Made in America Again AWARE
Made in America AgainAWARE

What We Get 1 - Dependency

So, we see that a great number of Americans are working full-time, and often in an additional job, and receiving an income that bears no relation to their families’ actual costs of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education. Rather than creating an economy in which they can be self-sustaining, we have relegated them to dependency, and have created a plethora of state and federal programs designed to assist them in meeting those needs. A 2006 study by the Congressional Research Service[i] inventoried 84 federal means-tested programs.  The Department of Human Services has provided a short list of 39 of those programs[ii], as follows:

The HHS poverty guidelines, or percentage multiples of them (such as 125 percent, 150 percent, or 185 percent), are used as an eligibility criterion by a number of federal programs, including those listed below. . . .

  • Department of Health and Human Services:
    • Community Services Block Grant
    • Head Start
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • PARTS of Medicaid (31 percent of eligibles in Fiscal Year 2004)
    • Hill-Burton Uncompensated Services Program
    • AIDS Drug Assistance Program
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program
    • Medicare – Prescription Drug Coverage (subsidized portion only)
    • Community Health Centers
    • Migrant Health Centers
    • Family Planning Services
    • Health Professions Student Loans — Loans for Disadvantaged Students
    • Health Careers Opportunity Program
    • Scholarships for Health Professions Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
    • Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals
    • Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
  • Department of Agriculture:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamp Program)
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • National School Lunch Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • School Breakfast Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
  • Department of Energy:
    • Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons
  • Department of Labor:
    • Job Corps
    • National Farmworker Jobs Program
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program
    • Workforce Investment Act Youth Activities
  • Department of the Treasury:
    • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics
  • Corporation for National and Community Service:
    • Foster Grandparent Program
    • Senior Companion Program
  • Legal Services Corporation:
    • Legal Services for the Poor

Most of these programs are non-open-ended programs — that is, programs for which a fixed amount of money is appropriated each year.  A few open-ended or “entitlement” programs that use the poverty guidelines for eligibility are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps), the National School Lunch Program, certain parts of Medicaid, and the subsidized portion of Medicare – Prescription Drug Coverage.

Major means-tested programs that do not use the poverty guidelines in determining eligibility include the following:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

  • State/local-funded General Assistance (in most cases)

  • Some parts of Medicaid

  • Section 8 low-income housing assistance

  • Low-rent public housing

    Even with these programs in place, we have millions of working Americans who are having their electricity and water cut off and cannot fill their fuel oil tanks, feed their children regularly, or fill their doctors’ prescriptions, in short, who cannot make ends meet, and for whom life does not add up. 

    There will always be some individuals in need of assistance.  But how much better would it be if working Americans could make their own way and lead a life of independence, rather than having to rely on these inefficient subsidies and income transfers? 


[i] “Cash and Noncash Benefits for Persons with Limited Income:  Eligibility Rules, Recipient and Expenditure Data, FY2002-FY2004” (CRS Report for Congress — Order Code RL33340), Domestic Social Policy Division and Knowledge Services Group, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, March 27, 2006, cited at


[ii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  See


News and Events

May 15, 2014, Ontario, CA - MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, delivered the keynote address at the 20th annual World Trade Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Inland Empire District Export Council in Ontario, California.  To view the conference agenda, click here:

New file download

May 7, 2015, Radnor, PA.  MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, appeared as the guest of host Richard J. Anthony, Sr. on The Entrepreneur's Network TV at Radnor Studio 21.  The program featured a discussion of the problems caused by offshoring manufacturing and white collar jobs and how consmers can solve the problem with their spending decisions. 

Studio 21 has made the program available for viewing here:

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