With increased focused being placed on welfare reform by the Republican party, you may ask where is all that money going? Which states are spending the most money on programs such as Medicaid, TANF cash aid, food stamps, and others. Are welfare assistance programs created by states that are liberal, left leaning states or conservative, right leaning ones? Well, we will tell you below!
The entitlement system in the United States is facing increasing scrutiny. Republicans have vowed to take a look at this type of government spending in 2018, and it would not surprise us if they look to scale back some of the welfare programs and/or maybe try to slow their growth. As with the economy firing on all cylinders, and the unemployment rate at historic lows, now would be the time to do that.
Top welfare spenders
It should come as no surprise that California ranks number one! The state spent about $103 billion dollars on all of the government benefits in 2017. That equates to a little over $2600 per person. The spending covers the range of benefits, whether for medical or cash aid.
Now this is arguably the most liberal state in the country. They allow welfare payments for many immigrants, whether legal or not. They also take care of senior citizens, the disabled, and children maybe more so than other states. All of that boosts California up the ranks of welfare spending.
Far behind California is New York. However they actually spend more money per person. Their total welfare spend for 2017 was only about 61.5 billion dollars. Now while that too sounds like a lot of money, look at the “per capita” rates. This 61.5 billion equates to about $3100 per resident in 2017. So it is about 20% higher than California!
Texas ranks number three in welfare spending. The total expenditures are about 35 billion per year, as of 2017. That equates to about $1256 per person, which is less than one half of California and almost a third of New York State.
This makes sense in some ways. Texas is a strong Republican stronghold. They are a more conservative state, and stress self-reliance as well as not relying on public assistance programs. The state encourages work over cash aid welfare type benefits, and they do what they can to control expenses. That approach is a big departure to how both California and New York operate.
Next up is Florida, a very conservative state The state spends $27.2 billion per year on welfare, or $1325 per person. This as well is a deep south state, and therefore the per capita spend is much less than a left leaning state.
So you may see a trend there. In general, liberal/democratic states spend more on welfare benefits that conservative/liberal states. There are different approaches to providing a safety net to the poor and low income. Conservatives encourage work; liberals stress the government helping.
This is a big reason that changes may occur in 2018. With the Republicans now controlling Congress (and the presidency) they may take the same approach as many of these conservative states, which is to cut back on benefits. This will save the government money, but at the expense of the poor. So anyone who is on welfare may want to follow this news very closely.