Remember Julia, the fictional woman created by the Obama campaign to illustrate the benefits of big government? Now there is hard evidence that Julia should probably stay home and pick up her government check rather than getting a good job.
A new chart put together by Gary Alexander, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State, shows that Julia, as a single mom with two kids in daycare, would be better off remaining in her $29,000 per year job than she would be in a $69,000 per year job because of the benefits she would obtain from the government. In the lower paying job, Julia would net $57,327 after she received her government benefits, while in the higher paying job, she would net $57,045.
This situation, where someone doesn’t gain by advancing in their career because the government disincentivizes such behavior, is called the “welfare cliff.” So the government is actually paying people not to be upwardly mobile, discouraging them from achievement and transmitting the message that there is more value in remaining dependent on the government.
When we tried contacting Julia about her reticence to look for a higher-paying job so she could get off the dole, we got a message on her answering machine: “Be back soon; gone shopping. My new EBT card just came today!”
It would sure be tempting for that mom to keep the status quo rather than take the new job, even though the new position might lead to further career advancement and a higher standard of living. “The Life of Julia” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.