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  • Government Dependence Is Back With A Vengeance

    Rasmussen Reports released poll results yesterday showing that 23% of Americans say they receive some form of cash benefits from the government. This is remarkably close to the truth. As The Heritage Foundation’s 2010 Index of Dependence on Government documents, 21% of the total U.S. population (64.3 million people) receive some level of assistance from dependence-creating federal programs.

    Contrast that with the United States in 1962, before President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Pverty, when only 11.7% of the population (21.7 million people) were dependent on the government. Once federal programs are created they almost always grow. As the chart to the right shows, only after welfare reform in the 1990s did the percentage of Americans dependent on the government fall. But now its coming back. The Heritage Foundation’s Director of Center for Data Analysis Bill Beach writes:

    There was such a rapid growth in dependence in 2009 that the twin concerns—how much damage this growth has done to the republican form of government, and how harmful it has been to the country’s financial situation—have deepened significantly. Not only did the federal government effectively take over half of the U.S. economy and expand public-sector debt by more than all previous governments combined, it also oversaw the largest single-year expansion in total government debt in U.S. history. Much of that growth in new debt can be traced to dependence-creating government programs.

    The Rasmussen survey also found:

    Of those who do receive government money, just 34% are at least somewhat willing to cut some of their own benefits to reduce the size of the federal budget, with 14% who say they are Very Willing to do so. But 63% are not willing to consider any benefit reductions, including 33% who are Not At All Willing.

    This is not news to conservatives. Beach also writes:

    Worse, dependence-creating programs quickly morph into political assets that policymakers all too readily embrace. Voters tend to support politicians and political parties that give them higher incomes or subsidies for the essentials of life; but no matter how well-meaning policymakers might have been when they created government aid programs like Medicare, unemployment insurance, and subsidized housing, these same programs quickly grow beyond their mission and turn into a mechanism that creates and sustains a never-ending cycle of dependence—and entitlement thinking.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Government Dependence Is Back With A Vengeance

    1. Pingback: Public Record: Connect With People

    2. Roger Baxter. Batavi says:

      Unfortunately, the expansion seems to be purposely driven by the administration, with the intent of creating as many dependent voters as they can.

      99 weeks of unemployment insurance? Who is kidding whom? Once the 26 weeks of the original program expired, who exactly expected these folks to go off of the dole? For better or worse, many of them not only continue to collect their checks, but have also joined the black economy, including some of my sub-contactors.

    3. Malinda White, Pa says:

      Amen Brother! This welfare system [in many forms] is putting our country in serious debt. No longer do we take pride in ourselves or our country. It's all about how much of someone elses money they can get the government to STEAL from the working taxpayers, and give to these lazy bums who don't want to work. I have a couple of people in my family that live off the taxpayers in one way or another and they're proud of it. What ever happened to pride and self-respect? The unwed pregnancy rate is astronomical! These girl are being rewarded for being s…s. I was raised in the city and I've seen it first hand. We have become a country of no morals, values or standards. God help us!

    4. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      First would be eliminating all fraud on Medicaid, Welfare and most of all on the un-enployment. A cap on what you can get off the dole, many are working and getting paid under the table, Welfare should not be intended to go on for generation after generation, it is suppose to breach the gap caused by a problem, illness or something else short lived. We now have families that have been getting welfare for generations. Medicare faud is rampant, there are people who pose as doctors or medical supply corps and collect MILLIONS fraudulently. There is also some, but on a smaller scale in Soc. /sec. most of the fraud here is where one collects disability and is able to work, majority of recipients of Social Security have worked and paid into the fund all their working lives now they are told they are getting an intitlement?? I've worked since I was 14 and every pay check had SS taken out, when Medicare was started it was taken out, if these had been handled the same way as paying a private Ins. Company we would NOT be having these problems, the feds have seen this money and slobbered over it and then took it and spent it and NO ONE is saying a crime was committed. If a private Company did the same thing you'd hear the yelling around the world.

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