A Wisconsin family receiving government benefits could qualify for nearly triple their yearly salary. According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a single parent with one child earning $15,130 could receive up to $43,277 in salary, benefits, and refundable tax credits. State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) says the report will be eye-opening for many people in the state.
“I think it’s important for taxpayers to realize that they are providing a very generous system for those in need in Wisconsin,” Darling said, “With President Obama eliminating the work requirement for benefits, he has created a system where people are trapped in a cycle of poverty because it doesn’t pay to follow the American dream. That’s incredibly sad.”
The report by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows a single parent with one child earning $15,130 could qualify for $28,147 in benefits and refundable tax credits. Adding generous government benefits to earned income would result in total household resources of $43,277 a year - with almost 2/3 funded by taxpayers.
BadgerCare Plus $4,740
FoodShare Wisconsin $3,285
Wisconsin Shares $10,972
Section 8 Housing $4,188
Refundable Tax Credits $4,485
Families in Wisconsin are eligible to receive a variety of benefits, from health care (BadgerCare Plus) to child care assistance (Wisconsin Shares). They may also be eligible to receive assistance in purchasing food (FoodShare and WIC), and housing assistance (Section 8). Funding for those programs come from federal and state tax dollars.
The study uses a hypothetical family of one adult and one child under the age of five earning at the federal poverty level of $15,130 per year with average health care expenses. Senator Darling says with limited resources, it’s more important than ever to crack down on fraud in the state’s welfare programs.
“Next session, I will continue to look for ways to crack down on fraud and abuse of taxpayer money,” Darling said, “This report shows taxpayers already paying for very generous benefits. They shouldn’t have to pay for people who misuse the system too.”
Last session, Senator Darling authored a bill requiring a person caught cheating the system to lose their benefits for six months on the first violation. If they are caught cheating a second time, they lose their benefits for a year. On the third strike, they are out and lose their benefits permanently. Before Darling’s bill, welfare cheats had to be caught three times before they could be punished.
Read the full report here: