Poverty wages cost U.S. taxpayers about $153 billion each year, according to a recent reportfrom the University of California, Berkeley. That's because, when families depend on low-wage jobs to survive, they're forced to rely on government programs like Medicaid and food stamps to make ends meet.
The Berkeley report looks at how much states and the federal government are spending on programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The report found that the federal government spends about $127.8 billion per year, and states collectively spend about $25 billion per year, on public assistance programs for working families.
Currently, the federal minimum wage is stalled at a paltry $7.25 an hour. A parent working full-time at that rate over the course of the year won't bring in enough money to live above the poverty line for a family of two, which means leaning on government assistance.
So when a company like McDonald's, for instance, pays a worker the minimum wage, you, the taypayer, end up subsidizing her pay. A 2013 analysis from the National Employment Law Project found that the 10 largest fast food companies cost taxpayers about $3.8 billion per year.( Bigass graphic behind cutCollapse )
[posted to mod queue 04/14/2015]