Nearly three-quarters of the people helped by programs geared to the poor are members of a family headed by a worker, according to a new study by the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California. As a result, taxpayers are providing not only support to the poor but also, in effect, a huge subsidy for employers of low-wage workers, from giants like McDonald's and Walmart to mom-and-pop businesses.
Working, but Needing Public Assistance Anyway
Few things anger me as much as wildly profitable corporations pushing their costs onto taxpayers, then using the savings to lobby against things like minimum wage increases and unionization efforts.
So the richest quintile receives 33 times more federal money for their retirement accounts than the poorest quintile.
— Matt Bruenig: Our Enormous Retirement Subsidies for the Rich
But Dean P. Lacy, a professor of political science at Dartmouth College, has identified a twist on that theme in American politics over the last generation. Support for Republican candidates, who generally promise to cut government spending, has increased since 1980 in states where the federal government spends more than it collects. The greater the dependence, the greater the support for Republican candidates.
Conversely, states that pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits tend to support Democratic candidates. And Professor Lacy found that the pattern could not be explained by demographics or social issues.
—NYTimes: Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It (Binyamin Appelbaum & Robert Gebeloff)
Funny how that works.