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Lawmaker Wants to Drug-Test the Wealthy

If they want generous tax deductions, at least

(Newser) - In many states, welfare recipients must submit to drug testing before they can get benefits. A lawmaker from Wisconsin says she wants wealthy Americans to get the same treatment before they can enjoy generous tax deductions, Yahoo News reports. Rep. Gwen Moore's "Top 1% Accountability Act of 2016"... More »

Aussies Cut Benefits for Anti-Vax Parents

New rules nixing childcare payments take effect Jan. 1

(Newser) - Parents in Australia who don't have their children immunized by Jan. 1 will soon find themselves embroiled in what the country calls its "no jab, no pay" laws—meaning if they don't take their kids for vaccinations by then, they'll lose childcare benefits, rebates, and a... More »

Mayor Thinks People on Welfare 'Flaunt It,' Has Plan

Maine mayor wants their names, addresses listed online

(Newser) - "The days of being quiet are gone," Robert Macdonald writes in a column in the Twin City Times . And what does the Republican mayor of Lewiston, Maine, want to break the silence on? People on welfare are "gaming the system," he tells the Portland Press Herald ... More »

Family Loses Welfare Because of Girl's Cancer

She couldn't go to school, so Michigan cut off benefits

(Newser) - When Martha describes how her 12-year-old daughter, Lisa, suffered while battling brain cancer—seizures, strokes, more than two years in and out of hospitals—it doesn't seem at all surprising that Lisa wouldn't have been up for attending school during this time. But as her mom (using pseudonyms)... More »

Kansas Bill: No Welfare Cash at Movies, Psychics

Gov. Sam Brownback expected to sign new social services bill into law

(Newser) - A new social services bill in Kansas could issue some of the country's strictest rules on how welfare recipients spend state funds. Though the federal government has banned the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash benefits on booze, gambling, and adult entertainment, Bill 2258 would block their... More »

Man Raped at 14 Has to Pay Child Support

He found out only recently that he fathered a child 10 years ago

(Newser) - Nick Olivas got the shock of his life two years ago when he was hit with a child support demand from the state of Arizona—for a child he fathered when he was 14 years old. In that state, a child under the age of 15 can't consent to... More »

Octomom Charged With Welfare Fraud

Nadya Suleman faces more than 5 years in prison

(Newser) - She's baaaack: Octomom is making headlines again, and she's apparently not going to start doing it in a good way. Nadya Suleman has been charged with felony welfare fraud, the LA Times reports. More specifically, she faces one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury... More »

War on Poverty Isn't Working

Robert Rector thinks we've forgotten LBJ's goal of getting people to help themselves

(Newser) - Today marks 50 years since Lyndon Johnson declared his "unconditional war on poverty." Yet the percentage of Americans living in poverty has remained roughly unchanged in the decades since, despite some $916 billion in federal spending on means-tested welfare programs in 2012 alone, Robert Rector from the conservative... More »

Reagan's 'Welfare Queen' Was Way Worse Than That

Slate digs into the incredible story of Linda Taylor, accused murderer and kidnapper

(Newser) - Ronald Reagan made the term "welfare queen" a politically charged term as he ran for president, telling the story of a woman in Chicago who abused the welfare system to incredible heights. Over the years, the tale of a Cadillac-driving government cheat has all but entered the realm of... More »

Almost 1 in 3 Bank Tellers Need Public Assistance

And that's costing taxpayers almost $900 million a year

(Newser) - You probably don't think of bank tellers the same way you think about, say, the fast food workers protesting today , but they, too, have ample reason to complain about their wages, a new report suggests. Nearly a third of tellers are on some form of public assistance, according to... More »

Fla. Rep. Pleads Guilty to Coke Charges

Judge gives Florida's Trey Radel a year of probation

(Newser) - Congressman Henry "Trey" Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession today, but will avoid jail time. A DC Superior Court judge sentenced the freshman Republican from Florida to one year of probation, and ordered him to receive drug treatment in his home state, the Washington Post reports. Radel had already... More »

The Hidden Cost of Cheap Fast Food: $7B in Aid

Maybe those burgers aren't such a bargain, after all

(Newser) - Think that dollar menu is a bargain? All that cheap fast food comes with a hidden cost to taxpayers, according to a new report. Researchers at UC Berkley have found that low-paid burger-flippers cost US taxpayers $7 billion a year in social welfare programs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A... More »

New Argentine Rule: Welfare Money Goes to Mom, Not Dad

Too many guys were skipping out on family

(Newser) - A new decree by Argentina's female president is designed to help women abandoned by husbands who skip out after fathering a family. From now on, mothers will collect welfare payments instead of fathers. The measure by President Cristina Fernandez is a victory for the Argentine housewives union, underscoring the... More »

NJ Sent $24M in Benefits— to Prisoners

Agencies didn't check databases to see if recipients were in prison

(Newser) - New Jersey sent nearly $24 million in taxpayer money to prisoners in the form of unemployment, welfare, pension, and other benefits, reports the New York Times . An audit released yesterday uncovered 20,000 prisoners who received benefit money between July 2009 and April 2011, including tales such as one man... More »

Tsarnaevs Got $100K in State Benefits: Report

Between 2002 and 2012

(Newser) - The Boston Herald may have had its request for records denied, but that hasn't stopped the paper from managing to learn the extent of the public assistance received by the Tsarnaevs: more than $100,000 between 2002 and 2012, including cash, food stamps, and housing, the paper reports. "... More »

Officials Won't Release Tsarnaev's Welfare Records

Tamerlan's family received some benefits

(Newser) - Tamerlan Tsarnaev's family received some welfare aid up until last year, but the Patrick administration is refusing the Boston Herald's request for details, citing Tsarnaev's right to privacy. The state wouldn't give out information on any unemployment compensation either, nor would the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth... More »

14% of Michigan Lottery Winners Still on Welfare

State looks to close loopholes for winners claiming benefits

(Newser) - Winning the lottery isn't necessarily the golden ticket many believe: 3,544 Michigan lottery winners last year received—or lived with someone who received—public assistance, the AP reports. It's perhaps not as egregious as it sounds; on average, those people won about $6,800, which is hardly... More »

Food Stamps Shouldn't Pay for Junk Food

Congress needs to change the rules: Charles Lane

(Newser) - The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, you'll notice, has the word "nutrition" in the title. So why is it that SNAP debit cards, aka food stamps, can be used to purchase such decidedly non-nutritious items as Cheetos and Fanta orange soda? The Agriculture Department itself states, on its website,... More »

Lawmaker: Let's Cut Welfare When Kids Get Bad Grades

Tennessee state senator sparks debate with new bill

(Newser) - Tough news for Tennessee parents on welfare: Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield introduced legislation last week that would slash welfare benefits for parents whose kids get crummy grades, Fox News reports. Critics call it an unfair proposal that will ultimately hurt children, but Campfield says the bill will inspire parents... More »

Cory Booker's Food Stamp Regret: I Didn't Buy Eggs

Newark mayor thinks he should have clipped coupons, too

(Newser) - Cory Booker began his food stamp challenge yesterday, showing off his decidedly modest grocery haul for the week to the New Jersey Star-Ledger . The vegetarian mayor spent $29.78 on an assortment that included 17 cans of beans, seven yams, two bags of frozen vegetables, and two apples. "If... More »

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