. The rest of the people that try to get off the state find it difficult because: Mother of 2 gets job for $8.00/ hour. Great! but she osses her daycare funding so in turn losses her job because she must stay home with her kids. That is messed up! Maybe we should ask people who've been there done that to help restructure our system.
Posted on Feb 25, 2011
if the welfare agencies would cross check social security numbers with addresses they will find lots of people living in one household but stating one income and getting welfare.they need to get the welfare cheats out so the very needy can get the help they need.There are young girls popping out babies, going on welfare,living with boyfriends yet getting money from welfare.and the ssi .thats another story.if they have add they get benefits.If they have bi polar they get benefits.watch judy judy,joe brown.judge mathis and see how much fraud is going on.