字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Monopoly is a classic board game where families sit around to argue and play out their own little simulation of free market capitalism. There is no better system to teach kids about the joys of paying taxes and rent, really. But in Monopoly, unless you bend the rules to keep the game going, when someone loses and goes bankrupt they just… vanish. It doesn't work like that in real life. If enough people go bankrupt and aren't allowed back into the game, eventually, they get out their torches and pitchforks. So let's examine how America has bent the rules in order to keep as many people as possible playing the game. This video is brought to you by Skillshare. The problem with wanting to discuss welfare in America is defining welfare. There is no official government definition of welfare and in fact, there is no program with the word welfare in its name. If you were to get seven different people into a room, you would have seven different interpretations of what counts as welfare. I know this… because I tried on Twitter. So for the purposes of this video, we're going to go with the programs that most everyone agrees are welfare… Where the government is giving you monetary assistance based on your income or inability to work. This can either be direct, or through a subsidy, or through free or discounted services. So does using public roads and relying on the police for protection count? Not really, while it is a “free” government service, you're not getting monetary assistance for that and you get it regardless of your income. Does having a federally-backed mortgage or student loan count? Well, that's a little foggy, the government is financially insuring your loan, but not to you directly, it's mostly just insurance for the banks. But when we start talking about tax credits, the fog starts to lift. A tax credit reduces the amount of taxes you owe after taking your deductions and brackets into account. Taxes in the United States are incredibly complex, and someone should definitely make a video explaining them. Would you like to know more? And there are two refundable tax credits you can claim based solely on your income level and family situation. Meaning that if you owe a negative amount of federal income tax at the end of the year, the government will give you extra money on top of getting back everything that was withheld. The Earned Income Tax Credit, or just EIC, was designed to encourage working because you can only get it by… earning income. Many analysts in both political parties believe that it helps lift people out of poverty. The credit increases with the more you make and eventually decreases with the even more you make, you only get it up to a certain income level. I wish I could tell you what that level is or what the average person gets, but it changes for literally everyone. What I can tell you is that this credit is claimed on 27 million tax returns and cost the government 65 billion dollars in 2017. Both in lost tax revenue and in having to pay out extra. The Earned Income Credit also increases with your family size, which likewise entitles you to claim the Child Tax Credit. One thousand dollars for every child you have, I guess the government thinks that's enough to pay for childcare for a year. The Child Tax Credit is claimed by 35 million families and cost the government 52 billion dollars in lost revenue and payouts. These two tax credits combined are why almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax… Romney was actually right when he said that. But almost nobody who claims these credits would classify it as welfare – even though it fits our definition of direct monetary assistance based on income. Probably because there's a weird stigma about having received welfare and nobody wants to admit that they might have. Take education for example, up through high school it's free for everyone, regardless of income, so that's not welfare. But higher education is a different story. We've already ruled out student loans, but if you filled out a FAFSA, you very likely received a Pell Grant. This is monetary assistance based on income. It's not direct since it goes to the school rather than to you, but it is free education assistance that you never have to pay back. You can receive up to $5920 per academic year for up to six years. Seven million Americans received the Pell Grant last academic year, costing the federal government 28.2 billion dollars. But these are still gray forms of welfare that not everyone would agree counts as welfare. So let's switch gears and talk about the more black and white forms of welfare… like the Obamaphone from the 2012 election, do you remember that? You got Obamaphone? Yes, everybody in Cleveland if you a minority got an Obamaphone, keep Obama in president, you know? He gave us a phone, he gonna do more. The program is actually called Lifeline, it's administered by the FCC and provides discounted telephone service to low-income households. And it was actually started in 1985 by Ronald Reagan. It used to only provide landline phones but has since moved on to cell phones and recently started to offer internet service. Because c'mon, it's 2019 and nobody uses a landline anymore – not even your grandma. It's not a free phone though, it's a discounted service where the FCC only pays $9.25 a month on your bill, you cover the rest. You actually help pay for it with that Universal Service Fund tax on your bill. 10.7 million households are part of the program and it costs the government 1.3 billion dollars a year… this is by far the smallest program I'm going to talk about today. She actually explains how you qualify in that clip… How'd he give you a phone? You sign up, if you on food stamps, you on social security, you got low income, you disability. Your income must be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Line or you have to participate in another federal financial assistance program. And most of those other federal financial assistance programs are what we would call “welfare.” Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, is a cash assistance program that fits almost everyone's definition of welfare. It's also sometimes referred to as state-sponsored child support. Its main purpose is to serve as a financial safety net, provide job opportunities, promote family stability, and prevent out of wedlock pregnancies… that's a weird one. It falls under the Department of Health and Human Services and distributes 17.3 billion dollars to 3.4 million families. Though, like many of these programs, it's actually run by the individual states and each state sets their own requirements and payout levels. Under the program, you are supposed to accept a job within 24 months and be working or training for 30 hours a week, and you can only be on the program for a maximum of 60 months… the heck is that? That's uh, that's an asterisk. Yes, I know what an asterisk is thank you, I mean why is it there? Well, like you said, a lot of these programs are run by the several states, so eligibility, time limit, and benefit amounts are all over the place, you know, not to mention all of the exceptions. Ah, so every time that shows up it's because there's some fine print that I'm skipping over in order to keep this video from being an hour long? Yeah. Like how Georgia limits TANF to only 48 months. Georgia actually has some of the strictest TANF requirements. You must have a child under 18 years old - which makes sense, it's called assistance for needy families, not individual people. You must be in a single parent home. Which doesn't make sense since the program is supposed to promote two-parent family stability. And, again, you must be part of or applying for another federal financial assistance program. Perhaps the fact that many of these programs require you to be on other programs is why they call it a safety net… You can't just be on one, you have to be on several. For a family of three, that is a single parent with two children, they must have an income under $784 a month and have less than $1000 in total assets. Once you're on the program for ten months, your payout cannot be increased because of having more children. So the myth that some people intentionally have more kids in order to increase their welfare payments is… just that a myth… at least for TANF in Georgia. If you meet all of these requirements, the maximum payout regardless of how many children you have is $280 a month. Georgia hasn't increased their TANF payout in 22 years, so taking inflation into account its value has dropped by 37%. New Hampshire is the highest at $1039, California is at $714, and Texas is at $290. You get these payments on an Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT card. EBT itself is not a welfare program, it's just how welfare is received instead of on paper checks because it's 2019. But TANF isn't the only program that uses EBT, by far the most popular is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP or more commonly, Food Stamps. It's federally run by the USDA, serves 44.2 million people at a cost of 70.9 billion dollars. You can only use SNAP for fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals, dairy, meats, and consumable plants and seeds. Basically the food pyramid, but, without the top, no candy. Yes, I know they don't use the food pyramid anymore, I'm old. But you literally can't use food stamps for booze and cigarettes, that's another myth that needs to end. In fact, alcohol and tobacco are at the top of the list of things you can't buy with SNAP, along with hygiene products, pet food, or hot and prepared food. Which means, no fast food either. A good rule of thumb is that if there is no sales tax on an item, you can probably buy it with SNAP. In order to receive SNAP, you must be at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line. For a family of three that's $2252 a month, and for a single person it's $1245 a month. If you work full-time for federal minimum wage, you qualify for SNAP, just let that sink in for a second. The maximum benefit for a family of three is $505 a month, while a single person will get $192 a month. Just for reference, I spend way more than that on groceries and you probably do too… that's why it's just called an assistance program.