Although the United States is spending more on welfare than ever before, most of that money is going to better-off families rather than the very poorest. That means in 2014, a family of four earning $11,925 a year likely got less aid than a same-sized family earning $47,700.
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The report, published this month in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, shows the country’s “social safety net” expanded to catch many Americans during the economic downturn, which lasted roughly from 2008 through 2009.