2021 National Foundational Program Integrity & Dependency Poll

Voters Agree: America Needs Welfare Reform

Publication date: July 7, 2021
Written by: Stefani Buhajla

As states decide whether to end or continue pandemic-era welfare programs, CEP wanted to find out what voters think about welfare reform.

Fraud and improper payments result in millions of wasted resources each year—and pandemic-era programs caused government spending and waste to surge, leaving fewer resources available for Americans who are truly needy. And it’s clear that states that have ended pandemic-era programs are faring better than those who have continued the programs.

Americans recognize something needs to change—government needs to be held more accountable for how it’s spending tax dollars.

In fact, 74 percent of voters want some or significant welfare reform.

This includes an astounding 65 percent of Democrat voters and 70 percent of Independents.


Voters Support Work Requirements

Work requirements—requiring able-bodied adults who do not have children at home to work, train, or volunteer at least part-time as a condition of receiving government benefits—are popular among voters across party lines.


of voters support

work requirements for cash welfare.


of voters support

work requirements for food stamps.


of voters support

work requirements for Medicaid.

Americans Want to End Pandemic-Era Programs

Due to COVID-19, Congress passed a temporary expansion of the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless workers, potentially tripling the amount childless individuals can collect.

Voters are ready to get back to normal, and they largely favor ending pandemic-era programs.


of voters support

ending the temporary expansion of the EITC.


of voters support

reducing the EITC for workers without dependents back to pre-pandemic levels.

A plurality

of voters oppose

making the $3,600 child tax credit permanent.

Monthly Taxpayer-Funded Cash Payments are Deeply Unpopular

Americans also strongly oppose the idea of a guaranteed minimum income in the form of taxpayer-funded cash payments.


of voters oppose

taxpayer funded cash payments.


of voters support

taxpayer funded cash payments.

TOPIC(S): Welfare Reform