Raising The Minimum Wage Would Save Taxpayers Billions On Food Stamps
Our colleagues at the Center for American Progress released a report yesterday showing that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would lower government spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by a whopping $46 billion over the next 10 years.
Just a few months ago, Republicans pushed deep cuts in SNAP, also known as food stamps, of $40 billion. What this research proves is that the best way to reduce safety net spending is not by slashing this vital assistance that lifts millions out of poverty; it’s by improving families’ bottom lines by ensuring they are not earning poverty wages to begin with.
Those billions of dollars in savings also represent taxpayer subsidies for low-wage employers. Many of these employers pay their workers so little that they can’t even afford to make ends meet, leaving them to rely on government assistance to get by. Raising the minimum wage will essentially roll back those subsidies, helping elevate millions out of poverty. Take a look at the infographic below to see how taxpayers are picking up the tab for corporations:
The report also provides a state-by-state breakdown of the decrease in SNAP expenditures, as well as the reduction in the number of people who would be stop enrolling in the program. For example, if Texas raised its minimum wage from the federal level of $7.25 to $10.10, it would save almost $450 million on SNAP expenditures in 2014 alone, and roughly 350,000 people would no longer use the program. Click here to see the interactive version, and an image of it is below:
BOTTOM LINE: No matter your political persuasion, this research adds to the commonsense case to raise the wage. It’s not only good for taxpayers, workers, businesses, and creating an economy that works for everyone, it will also help low-income workers get on the ladder of opportunity and climb out of poverty and into the middle class.