Almost 20 years after its study comparing welfare benefits to the minimum wage, the Washington-based Cato Institute released a new study showing there are 36 states with welfare benefits more generous than the minimum wage. In 13 states, including Massachusetts, welfare pays more than $15 an hour.
The 52-page white paper for the purposes of analysis assumes an individual receives the benefits from all 72 welfare programs. Adjusted for inflation, the 1995 Massachusetts welfare recipient took in $37,346 compared to $42,515 today.
The first study was a crucial part of the welfare reform debate. It remains to be seen what impact the new study will have.
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