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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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2022’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States

Always good for a few laughs regarding so-called blue socialist nanny states and red self-reliant free market states:


  • No kidding.

    The broad language of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) included condos and co-ops. (Generally, these buildings are explicitly excluded from such programs, but that exclusion was omitted here.)

    Our property management company recommended that we apply. As difficult as it is to turn down "free money", especially when one has a fiduciary duty to the owners in the building, I declined to apply. This program, like others at the time, required the applicant to affirm that they were hurting, e.g. that owners were unable to pay their monthly fees. No owners missed making payments and we had money in the bank, so I would not sign a statement saying otherwise.

    I was so relieved when the government, by executive branch fiat if I remember correctly, subsequently declared condos and co-ops ineligible.

    I was later told by our management company that we were the only building they managed that did not file. These programs made it easy to commit fraud, with just a little "white lie" or two.
  • @msf- Good for you. It would be great if there were more like you.
  • The fraud in the Covid relief is shameful, but it is misguided to assume that some billions fraudulently misappropriated in $5.1 trillion worth of two relief--2020 and 2021--packages indicate some sort of failure in policy:
    When COVID-19 began to rapidly spread across the United States in March 2020, the economy quickly shed more than 20 million jobs. Amid intense fear and hardship, federal policymakers responded, enacting five relief bills in 2020 that provided an estimated $3.3 trillion of relief and the American Rescue Plan in 2021, which added another $1.8 trillion. This robust policy response helped make the COVID-19 recession the shortest on record and helped fuel an economic recovery that has brought the unemployment rate, which peaked at 14.8 percent in April 2020, down to 4.0 percent. One measure of annual poverty declined by the most on record in 2020, in data back to 1967, and the number of uninsured people remained stable, rather than rising as typically happens with large-scale job loss. Various data indicate that in 2021, relief measures reduced poverty, helped people access health coverage, and reduced hardships like inability to afford food or meet other basic needs.

    These positive results contrast with the Great Recession of 2007-2009, when the federal response was large compared to measures taken in other post-World War II recessions but less than one-third as large as the fiscal policy measures adopted in 2020-2021, when measured as a share of the economy. While decried by some at the time as too large, the relief measures enacted during the Great Recession were undersized and ended too soon. As a result, the economy remained weak for longer than was necessary — and families suffered avoidable hardship. Two years after the Great Recession began, unemployment was still 9.9 percent and food insecurity remained one-third above its pre-recession level. While some of that difference stems from differences in the trigger to the downturn, some is clearly due to the strength of the policy response.
    What I don't like is states and politicians claiming they don't need federal assistance and shouldn't have to pay taxes while taking loads of federal assistance.
  • Not a failure of policy... a failure of honesty and morality.
  • edited March 2022
    Agreed, but people often will point to examples of fraud in massive government assistance programs that help millions of people who aren't committing fraud as reasons for not having those programs at all. The mythology and lies surrounding the so-called "welfare queen" employed to destroy the social safety net come to mind:
  • Very true.
  • beebee
    edited March 2022
    Yes to social programs that act as safety nets catching us when we fall so that we can once again climb off the net and return to the higher place we came from.

    No to social programs that place us in pools that barely have enough water to swim in and are designed with such high walls one can never get out.

    LB charts of State and Federal funding is much like City and State funding. A needy State just like a needy City will qualify for certain funds based on need. The bigger issue is how do we "ladder" people out of poverty.

    Education, job training, and work opportunities as well as volunteerism are either underfunded, under utilized or poorly executed.
    Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of welfare recipients consistently show their desire for a job. But there is also evidence that many are reluctant to accept available employment opportunities. Despite work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says less than 42% of adult welfare recipients participate in work activities nationwide. Why the contradiction?
    Perhaps it’s because, while poor people are not lazy, they are not stupid either. If you pay people more not to work than they can earn at a job, many won’t work.
    A new study by the Cato Institute found that in many states, it does indeed pay better to be on welfare than it does to work.

    Most reports on welfare focus on only a single program, the cash benefit program: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This focus leaves the mis-impression that welfare benefits are quite low, providing a bare, subsistence-level income. In reality, the federal government funds 126 separate programs for low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals.
    Because there are so many categories of welfare recipients and so many different types of benefits, it is extremely difficult to determine how many people get what combination of benefits. For the purposes of this study, we assumed a hypothetical family consisting of a mother with two children, ages 1 and 4, and calculated the combined total of seven benefits that family could receive in all 50 states.

  • What I find disingenuous is the fixation on welfare on the poor as wasteful socialist spending while embracing federal military spending, which historically has been double that of welfare spending and often goes to red states, propping up their economies via government spending and blue state tax dollars:


    Historically, the defense spending has been about 16% of the federal budget versus about 8% for welfare. In the throes of the pandemic, welfare spending went to 13% and defense spending went to 19%:
    Here's how the budge looked in 2019 before the pandemic:
  • I would argue that Social Security, Medicare and an expanded ACA that covers Medicaid recipients are among those programs that act as worthy safety nets !
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