Why do many Americans oppose welfare payments?
The general thinking is that either welfare recipients don't deserve it (by not working hard enough) or will waste it (by, perhaps, buying drugs and alcohol).
This is going to be more of an opinion and less of a definite answer!
There is a consistent theme within America and Americans that it is through hard work that one makes their way through the world. Whether it's the cowboy of the old west, the banker on Wall Street, the gold miner, or any other stereotype - it's the individual who through hard work earns his way.
So what happens when there is someone who isn't able to afford food and shelter? The general perception is that that person isn't working hard enough, or perhaps that person has made bad decisions that have resulted in their being unable to afford the necessities of life.
Welfare is a system whereby money is taken, via taxes, from people who are able to pay (aka the hard working people) and given to the people who need the money (aka the not hard working or bad decision people).
And so to the thought processes of those who oppose welfare. They think that either the people who are on welfare don't deserve it (by virtue of not working hard) or are going to waste the money (the thought is often that they will spend it on drugs and alcohol) and so shouldn't receive the money.