Q:

How do you get free stuff from the government?

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Quick Answer

In the article "We All Get 'Free Stuff' From the Government," the author argues that all Americans automatically get free stuff in the form of financial services, tax breaks or welfare programs in an article at NYTimes.com. For example, low-income Americans receive health insurance through state-funded Medicaid, but wealthier citizens receive the financial benefits of tax breaks for health insurance, so regardless of income level, there is a free benefit granted by the government.

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Full Answer

The government spends more than $70 billion on food stamps and about $17 billion on family assistance annually, according to NYTimes.com. However, while these assistance programs are targeted towards lower-income individuals, the wealthy still receive benefits at a cost to the government. Tax subsidies and other types of tax breaks that benefit higher-income people cost the government more than $900 billion each year in lost potential income.

The author argues that free stuff from the government comes in a number of forms but many are not seen as benefits at NYTimes.com. Welfare and food stamps are the most visible forms and are most often critiqued by politicians as draining money from the government. However, politicians who are opposed to government services like welfare may vote in favor of existing estate tax breaks that could cost the government up to $1.6 trillion over the course of a decade, states a study by the Tax Foundation.

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