It's pretty common knowledge that Walmart's low prices and high profits come with high costs for workers. They also come with
high costs for taxpayers
, though, as Walmart workers are forced to turn to government assistance for health care, food, and more. A new report from the Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce makes clear just how much, and the numbers are staggering. The report:
[E]stimates that a single 300-person Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Wisconsin likely costs taxpayers at least $904,542 per year and could cost taxpayers up to $1,744,590 per year—about $5,815 per employee.
Those numbers come from an analysis of Wisconsin Medicaid data and the low-end estimate is based on the actual number of Walmart workers using Medicaid—far more are eligible—and assumes that the same number of workers also receive other forms of government assistance like reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches, housing or heating assistance, or the Earned Income Tax Credit. Walmart is the employer with the highest number of workers on Medicaid in Wisconsin, at 3,216, which climbs to 9,201 when their children and adult dependents are factored in.
So when you're thinking about how much things cost at Walmart, remember that the low prices inside the store are possible because taxpayers and the government are subsidizing Walmart's low pay.
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