Americans Spend $153 Billion a Year Subsidizing Wal-Mart & McDonalds


The low wages paid by businesses, such as McDonald's and Wal-Mart, are costing U.S. taxpayers approximately $153 billion per year. More than half of government spending on public assistance programs is used to provide working families food stamps, Medicaid and other necessities. In other words, American taxpayers are supporting people who work full-time because businesses do not pay a living wage.

However, it is not just the fast-food industry in which low wages is a problem. 48% of homecare workers also rely on public assistance. The homecare industry has the fastest growing number of jobs in the U.S., but the workers are of the lowest paid in the country, earning a yearly average of $13,000.

Legislators in California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, and Washington are debating whether to increase minimum wage to $12 an hour. Connecticut is considering a proposal to fine large companies that pay low wages. 73% of people on public assistance programs live in a working family. From 2003-2013, inflation-adjusted wages fell for the bottom 70% of the workforce, and there has been a large decline in American employees with job-based health coverage. Underpaid workers are striking and protesting across the country for $15 an hour wage minimum and the right to form a union. Raising wages would result in savings for the government, and allow it to better utilize tax dollars.

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