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The United States Government Welfare Program is a Disaster

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 339 times Debate No: 97478
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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The United States welfare program is a catastrophe. There is no reason why 55% of American households are paying 100% of the tax. It is ridiculous. The system is easily gamed and it is costing the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars when we are already drowning in debt. The government welfare programs need to be reformed and drastically cut down.


The poor are desperately in need of help and most of them are already working extremely hard. In fact, politifact, confirms the assertion that the top 0.1 percent is making as much money as the bottom 90 percent combined. The US has one of the biggest wealth inequality in the world. In fact, according to, the bottom 20% has more debt than their assets, meaning that their net value is negative. This means that they really need some help off their financial situation.

The welfare program is not the primary reason our nation is in huge debt, in fact, according to the statistics , we have only been paying 74 billion dollars per year for the welfare program. On the other hand, the national debt has increased about 10 trillion from 10 to 20 trillion under Obama's presidency, shown by , an average of 1.25 trillion dollars a year. This means that the welfare program contributes only about 6% of the total national debt, and means that it's not the main reason for the rising national debt.
Debate Round No. 1


Allow me to clear up any questions. First, when I say disaster and catastrophe I am referring to the fact that the welfare program is hurting our national debt, is easily gamed, and that because of it many people are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Second my assertion that only 55% of the country pays income tax comes from both CNN and Forbes you can look them up
also I have found sources that say that the government is paying at least 700 billion in welfare programs not including Social Security, such as Fox and the Heritage organization, as well as others saying at least 150 billion.
Finally, the welfare system fosters entitlement and hand outs for people. Instead of having deadlines on getting jobs like it should and used to under the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, the government is giving hand outs to people. Welfare shouldn't be a lifestyle, it is meant for people who just got laid off or dealt with a serious injury so that they can recuperate, for example; not to be lived on.


150 billion dollars a year still isn't that much - even if you cut it entirely(which is impossible), you'll end up with 1.2 trillion less national debt in 8 years, which is nothing compared to the 10 trillion increase in total in the last 8 years. It's far more beneficial to help the bottom people who have been screwed over by the society.

Where's your source saying that people are taking advantage of the welfare program?

Sure, 43% of the people pay no income taxes, but that's because the people are already broke before income tax. Also, that doesn't mean that they aren't paying other taxes ; the 43% of the people probably won't even provide much in the income tax as they aren't making much. As I said before, the bottom 20% of the people owe more than they have, meaning that they are in serious financial trouble. Also, according to , 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning that they are one or two paychecks away from going broke. This is also indicative that most people don't have enough money, and need some additional help from the government. Welfare doesn't get people trapped in poverty; they help them get out of poverty by easing their financial burden.

People on welfare typically cost less to the government than workers, anyways, which means that they're getting less in terms of money, and should still want to work. According to the same source, , people are only getting 127 dollars per month from food stamps, while someone working on minimum wage, 7.25 dollars per hour, is making 1160 dollars per month, almost 10 times the amount.
Debate Round No. 2


First off, the statistic that you argued against about 43% of Americans not paying income tax IS because many get so many tax breaks as a result of welfare that they end up either paying no income tax or even getting REFUNDED in income tax. And while many people still get taxed through payroll taxes and others those are a result of them working, just like Social Security. Overall, the people not having to pay income tax leaves taxes for the rest of the country to pay, and thus less is going into the government's budget. Second, the stat 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck is a bizarre number, because even if true and unbiased (CNN is heavily leftist), it's the fault of those people for living too lavishly. If you make an average income or above average income (greater than 50,000 according to, which would be included in that 76% of Americans range,) then there is no reason why you should be living paycheck to paycheck unless you didn't manage your money well. Also you disregarded my other two statistics that welfare costs 700 billion or even over a trillion dollars for the country, and instead only attacked my 150 billion dollar statistic. The point is that welfare, costs a very large amount, so to say that it only costs like 42 billion or that 150 billion is not that much is wrong. Also the last paragraph about food stamps seems to act as if people on food stamps (who by the way, many of which don't need to be on) ONLY use food stamps as a form of welfare, and thus would make less in welfare benefits than those who work. But there are so many others programs that people use, such as TANF benefits, Unemployment checks, Disability benefits, etc. And together these benefits can actually add up to pay BETTER than for working families, as studied by the Cato Institute . Finally I'd like to thank you for taking the time to debate with me on an important issue.


If we look at the politifact rating, the source rated the claim as mostly false. That's because very few people get that much in welfare, while most of the people get very little and actually are in need of welfare. If we further tax the bottom 20% and don't give them anything, then they will be in serious financial crisis, because they are already in negative net worth even before the welfare. If you think of the people who are making $7.25 per hour, you can see that it's not always that they are spending money too lavishly that gets them living paycheck to paycheck; America has one of the highest costs of living in the world. Also, 50000 isn't the average income; it's the average household income right now, which is a very different thing.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by devcoch 3 months ago
you definitely need some sources to back your assertions.
Posted by Tree_of_Death 3 months ago
Got any proof for your wild assertion about only 55% of Americans paying taxes?
Posted by sboss18 3 months ago
Define "disaster" and "catastrophe".
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