The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Entitlements – Welfare and Unemployment

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


Entitlements – Welfare and Unemployment The United States has a significant, current and growing problem with entitlement spending, particularly the federal portion.  This commentary focuses only on welfare and unemployment.  I believe these issues should remain primarily local and community based with federal funding providing only a minimum and uniform security net. Definitions:

  • Welfare and unemployment include only the federal portion of the program.
  • Basic medical services include only (a) emergency care, (b) care of and for critical injuries and illnesses and (c) care necessary to prevent the spread of   infectious disease.
  • Eligible persons include all U.S. citizens and all legal resident aliens.
  • Federal poverty level means the Department of Health and Human Services annually established poverty guidelines.

I propose the following comprehensive solution:

  • Federal unemployment benefits should be limited to 26 cumulative weeks during any 10-year period.
  • Means test benefits to three times the federal poverty level with 100% of benefits being phased out between the poverty level and 300% of the federal poverty level, effective immediately for all benefit recipients.
  • Unemployment benefits to be conditioned on (a) proof of ability to accept a job; (b) proof of the expenditure of no less than 30 hours per week in job search efforts, educational enrichment and training; or (c) proof of the expenditure of no less than 30 hours per week on approved community service, or any combination of (b) and (c) above.
  • Eligibility for benefits to be further conditioned on proof of legal residence.
  • Benefits for dependent children to be limited to those children existing as of the time of the initial claim.
  • Total amount of federally funded benefits not to exceed the annually established federal poverty level.
  • Provide a lien on all assets held by a benefit recipient at death (or to be gifted during life) in the amount of the future value of all payments received during the participant’s life, for that amount to be repaid to the U.S. Treasury from the decedents estate, if any.  Enforce the lien by allowing a civil bounty of 20% to any person or entity successfully recapturing funds for the Treasury.  The purpose of the benefit is to help the needy not to preserve family assets.

All of this recognizes the fact that unemployment benefits and welfare are a social cost of living in a free and caring nation, and that ultimately everyone is responsible for their own well-being, support and care, as well as that of their families; and that they must also bear a portion of the cost of helping those who cannot help themselves.   Ronald C. Lazof is the Managing Director of Prism Advisors LLC. The Swine Line is the official blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). CAGW is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that strives through investigative research and public education to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. CCAGW is the 501(c)(4) lobbying affiliate of CAGW.The comments, links, and views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of CAGW or CCAGW. While CAGW/CCAGW assumes no responsibility for comments posted by outside individuals, CAGW/CCAGW reserves the right to delete or edit any comment found to be offensive or inappropriate.

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