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America Needs Welfare Reform Essay

2257 words - 9 pages

Today our welfare programs give out too much money and the systems need to be reformed again. In 1996 The Welfare Reform Act was enacted and it changed the entire program for the better. However, since then, the programs have become abused and need to be reformed again. Many of the people that receive state or federal funding have more luxury items than the average middle class family. The government should check-in on the families that are receiving assistance to make sure they actually need the assistance. The government should also place more stipulations on the various welfare programs in the state. There are several people all across the country that are abusing the system that was put in place to help get people survive in a time of need. Welfare was created in the 1930s following the Great Depression to provide people with some assistance while the economy was in a low point. Welfare includes several different programs within it such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Medicaid and WIC (Women, Infant, Children). Those are the four most common and most abused programs that are offered in the state of Illinois. There was once a myth of a woman called “The Welfare Queen”. She was a woman, generally African American, with several children to collect benefits from, she would sit on the couch or drive around in a fancy car and it was all paid for through the government (Stein). She never worked a day in her life because it was just easier to get pregnant and receive TANF benefits. This has slowly changed over the years, now it is not just African American women, 38.8% of recipients on welfare are white but 39.8% are African American (Brain).
SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program gave out $82.5 million in the 2013 fiscal year and 92% of the money was given directly to families who needed it (Priorities). My mother received SNAP benefits for three months while she was unemployed in 2013, but only received $17 a month for a family of three. The most one can receive in SNAP benefits for a family of three is $497. Now that she has a stable job and can afford groceries without the help of government aid, there is no way she ever spends $497 on food. The people who receive the entire amount allotted for their family size should not receive that much. This is more than enough money for a family of three to eat very well every single day, while there are some people in the lower middle class that cannot afford to have three meals a day. My father, for example, went through a time where he made too much money to receive any type of food stamps from the government, but he could not afford to have three meals a day. When he applied for SNAP benefits, he was denied due to the fact that he made around $1,300 per month, which is not very much because he had to pay for rent, a car payment, car insurance, and the utility bills. It was difficult for him to find enough food to make...

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