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Welfare Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Workers

 According to Terrence Jeffrey, writing yesterday at CNS News, "there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round." Jeffrey points out:

"There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers."

Moreover, Jeffrey writes:

"When the people who received non-means-tested government benefits from programs such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and non-means-tested veterans compensation are added to those who received means-tested government programs such as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income and public housing, the total number of people receiving government benefits from one or more programs in the United States in 2011 climbs to 151,014,000, according to the Census Bureau."

Earlier in the week, Daniel Halper wrote at the Weekly Standard blog, "New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last 5 years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare." Halper included the following chart "showing that spending versus transportation, education, and NASA spending."

According to the background from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, which accompanied the chart:

"We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient."

Is there any question that America has become a welfare nation?

UPDATE (10/26/13): This weekend, the editorial folks at Investor's Business Daily (IBD) did a bit more number-crunching, and show that people "officially considered poor" constitute just 43% of the recipients of welfare. According to IBD:

"Those who say the poor deserve such largess will find no argument here. Sometimes people have such dire need that a helping hand may be necessary, if only for a limited period of time.

"But this goes way beyond that.

"According to official data from the government, 46.5 million people live in poverty in the U.S. Doing the quick math, that means just 43% of all those on welfare are officially considered poor.

"When you add in other government programs with a check attached — Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits, unemployment and other non-means-tested benefits — you find a whopping 151 million Americans get a check from the government other than an income-tax refund.

"That's close to half our population, folks."

The IBD editorial then goes on to discuss a recent study by the Cato Institute, one we also growled about on August 20, 2013. Nevertheless, it sure seems the nation needs to have a long discussion of just who are the poor, not to mention about caring for the poor. Maybe it's also time to reconsider a flat tax.


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