AASWSW Fellow, Mark Rank, PHD authors OP-ED.
By Mark R. Rank
Dr. Rank studies poverty, social welfare, economic inequality and social policy.
April 15, 2018
ST. LOUIS — This past week, President Trump and House Republicans took initial steps to cut back the social safety net. Both have argued that such spending is counterproductive and wasteful, and that eligibility must be tightened for programs including food stamps and Medicaid. Mr. Trump and House Republicans have also asserted that welfare benefits are far too generous, and work requirements much too lax.
Yet as is so often the case, the reality is much different from what the political rhetoric says. The United States has the weakest safety net among the Western industrialized nations, devoting far fewer resources as a percentage of gross domestic product to welfare programs than do other wealthy countries.