Friday, July 16, 2010

Other Income Security Programs

The federal budget has a Subfunction of the "Income Security" function called "Other Income Security". It is for all the programs that don't fit one of the other 5 subcategories.  These "other programs" cost 154.3 billion dollars.  Here's a look at what these programs are and what they cost.
Cost of "Other" Income Security Programs (in millions)
(Click chart for Larger Image. See The Numbers for  this Chart)
Here's a brief description of each of the sections:
  • TANF is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Family program(18$ billion).  Before 1996 this was known as "AFDC".  It's probably the program that most people think of when they think of "Welfare".  It gives money directly to people to spend.
  • SSI Disability is the collection of all SSI accounts(44.5$ billion).  It is disability insurance paid to people who cannot work and have no other income
  • Foster Care covers both Foster Care and Adoption services(7$ billion)
  • Child Care Enforcement is only the cost of enforcing Child Support minus the Federal Share of Child Support Collections(3$ billion)
  • The biggest expense is Tax Rebates.  There are a number of tax credits mostly targeting the poor(70$).
  • Other Non-Direct Welfare are programs that help the poor, but unlike TANF they do not give money directly to its recipients(12$ billion).
There's a lot of different programs in those last 2 categories so let's look at them individually.
Here's how the 70$ billion in returned tax credits break down:
Tax Rebate Expenses from 2009(Click chart for Larger Image. See The Numbers for this Chart)
The biggest expense is the Earned Income tax credit which is a tax rebate for people who work, but don't earn enough to get out of poverty.  Same with Making work pay.  The other tax credits are all credits that you don't necessarily have to be poor to receive.
As for the "Other non-direct welfare" programs, here's how that 12$ billion in spending broke down in 2009.
Other Non-Direct Welfare Program Costs
(Click chart for Larger Image. See The Numbers for this Chart)
Except for the Refugee Entrant program all of these programs are targeted only at the poor.  Contingency was part of the ARRA(Stimilus package) money to help bolster some of the welfare programs.  Child care and Energy Assistance help pay for child care and home heating for the poor, but that money goes directly to the providers.  Finally, CRTA is a program that monitors several of the child welfare programs for improvement(including child care and Child Support Enforcement)
There's a lot of programs here.  So let's regroup these programs into the type of help they provide and who they are intended to help.
  1. Not Directed at PoorEarned: Welfare not targeted to poor(foster careadoption, SSI Disability, Child Care Enforcement, Refugee assistance, and other family programs charged to the Child Care Enforcement account).  The poor may use these programs, but just being poor will not qualify you for these programs and non-poor use as well.
  2. Direct:  Welfare that's Direct money to the poor (TANF)
  3. In-direct: Money paid to 3rd parties on behalf of the poor(Energy Assistance, free child care, CRTA, the stimulus expansion(contingency), and the two tax credits "Making Work Pay" and "Earned Income")
  4. Poor & Middle Class: These are tax rebates that poor and middle class people qualify for and use.
Here's how much we spend on each type of welfare programs in the"other income security" subfunction.
Cost of the Types of Welfare("other income")
(Click chart for Larger Image. See The Numbers for this Chart)
In my next post I'm going to combine these numbers with what I found in the other sub categories of "Income Security"(Nutrition and Housing) to get a true picture of the U.S. welfare system.
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