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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



NYT: Vt above average with welfare

The New York Times the other day looked at various states' welfare options. The premise of the package was that availability of services is fairly uneven.

The Times looked at various states' offerings. Overall, Vermont came out the most generous for the percentage of poor receiving welfare, percent of unemployed who receive benefits, percent of low-income children who receive subsidized health care and other categories.

Now, we all know that state rankings on virtually any topic are hazardous, so keep that in mind, but it's an interesting analysis nonetheless. Check out the story and the charts at the link above.

- Terri Hallenbeck

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Um - Terri - that's not "above average".

More like - #1.

But like the Senate Finance Chairwoman said - there isn't anything left to cut; we're done to the bone.

By above average, I was noting on the state-by-state chart, Vt. was above average in every category.
- TH
Most of the categories cite a percentage of eligible persons who receive the benefit. It seems to me that if people are eligible, we should endeavor to provide the benefit. So, as a state we try hard to deliver on what we promise. That's a good thing. I'll also note that while we are above average, we are not number one in all categories, or even in most categories.
The state with the smallest population and the lowest gross domestic product doles out the highest amount of welfare, to the most people on a per capita basis.

Gee, why are my taxes so high and my wage prospects so low?
Food Stamps and TANF are 100% federal funds...... doesn't it make good sense to make sure those who are eligible get these benefits? Good nutrition for children and stable families I assume are good things? One would expect in a small rural state the percent of participation would be high.
There are many more people who are eligible that are not receiving services. It is such an obnoxious process that many people give up.
While most people would agree that society needs to help the poor, many of us are tired of those who won't support themselves who continue to receive benefits.
My beef isn't with those seeking a temporary helping hand or a bridge between losing a job and finding one -it just seems that these statistics bear out that there is a permanent class of welfare recipients. It's high, in my opinion, because it's easy to get in line and never get out.
If there weren't a permanent class of welfare-takers, who would employ all those social workers.
It's a self-perpetuating industry.
There is no incentive to try to cure this problem.
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