California Wins Title for the Nation’s Largest Welfare Population

by Jack

California now has over 1/3rd of the entire welfare population in the nation living right here!  But, take heart, this won’t affect our unemployment, no, no.   Our smoke and mirrors reporting methods will make sure you don’t notice how bad it really is.  Welfare recipients are considered employed for statistical purposes and that’s how we’ve kept the awful truth from you.  Unemployment and underemployment in CA is a disaster as big as welfare.    (Being on welfare is a job now?  Only government could come up with that one.)


Updated for 2013:   34% Of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California but only …  12% of the U.S. population resides here. 

Fun facts to amaze your low information voter friends… 

• Ca pays out one of the highest maximum monthly cash grants to the average family on welfare, $638.

• Continues aid for children even when the parents lose eligibility.

• Provides benefits even to some who find a job and helps with child care and transportation while attending school or training.

California is third among states in per-capita spending on welfare:  $179

New York leads the nation: $256, (but if CA wasn’t broke, I’m sure we would lead the nation here too.)

Myth: Most welfare recipients are on benefits a short time. 

At any one time 80% of any given caseload is chronic, repeat for one or more lifetimes.

80% of the money being spent at any one moment in time, is for the chronic, constantly needy, needy by choice, more than circumstances.  The other 20% comes and goes on a regular basis, in one door, out the other, never to be seen again. 

At any moment in time, only 20% of the total, but over a long stretch (say five years), most of the ones helped were short timers, came and went, just like the myth says, most of the recipients on a short time,. . . . . . . but they only use 20% of the total funds available.  80% of the financial help available, goes to those ‘few bad apples.’   That does not sound like a good taxpayer investment to me.  It seems to me the lion share of the money should be spent on the temporarily poor, the poor by circumstances, more than choice.…

USA Percent of recipients who are white (69.13% of the total US pop. yet only represent 38.8% of those on welfare) 38.8 %
USA Percent of recipients who are black (12.6 of total US pop. are over 300% more likely to be on welfare than whites) 39.8 % 
USA Percent of recipients who are Hispanic (12.55 of total US pop. are 150% more likely to be on welfar than whites) 15.7 %
USA Percent of recipients who are Asian (3.6% of the total US pop. are less likely to be on welfare than any other race) 2.4 %
USA Percent of recipients who are Other (.17% of the total US pop.) 3.3 %
  • 1 in every 3 blacks are on welfare.
  • 1 in every 56 whites are on welfare
  • 1 in every 12 Hispanics are on welfare 

These are the facts – feel free to use them to win arguments with liberals.

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3 Responses to California Wins Title for the Nation’s Largest Welfare Population

  1. Chris says:

    While it is true that California has one third of the welfare population, our state is still one of the biggest net donor states; we pay more in federal taxes than we receive in federal dollars. I would be more concerned if we lived in a state that took in more from the federal government than we payed. But most of those are red states.

    Still, the amount of people on welfare is disconcerting. The solution is to raise wages, not to remove needed assistance from people who are already struggling.

    “Welfare recipients are considered employed for statistical purposes and that’s how we’ve kept the awful truth from you.”

    I don’t know what this means. Are you saying that all welfare recipients are considered employed for statistical purposes, even if they don’t have jobs, just for being on welfare? Or are you saying that people who work and also receive welfare–which would be the majority of welfare recipients–are counted as employed? If it’s the former, I’d like to see proof of that, and if it’s the latter, well duh, of course they are counted as employed, because they are. But as of now your sentence is misleading, as it seems to posit “receiving welfare” and “being employed” as mutually exclusive. This is a common framing tactic of the right wing, to the point where many legitimately do not know that most welfare recipients do have jobs.

    Also, you* misread the data from the Urban Institute. You** state, in big bold letters, that it is a “myth” that “Most welfare recipients are on benefits a short time.” But the link you*** provide to support this says otherwise in its very first bullet point:

    “A complete picture of time on welfare requires an understanding of two seemingly contradictory facts: the majority of families who ever use welfare do so for relatively short periods of time, but the majority of the current caseload will eventually receive welfare for relatively long periods of time.”

    The rest of the article (which you didn’t read*) goes on to explain how this could be so, but continually emphasizes that the majority of people who will ever be on welfare are only on it for a short time.

    *And by “you,” I mean whoever the original writer was of the chain e-mail you copied and pasted this from.
    **Without citing your source.
    ***Seriously, you have to stop this. It’s embarrassing and unprofessional, not just for you, but for the entire conservative movement, when it’s so easy to Google an unnattributed phrase you’ve posted on your blog and find that it’s already been said in those exact words on a dozen other conservative websites. I don’t know what it says about the modern conservative movement that so much of your information depends on plagiarism of chain e-mails, but it certainly can’t mean anything good.

  2. dewey says:

    I agree with Chris.

  3. John B. Coffey says:

    I agree with Chris, as well. However,his response only attacks Jack’s methodology and not the central fact that somehow CA has a disporportionate number of individuals and families on welfare as opposed to all the other states, and that that number is further skewed towards blacks and Hispanics. Further, I don’t understand why the fact that CA sends more money to Washington, DC, than it gets back has anything to do with welfare in CA. Generally speaking, I am turned off by posters on both the left and the right who deal in “ad hominem” arguments.

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