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Welfare Reform

Recorded on July 18, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

As Washington considers budget cuts, let's look at an area where President Obama wants to increase spending by 42%. That's the 70+ programs for different forms of welfare. What the federal government defines as poor is a high standard of living in most of the world.

Most of those we define as living in poverty have more living space than the average European or Asian. Plus air conditioning, cable TV and computer games, a refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and cell phone. And they are well-fed.

Most of America’s “poor” own a car. A third have two cars. Almost half own their homes. Yet government spends $20,000 a year apiece to help them—that's $80,000 for a family of four.

Maybe we should tighten up our definition of who's needy, and focus the help where it makes the most sense.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.