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Though White Americans Benefit Most From Social Safety Net, Study Shows How Racial Resentment Can Fuel Welfare Opposition


Though White Americans Benefit Most From Social Safety Net, Study Shows How Racial Resentment Can Fuel Welfare Opposition

Julia Conley, staff writer

Mistaken beliefs about who benefits most from the social safety net has led white Americans to oppose programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps), and other government assistance initiatives in greater numbers—and could trigger the further weakening of such programs, according to a new study.


Moron country.

Edit to add: Same morons that pay little or no income taxes but pay super high sales taxes and don’t even realize it. The (southern) state I live in, the sales tax is almost 10% even on services. The Republican legislature even wanted to RAISE the sales tax on groceries, the Gov nixed that.


43% of Medicaid and 36% of SNAP beneficiaries are white, but whites compose 77% of the population. Therefore, a higher percentage of non-whites are using these benefits.

Blacks are 12% and use 18% of Medicaid.

Hispanics are 17% and use 30% of Medicaid

There are many good reasons for this (related to poverty, perhaps?) but the notion that non-whites receive a proportionally greater benefit from the safety net are not “mistaken”


For the corporate fascists it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with money. If they can use racism as a way to get white people to support their destruction of what is left of the safety net…they will do it . Racism is one of their great tools for dividing and conquering. It is a fascist favorite and it works virtually every time.


When you adjust for poverty then non-whites receive a proportionately lower share of the benefits like SNAP and Medicaid (i.e. at any given income level they get less). Of course you are leaving out Social Security and Medicare where non-whites get a very much reduced benefit - only 9.7% of blacks are over 65 compared to 17.5% of whites (only 6% of hispanics are over 65).


An important study: What are we going to do about reversing this? Clearly, it has served and will continue to serve the racists to gain and hold power as the Tea Party GOP and Trump and they certainly have no incentive in ever admitting, apologizing and getting busy atoning and remedying the legacy of theft, genocide, slavery.


A “poor people’s campaign” as envisioned by MLK needs to be made sustainable. We also need to shout the relevant information from the rooftops Here’s the key facts:
There are 1.52 White people on Medicaid for every White person in poverty
But there are only 1.28 Black people on Medicaid for every Black person in poverty
and there are only 1.22 Native Americans on Medicaid for every Native American in poverty.

The idea that minorities overuse the safety net is factually wrong - the idea that resentment of minorities is based on lies is factually correct.


I agree. Trouble is too many respond to emotions rather than facts.


Medicaid is a benefit that pays for a medical service once someone has used all their available assets. Or, where there is not another means that provides a needed service. That is why it is considered a safety net. It doesn’t really matter who uses it, it is based on need.


Thanks. The need to perform data normalization in order to draw conclusions from almost any kind of data should be a basic part of grade-school science education.

Unfortunately, teaching anti-racism is a lot more challenging a classroom task.


Safety nets don’t exist. The couple of times I have been without employment there was absolutely nothing available to me, not foodstamps, nothing at all. I could have starved in the street and there would have not been one finger lifted to help. Simply nothing available to those legitimately down on their luck.
Plenty available for the scammers and the liars.


The safety net in the U.S. does not really include programs for short term relief (e.g. when a person needs help just for the next two weeks) - as there are so many hoops to go through in order to receive aid.

But you are wrong about poverty programs being utilized primarily by “scammers and liars”. Audits show a very low rate of such folks in programs like Medicaid and SNAP…


As a statistics educator, I couldn’t agree more.


Exactly my point - the issue is poverty not skin color.

Also, I would not include Social Security in the calculation, as it is based on both age and payments into the system.


I don’t know why you would exclude that. If you are arguing that you need to take into account both payments into the system as well as benefits - fine. The benefits-to-tax ratio is higher for Blacks than for Whites (Whites getting back about $1.20 for every $1 contributed while Blacks get back only about 80 cents).


You mean, “… is higher for Whites than for Blacks …”


Yikes! Thanks for spotting that typo.


I exclude Social Security because, unlike other “safety net” payments it is based, at least in principle, on the amount people pay into the system.