Cato Policy Analysis No. 240 September 19, 1995

Policy Analysis

The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off: An Analysis of the Total Level of Welfare Benefits by State

by Michael Tanner, Stephen Moore, and David Hartman

Michael Tanner is director of health and welfare studies and Stephen Moore is director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute. David Hartman is CEO of Hartland Bank, N.A., in Austin, Texas.


Executive Summary

The value of the full package of welfare benefits for a typical recipient in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia exceeds the poverty level. Because welfare benefits are tax-free, their dollar value is often greater than the amount of take-home income a worker would have left after paying taxes on an equivalent pretax income.

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1995 The Cato Institute
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