128 million Americans now on government assistance

By on January 13, 2013

(NaturalNews) Politicians spin, dodge and lie their way around “inconvenient  truths,” so to speak, but it is hard to explain away cold, hard facts and raw  numbers – though they still try.

No doubt more than a few of Washington’s  elite will try to dance round this disturbing statistic: The total number of  Americans receiving some form of government assistance has surpassed 128  million. That’s more than 1 in 3.

According to a recent in-depth study from the Heritage Foundation,  “128,818,142 people are enrolled in at least one government program,” based on  U.S. Census Bureau information, the bulk of which receive one or more benefits  considered politically untouchable.

‘Publicly held federal debt will  exceed 100 percent of GDP’

Not only are more people getting these  benefits, Congress has greatly expanded them, meaning the amount recipients receive have grown exponentially.

“Between 1988 and 2011, the  amount of the U.S. population that receives assistance from the federal  government grew by 62 percent,” says an abstract of the study. “That means that  more than 41 percent of the U.S. population is enrolled in at least one federal  assistance program. To make matters worse, per capita expenditures on recipients  are rising as well. In 2010, over 70 percent of all federal spending went to dependence-creating programs. That growth is unsustainable, as  baby boomers are now retiring every day and their entitlements cost more each  year.”

The think tank estimates that, using current numbers and trends,  “publicly held federal debt will exceed 100 percent of GDP in 2024.”

And  while the numbers are high now, they weren’t always that way, as a percentage of  the population. Indeed, the ratio of takers-to-makers has increased most  dramatically in just the past decade.

According to the Census Bureau,  Heritage scholars noted, 94 million people were receiving government-(read taxpayer) funded benefits in 2000; by  2011, that figure had grown to more than 128 million.

“That means that  41.3 percent of the U.S. population is now on a federal government program,” said the study. “The 128 million is an estimate based on the recently  released March 2011 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey (CPS), which,  due to the survey methodology, most likely undercounts the actual  number.”

Here is a breakdown of government programs and numbers of  recipients, as presented by Heritage researchers:

— 128,818,142 people  are enrolled in at least one government program

— 48,580,105 people are  on Medicaid

— 35,770,301 people receive their retirement income from  Social Security

— 43,834,566 people are on Medicare

— 39,030,579  people are living in a household where at least one person accepts food  stamps

— 6,984,783 people are living in subsidized rental  housing

— 2,047,149 people are receiving a higher-education  subsidy

“It is important to note that the above categories overlap; for  example an individual may receive both subsidized rental housing and food  stamps,” says the study. “The total number…on at least one government program does not double count individuals, however.”

The future is – no  future

While there are a number of lawmakers and advocacy groups in  Washington and elsewhere calling for reform of these programs, most seasoned  politicos know that it will be virtually impossible to do, because there  is no political will to do so.

Programs like Medicare and Social  Security are untouchable because every lawmaker who’s been in D.C. longer than  10 minutes knows it is political suicide to even hint at reforming them.  Anyone who does – think Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, the most  recent politician who actually put forth a plan – is ravaged in the press and  public sector.

Nevertheless, something has to be done; any serious  economist knows that the current ratio of takers-to-makers (which is only  becoming more skewed against the makers) is unsustainable.

“In 2010, over  70 percent of all federal spending went to dependence-creating programs,” said  the study. “The government today is borrowing from future taxpayers to pay the  current government program enrollees. The game will soon be up as debt  approaches 100 percent of GDP.”

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/038660_government_assistance_taxpayers_welfare.html#ixzz2Hryr9izv

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