What do you really know about welfare? Take our quiz.


When people hear the word “welfare,” they usually have a strong gut reaction. What’s yours? Compassion for needy people? Anger at misspent taxpayer money? Frustration at a system that doesn’t seem to help anyone? Wanting to help but not quite sure what welfare really does?

There’s a reason we have strong reactions. Welfare pushes the buttons of some strong American values–hard work, self-sufficiency, charity and love for your neighbor. It’s not easy to find people who are against the safety net that is social security, but finding someone who’s uncomfortable with welfare is like shooting fish in a barrel.

But what do you really know about welfare? Sure, you may have some strong opinions on it. I know I do–and I bet they’re different than you’d assume. But how we shape public policy shouldn’t just be based on our feelings and opinions. We want it based on the facts, right? So before we go moaning that the state is raising our taxes to help the lazy or that the state’s not helping the needy enough, take our quiz. I bet you’ll be surprised about what you learn.

Answers are below each question after the jump.


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  • I think the heavy number of correct answers is somewhat skewed by the sample ... these are Chicago Reporter readers, after all. But nice work on finding an interesting way to present the information.

    Also, speaking of social security and the safety net, it's equally hard to find people against the mortgage deduction -- welfare for the middle class.

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