An idea I read about that has gotten me thinking, that can be instituted on a state by state level or unified federally: Eliminate the various welfare programs from DCF, food stamps, etc and institute a single welfare program administered by the state IRS (or if implemented federally, through the national IRS). Over a certain income, you pay income tax. Under a certain income, you receive money that will put you back up to the minimum income level. Essentially this would reduce massive overhead of the various welfare programs across the nation and simplify everything, allowing better detection of fraud. More complex schemes allow more fraud. This would be a single control point for the administering and monitoring of social services. On the flipside - that's all you get. No more social security, no more government aid. This is the ultimate safety net that would put the responsibility on the individual to manage his or her own finances. This would probably have to be coupled with some sort of 'financial parole officer' to keep the recipients looking for work (or perhaps even coupled with mandatory work). In theory, this would pay out the same amount of benefits as we do now, but would be far easier to manage, monitor, and administer (saving money!). Downsides would be that the lack of restrictions on where the money goes could mean they spend it on junkfood and gambling instead of food, but the financial parole officer would be tasked with monitoring these situations. This would not apply to medicare, or any other healthcare programs.