Who is on Welfare?
September 2, 2006 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Is there a government website listing who receives welfare?

I can find out how much teachers are paid in my school district. I can find how much a farmer recieved in government deficiency and subsidy payments each year. Shouldn't there be a database of names of persons recieving state and government aid since it is funded by taxpayers?
posted by 5acres to Law & Government (13 answers total)
 
Shouldn't there be a list of people working on classified projects?
Shouldn't we be able to look up the medical records of people on MedicAid and MediCare?

No, there is no such website.
posted by atrazine at 8:32 AM on September 2, 2006


"Welfare" is a pretty generic term that encompasses an array of state and federal benefits. Think of disability, food stamps, housing, Medicaid, Medicare, etc, etc. Disclosure of some of this might violate the Privacy Act or HIPAA. It might help to narrow your focus to specific programs.
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:32 AM on September 2, 2006


Just curious, does your school district actually post a list of employees' names with how much ther are paid? Or is it a table of pay grades and wages or something like that?

If you're looking for information about public benefits that is not specific to individuals, all you have to do is hunt a little bit on the appropriate web sites. Try www.medicare.gov as a start.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:17 AM on September 2, 2006


Shouldn't there be a database of names of persons receiving state and government aid since it is funded by taxpayers?

So you think that people that use government programs should have all their details available for public perusal?
Like smelly old people that get social security?
Or those bastards that use the interstate highways?
Or those pesky kids that go to publics schools?

Yeah there is such a database, but fortunately it's illegal for the public to access.

People that complain about welfare programs should have a database so we can look them up.
posted by bigmusic at 9:25 AM on September 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


Just curious, does your school district actually post a list of employees' names with how much ther are paid? Or is it a table of pay grades and wages or something like that?

I got 2 links emailed to me that showed the names and salaries of teachers in my district. I was not a pay grade, It was their actual salary and I was suprised by this. I am from a rural community and the other link was a list of the amount farmers recieved in government payments last year. I was suprised that information like that was available and I was simply curious about the original question. My apologies to all, and I apologize for sponging off the community.
posted by 5acres at 9:31 AM on September 2, 2006


My apologies to all, and I apologize for sponging off the community.

This is easy to remedy: stick around and contribute. Please don't feel like you're being chased off.

Your question was poorly worded, based upon what you just said. Thanks for stepping in before Godwin got invoked.
posted by popechunk at 10:24 AM on September 2, 2006


5acres, ignore veedubya and leapingsheep. You're not sponging.

Anyway, no there won't be a public database because this information is considered private.
posted by spaltavian at 10:36 AM on September 2, 2006


MeTa
posted by interrobang at 11:04 AM on September 2, 2006


I agree that there is no public database of who receives "welfare", not that there is any government program named "welfare". The government program that's closest is now "Temporary Aid to Needy Families", with heavy emphasis on "temporary", thank you Bill Clinton and Republicans. It used to be "Aid to Families with Dependent Children", emphasizing that starving children was something the United States wished to avoid.

The TOTAL amount spent on TANF by the Federal government is $17.4 billion in 2006. (Lots more spent under other programs, and by the 50 states, but nevertheless, this is the single largest welfare program.) The U.S. spends that much in Iraq in about a month or two.

Or you could compare it to estate tax repeal. Rolling back the estate tax for the 10,000 or so richest American families is costing about $70 billion/year, money that is flowing, as noted, to the wealthiest 10,000 families in the U.S.A. Those families are getting an average benefit in the millions of dollars, while people receiving TANF are getting hundreds. Maybe we need a list of those families.
posted by jellicle at 11:48 AM on September 2, 2006


just a data point on the teacher salary thing; In the state of Texas salaries are public record. just pop in and ask in the business office Mr. X's salary is and there you go. Here is a pdf link that will list you the salaries of Texas 4a and 5a coaches this past year courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman
posted by busboy789 at 2:13 PM on September 2, 2006


The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits disclosure of such information, thankfully.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:23 PM on September 2, 2006


Bill clinton went through all the trouble of getting rid of welfare, and People didn't even notice. It's crazy, people running around complaining about program that hasn't existed for over ten years! Not that you're complaining, but this trend is very irritating.
posted by delmoi at 8:57 PM on September 2, 2006


Your question was poorly worded, based upon what you just said. Thanks for stepping in before Godwin got invoked.

The question was pretty goddamned clear and well-worded. You bought your own lousy prejudices to it.
posted by xmutex at 11:25 PM on September 2, 2006


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