“Understanding the Hidden $1.1 Trillion Welfare System and How to Reform It,” by Robert Rector and Vijay Menon, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder
“The true cost of welfare or aid to the poor is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs. Current welfare is focused largely on increasing benefits and enrollments and redistributing income. Self-defeating behaviors that increase the need for assistance are rarely even mentioned. Policymakers should replace welfare’s current focus with a new set of interlinked goals: reducing self-defeating and self-limiting behaviors, increasing self-support, and improving true human well-being. Welfare reform should (1) require all able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid, (2) remove the substantial penalties against marriage within the welfare system, and (3) fund programs aimed at improving behavior on a payment-for-outcome basis rather than today’s fee-for-service basis.”
LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform): This fascinating report is a case study in the unintended consequence of well-intentioned, but perversely counterproductive public policy.