- Washington, D.C. ($84.60)
- Hawaii ($85.32)
- New York ($86.66)
- New Jersey ($87.64)
- Mississippi ($115.74)
- Arkansas ($114.16)
- Missouri ($113.51)
- Alabama ($113.51)
- South Dakota ($113.38)
The map illuminates an important policy issue. According to the authors:
- A poor person in a high-cost area may not qualify for a means-tested program, while a person in a low-cost area might qualify for welfare despite being in a better financial position than his income alone would indicate. [In English: It’s better to be poor in a low-cost state…meaning the poor in high-cost states should relocate to low-cost states.]
- Price differences could also change the impact of welfare on a person. A South Dakota resident may be discouraged from working after receiving welfare, whereas a New York resident may be little impacted by it. [In English: Low-cost states offer better “bang for the $100 bucks” making it more difficult to motivate the poor to work who receive equal entitlements.]
Typical of a bureaucracy, means-testing is based on a national standard, not a local standard. Treating each state and its residents as if each is economically similar hurts the poor. But, didn’t liberals create those programs originally to help the poor?
Let the discussion begin…
To read the Tax Foundation study, click on the following link:
"The Real Value of $100 in Each State."