In general, knowing about government policy will make you a better citizen by allowing you to make better informed decisions about how to vote. Knowing policy, and having informed opinions about it, will enable you to take agency over what direction you think your city, county, state or country should go. You can exercise this political agency by voting, protesting, sending letters to a newspaper, or writing letters to elected officials.
In particular, social welfare policy is incredibly important to be informed about for at least two reasons—first, social welfare policy affects millions of Americans who take part in programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Benefits, Food Stamps, Veteran’s Affairs Benefits and Jobs, Social Security, Pell Grants, and Public Housing. Second, these programs represent a huge portion of government spending--in 2013, Social Security and Medicare alone were 37% of federal expenditures.
By understanding both the benefits and the costs of social welfare policy, you can become an informed citizen of the country, and take part in incredibly important decisions about the direction of the nation.