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US private sector at smallest share ever of GDP per 2011 data. More in US are on gov. welfare than work full time

October 26, 2013

10/25/13, Welfare, Not Full-Time Work, Is Now America’s No. 1 Occupation,” IBD Editorial

“Dependency: “Is Welfare The New Normal?” we wondered in an editorial last Thursday, and we didn’t have long to wait for an answer. On Friday an answer came back in depressing new data from the Census Bureau.

CNSNews.com’s indefatigable data hound, Terence P. Jeffrey, dug into a few routine Census releases recently and discovered something shocking: More people in America today are on welfare than have full-time jobs.

No, that’s not a misprint. At the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, some 108.6 million people received one or more means-tested government benefit programs — bureaucratese for welfare.

Meanwhile, there were just 101.7 million people with full-time jobs, the Census data show, including both the private and government sectors.

This is a real danger for the U.S. — the danger of dependency. Anytime more people are being paid not to work than to work, it imperils our democracy. No one votes to cut his own welfare benefits. So welfare grows.

In recent years, the welfare state has expanded to create an all-encompassing security blanket to protect Americans from all vagaries of economic life. For everything from losing a job to having trouble paying the rent, there’s now a welfare program for it.

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.

A Cato Institute study in August found that welfare now pays more than minimum-wage work in 35 states. Indeed, the federal government has 126 separate programs to help low-income earners.

“The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” the study said. “Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour.”

Given all the disincentives, it seems as if the government doesn’t even want people to work. But why would that be?

Perhaps it’s in the interest of those on the so-called progressive left — those most responsible for the uncontrolled growth of the welfare state — to keep Americans out of work and dependent on government.

Sure looks that way. After all, for Democrats, dependent voters are reliable voters.”…

[Ed. note: That’s why the GOP has merged with democrats. It wants those permanent voters.]

(continuing): “In recent years, government at all levels has hogged more than 40% of national income, an all-time high. This means the private sector — source of innovation, productivity and wealth —

  • has never been smaller as a share of GDP.

This is a big reason why the government keeps issuing what Wall Street calls “unexpectedly weak” jobs reports. That there are as many as 31 million people, according to IBD/TIPP Poll data, who want to work full-time but can’t find a job is a disgrace.

This United States of Welfare isn’t the fault of the financial crisis or the Tea Party or President Bush. Nor are Americans lazy.

It’s the fault of big-spending Keynesian policies put in place under President Obama that punish entrepreneurs, overregulate the economy, and hit small business with new taxes and uncertainty at a time when growth should be robust.”…

[Ed. note: It would be nice if it were just Obama but it’s not. George Bush for 8 years massively overspent, sold out and destroyed the US economy and the Republican Party, and would do it again. His former staffers sit on Fox News today to ensure the country remains in the hands of cronies and not the free market.]

(continuing): “Workers without jobs turn to big government. Sadly, America, land of the free, has become America, land of the dependent.”

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Defines “non means-tested” which include Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment:

10/24/13, “Census Bureau: Means-Tested Gov’t Benefit Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Year-Round Workers,” CNSNews.com, By Terence P. Jeffrey

Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.

They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

 

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.

 

That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round.

The Census Bureau counted as recipients of means-tested government programs “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.” Many of these people lived in households receiving more than one form of means-tested benefit at the same time….

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.

The 108,592,000 people who were beneficiaries of means-tested government programs in the United States in 2011 not only outnumbered full-time year-round workers, they also outnumbered the total population of the Philippines, which is 105,720,644, according to the CIA World Factbook. They are also approaching the number of people living in Mexico, which is 116,220,947, according to the CIA.”

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