U.S. households are getting more financial assistance from the federal government than ever before.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 49.1 percent of U.S. Households a now receiving some sort of federal benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Those numbers are up dramatically from the early 1980s, when just 30 percent of households received the same benefits, and up from 44.4 percent in the third quarter of 2008.
The increase in recent years is most likely due to the economic recession, but The Wall Street Journal postulates that the number of recipients would have increased regardless of the recession.
Broken down by benefit, at least one person enrolled in Medicaid per household in 26 percent of American homes, one person is receiving Social Security in 16 percent, at least one person is receiving some sort of unemployment benefits in 2 percent and and at least one person is on food stamps in 15 percent.
The increase in the number of Americans seeking benefits, especially as the Baby Boomer generation begins retiring and President Obama’s health care reform legislation takes effect, is cause for concern.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has pushed aggressive entitlement reform proposals in order to avoid tax hikes and indefinite deficit spending, but his plans have been sharply attacked by Democrats in Congress, who don’t want to risk upsetting their base by cutting benefits.
Even more discouraging for advocates of serious reforms is a Gallup Poll conducted last year in which where 56 percent of respondents said they were against making “significant changes” to government entitlement programs.
At this rate, by 2014 when Obama’s new health entitlement system kicks in, more Americans than not will be receiving government assistance for the first time in U.S. history. If ever there were a time to say the U.S. is engaging in nanny-statism, this is it.