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Welfare study: What's wrong with this picture?
The Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank in Washington, has concluded that Massachusetts' welfare program pays each recipient the equivalent of $24 an hour in pre-taxable income.
Counting cash, food, housing and healthcare, that costs the state about $50,540 per welfare recipient -- an amount many workers would be delighted to make.
Figured another way, before taxes, Massachusetts' system amounts to $42,515 a year for the typical recipient, but that's not even the highest in the nation. Hawaii takes first place with $49,175 and Washington, D.C. is second with $43,099.
Not surprisingly, the study concludes that the system acts like an incentive to stay on welfare rather than pursue a job. Set up correctly, a welfare program works to eliminate the need for its existence; but excessive welfare is a self-reinforcing system.
Most of us, Nebraskans especially, have no problem with lending a helping hand to those truly in need. Letting the system grow to the point of collapse, however, will leave those very people with nowhere to turn.