Analysis: How it pays not to work in Joe Biden’s America

by WorldTribune Staff, December 19, 2022

There currently are 3 million fewer workers in the U.S. than there were pre-pandemic. A new study found that some states now pay the equivalent in welfare compensation to a job with an annual pay of $100,000.

In a dozen states, the value of unemployment benefits and Obama­Care subsidies exceeds the salary and benefits of the average teacher, construction worker, electrician, firefighter, truck driver, machinist, or retail associate, according to the study conducted by the New York Post along with the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.

“There are many reasons for the worker shortage, but one is that in many states welfare pays more than or nearly as much as respectable middle-class jobs,” the New York Post noted in a Dec. 18 report.

In Joe Biden’s America, it pays not to work.

The Obama administration, and now the Biden administration, have eviscerated the highly effective work requirements instituted in the 1996 welfare reforms. Limits on the time eligible to receive public benefits have disappeared while Congress and states have made the benefits more generous, the study found.

“The value of these benefits can be staggering — much higher, in fact, than many blue-collar professions,” the report said.

The study also found:

• In 24 states, unemployment benefits and ObamaCare subsidies for a family of four with no one working are the annualized equivalent of at least the national median household.

• A family making almost a quarter of a million dollars annually still qualifies for ObamaCare subsidies in every state.

• In New Jersey, a family of four can receive benefits equal to an annualized earned income of $108,000 with no one working.

• In Connecticut and New Jersey, a family earning $300,000 a year can receive ObamaCare subsidies.

• New Jersey is a state where a family can earn the equivalent of $100,000 a year if both parents are collecting unemployment benefits and ObamaCare subsidies for health care. In Connecticut the benefits can reach $80,000.

The study did not include the rampant fraud payments that exceed $100 billion a year. “This means families that are not technically eligible for food stamps or continued unemployment benefits are still receiving them,” the Post noted.

“It is particularly troubling that these programs, which were purportedly put in place as a safety net for lower-income families, have been expanded to the point that their greatest benefits go to upper-income earners, including households earning half a million dollars in annual incomes in some states,” the Post added.

“The Biden administration’s expansion of ObamaCare has been a handout to the wealthy donor class of the Democratic Party, while doing nothing to help those who are truly poor.”

In many states, the study found that working a $20-an-hour job for 40 hours a week would mean a reduction in income compared to two parents receiving their unemployment benefits and health care subsidies.

“Until the unemployment runs out, there is very little incentive to go back to work, especially when the family is receiving more than their blue-collar counterparts who are on the job,” the report said. “If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider that the median household’s annual income and benefits are worth about $93,000. In New Jersey, unemployment benefits and ObamaCare subsidies alone are worth an annualized $122,000 — that’s 30% more for not working in most occupations.”

Most Americans still believe that government assistance should be short term, a safety net to help people get back on their feet and into a job.

But the Left “has adopted a strategy of a ‘national guaranteed income’ for Americans whether they work or not. The result is a record-low labor-force participation rate — meaning fewer Americans working and higher taxes for those who do work,” the report noted.

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