Recovery? Half of American Households Living on Government Benefits

Alexander 2012/05/27 11:59:26
Kate Hicks
Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 5/26/2012

Some astoundingly grim news on the "economic recovery" front: half of American households are receiving government funds to support themselves. No matter which way you slice it, this number isn't good news for the Obama administration -- they can spin the jobs numbers by ignoring the number of people who dropped out of the workforce, but this statistic is pretty straightforward.

The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.

The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15% of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26% had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2% had a member receiving unemployment benefits. Families doubling up to save money or pool expenses also is likely leading to more multigenerational households. But even without the effects of the recession, there would be a larger reliance on government.

The Census data show that 16% of the population lives in a household where at least one member receives Social Security and 15% receive or live with someone who gets Medicare. There is likely a lot of overlap, since Social Security and Medicare tend to go hand in hand, but those percentages also are likely to increase as the Baby Boom generation ages.

It seems that Newt Gingrich's nickname for President Obama rings true: he really is the "food stamp president." More people than ever are relying on the state to support their families, and that's a major indictment on Obama's first term.

Furthermore, this puts even more pressure on the economic aspect of the presidential election. There's no way to cut the deficit until fewer people are on the government payroll -- unless, of course, Congress imposes massive (and sure to be massively unpopular) tax hikes.

Really, if this is the direction we're headed, how many people want to keep going "forward?"

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  • Striker 2012/05/28 01:53:05
    Priority #1 is to get the words straight.

    Government pays NOTHING. Government is merely the REdistributor of monies STOLEN by taxation from about HALF the citizens. Government does write and mail out the checks to be delivered without pay (franked) by it's USPO, and charges handling fees to be handed over to a myriad of bureaucratic clerks.

    ANYBODY can do that stuff, but we are forced to hire government to do those deeds.?

    Priority #2 would be to STOP describing SS and Medicare as "BENEFITS" - that's a big lie. People are FORCED to pay into SS their entire working lives. Then people are FORCED to pay for Medicare by deduction from their SS checks. Government doesn't pay out for that, it merely throws the $$ into a huge pool and sends out checks for whatever amount IT decides.

    Government also BORROWS from that SS pool to supposedly cover the DEBT for monies previously BORROWED via tDebt, and WHICH money government CLAIMS is owed by we Citizens.

    And so many unthinking people think we MUST have a government to do these horrible things to we citizens?
  • The River Rat 2012/05/27 17:42:58
    The River Rat
    The amount of damage that has been done to our once great country by these people and their predisesors is irrepprable. Our country sinks slowly into the abyss of nothingness along with the rest of the world.
  • D D 2012/05/27 15:51:14
    D D
    There is no recovery. We are headed to total economic collapse and it is planned. I am not on any benefits. No checks in the mail for me. My quality of life has gone down.
  • Kane Fernau 2012/05/27 15:01:26
    Kane Fernau
    Democrats, the party of the little guy? They create dependents to get re-elected.
  • kmay 2012/05/27 14:54:39
    We need to stop the Entitlement Mentality!!!
  • Gunner 2012/05/27 14:42:10
  • JoeBtfsplk 2012/05/27 12:20:46

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