One out of every three Americans now receives some sort of government welfare, according to the US Census Bureau.
The Bureau released new data this month showing that 109.63 million Americans — or around 35 percent of the population – receive government-funded housing or insurance, or Supplemental Security Income. The data was from the fourth quarter of 2012, the most recent information available.
The number of full-time workers in the United States was 103.09 million, meaning that more Americans now receive benefits than work full time.
The number of Americans receiving government benefits exceeded the populations of Great Britain and the Ukraine combined, CNS News writer Terrence P. Jeffrey noted. The population of the United Kingdom was around 63.74 million and the population of the Ukraine was around 44.29 million, putting the combined population of those two nations at 108.03 million – fewer than receive welfare in the US.
Federal and state welfare spending is now 16 times greater than it was when President Lyndon B. Johnson launched his vaunted War on Poverty in the mid-1960s, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation noted. Rector added that the federal government spent $916 billion on 80 different programs designed to help the poor in 2012.
Johnson did not intend to make people dependent on the government, but that is exactly what has happened, Rector wrote.
“He explicitly sought to reduce the future need for welfare by making lower-income Americans productive and self-sufficient,” Rector wrote. “By this standard, the War on Poverty has been a catastrophic failure. After spending more than $20 trillion on Johnson’s war, many Americans are less capable of self-support than when the war began.”
The lack of progress in the War on Poverty, Rector wrote, is “due to the welfare system itself.”
“Welfare breaks down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work,” Rector argued. “It thereby generates a pattern of increasing intergenerational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future.
“The poverty rate is better understood as self-sufficiency rate. That is, we should measure how many Americans can take care of themselves and their families. Reforms should focus on changing the incentive structure of welfare programs — to point the way toward self-sufficiency.”
Statistics Tell The Story
Some frightening and eye-opening welfare and poverty statistics from the US Census Bureau have been compiled by a website called Statistics Brain. These disturbing statistics include:
- 46.7 million Americans now receive food stamps.
- There are now 39 states where welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job.
- There are six states where welfare pays more than a $12-an-hour job.
- In eight states, welfare recipients receive more than the average salary of a US teacher.
- 26.9 percent of those receiving food stamps have been on the program for more than two years.
- 19.6 percent of the people receiving food stamps have been on the program for more than five years.
When President Obama was first elected in 2008, around 96 million Americans were receiving welfare, food stamps or unemployment benefits. By the time he was reelected in 2012, an additional 13.43 million Americans were receiving poverty benefits.
The statistics hardly paint the picture of a nation in an economic recovery. Instead, they show a growing level of poverty.
What is your reaction to the data? Leave your comments in the section below: