Monday, January 21, 2013

Life on the Dole

A few years ago, Natalija Belova emigrated from her native Lithuania to Great Britain.  She has no plans to go home, since the U.K. welfare state provides such a comfortable lifestyle for Ms. Belova and her daughter.   From the U.K. Sun (h/t: Powerline) 

Natalija Belova, 33, told The Sun how she spurns full-time work — yet can afford foreign holidays and buys designer clothes.

The Lithuanian said: “British benefits give me and my daughter a good life.”

She has milked soft-touch Britain for £50,000 in benefits and yesterday said: "I simply take what is given to me."

Overjoyed Natalija told how she lives a life of luxury thanks to our “strange” system, declaring: “It’s important to have nice things and good holidays.”

The graduate, who became a single mum after she arrived here, rakes in more than £1,000 a month in handouts — £14,508 a year — to fund her love of designer clothes, jaunts to the Spanish sun and nightclubbing.

She bragged: “I have a lovely, fully-furnished flat and money to live properly on.

Had she remained in Lithuania, her benefits would be only a fraction of what Belova receives in the U.K.  A college graduate who speaks six languages, Ms. Belova also holds down a part-time job, but is careful to keep her weekly hours below the threshold that would affect her benefits.  And it's all perfectly legal under the British system.

England's welfare rolls exploded during 12 years of Labour rule and now with Conservatives back in power, there are efforts underway to curb benefits.  But progress has been difficult, and the situation will soon grow worse; under European Union rules, Britain will be forced to welcome tens of million additional immigrants from eastern Europe beginning next year, and all will be immediately eligible for the full-range of U.K. welfare benefits.  Currently, new arrivals from that region must have a job in Britain to remain in the country.

If all of this sounds disturbingly familiar, it should.  Under Barack Obama, the number of Americans receiving various forms of government benefits has exploded.  According to a Politico article published last summer, spending for more than 133 billion federal welfare programs has grown by almost $200 billion since Mr. Obama took office four years ago.  The administration has even run ads on Spanish-language TV programs encouraging more Latinos to sign up.

Historically, the welfare system in the U.S. wasn't quite as generous as its European counterparts, but that gap has been closed. James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute illustrated this quite nicely back in July, with a graphic and article depicting the so-called "Welfare Cliff."  Put another way: a worker in a low-paying job (making $29,000 a year) was better off staying in that position--with full welfare benefits--than taking a $69,000 a year job.  Under an analysis conducted by the State of Pennsylvania, the worker making $29,000 a year received a total of $57,327 in net income and benefits--more than their counterpart making $69,000 a year, with net income and benefits (after taxes) of $57,035.

With Mr. Obama entering his second term, it's a good bet that welfare spending will skyrocket again. And by encouraging more Americans to sign up, the President sees an opportunity to create even more Democratic voters, completely beholden to the state for their subsistence.

Happy Inauguration Day.  


Old NFO said...

Yep, buying votes with OPM... Until the OPM runs out, then what? And that is close to happening here.

Paul G. said...

Don't focus on the negative, look at Welfare to Work reform that actually showed a republican congress and democratic president working together for the benefit of the country: