It’s been a pretty big year for welfare—and a new report shows welfare is bigger than ever.
The Obama Administration turned a giant spotlight on the welfare system in July when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proclaimed it had the authority to gut the work requirements from the welfare reform that had helped lift so many people out of poverty after 1996.
An October 18 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) shows the staggering reality of the growing welfare state—echoing Heritage’s own research that reveals welfare spending is approaching the $1 trillion mark.
Roughly 100 million people—one-third of the U.S. population—receive aid from at least one means-tested welfare program each month. Average benefits come to around $9,000 per recipient. If converted to cash, means-tested welfare spending is more than five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the United States.