According to a new report, low wages are costing American taxpayers roughly $153 billion per year.
The report, presented by the University of California, Berkeley, showed that families who depend on poverty wage jobs to survive are often forced to rely on government programs like food stamps and Medicaid. The more people rely on such programs, the more money it costs taxpayers.
To come to the conclusions laid out in the report, the UC Berkeley looked at the amount of money that states are spending on programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The federal government, the report found, is spending about $127.8 billion a year while states are collectively spending about $25 billion.
With the federal minimum wage currently at $7.25 an hour, the Huffington Post pointed out that a parent working full-time for a family of two over the course of a year won’t bring in enough money to live over the poverty line. With such little income for minimum wage families, government assistance is inevitable.
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According to the Berkeley report, fast food workers and child-care workers typically rely heavily on government assistance. More than half of fast food employees who make minimum wage require the help of federal programs.
The new report comes just before low wage workers throughout the country are expected to protest for better pay on April 15. The protests, which are being spearheaded by an organization called Fight For 15, will call for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.
Photo Credit: laborcenter.berkley.edu, newsmax.com