DEEP RED VALLEYS
It’s widely known that the welfare system discourages work but did you know it also discourages couples from forming families? In our new report, we demonstrate just how prevalent and severe the penalties can be.
GEORGIA’S WELFARE SYSTEM REFERENCE GUIDE
The means-tested welfare system is massive and complex. To reform it so that it doesn’t continue to discourage work and family formation (as chronicled in our earlier reports in this series), we have to understand how it works. This reference guide provides the reader with a succinct description of each of the major welfare programs, including their history and purpose, along with suggesting avenues for reform.
DISINCENTIVES FOR WORK AND MARRIAGE IN GEORGIA’S WELFARE SYSTEM
Based on the most recent 2015 data, this report provides an in-depth look at the welfare cliffs across the state of Georgia. A computer model was created to demonstrate how welfare programs, alone or in combination with other programs, create multiple welfare cliffs for recipients that punish work. In addition to covering a dozen programs – more than any previous model – the tool used to produce the following report allows users to see how the welfare cliff affects individuals and families with very specific characteristics, including the age and sex of the parent, number of children, age of children, income, and other variables. Welfare reform conversations often lack a complete understanding of just how means-tested programs actually inflict harm on some of the neediest within our state’s communities.
WHEN GIVING A HELPING HAND HURTS – PART 1
Computational model exposes severe problems with the welfare system
Pop quiz: When does $9 + $1 equal –$6,000?
This may look like new math, but it is not. This seemingly nonsensical equation illustrates the challenges faced by families who receive assistance from means-tested welfare programs.
In fact, these exact numbers come from a computer model I designed, which was sponsored by the Georgia Center for Opportunity. It evaluates financial incentives, or more precisely, disincentives embedded in our nation’s welfare system.
WHEN GIVING A HELPING HAND HURTS – PART 2
Previously, it was shown how a single mom with two kids in Gwinnett County could lose welfare program benefits by earning more money. This explained why $9 + $1 can equal negative $6,000.
The Gwinnett county example showed only two wage levels. However, the computer model provides results for a large range of wage levels and family structure. This enables policymakers, administrators and interested citizens to see a more complete picture of the challenges facing a family in poverty.
The computer model can generate scenarios in any of the other 158 counties in the state of Georgia.