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Do social welfare programs generally reduce the incentive to work?

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Per Lawrence Summers, president emeritus of Harvard University, former chief economist of the Obama administration, and former Treasury secretary to President Clinton, "government assistance programs" provide "an incentive, and the means, not to work." Likewise, the Congressional Budget Office has detailed how the provisions of Obamacare "create an incentive for some people to work less" by (1) providing benefits that decline with rising income, "thus making work less attractive"; (2) allowing "some people to maintain the same standard of living while working less"; and (3) increasing taxes, which "will ultimately induce some workers to supply less labor."

DocumentationLawrence SummersCongressional Budget Office



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