If you relied on Uncle Sam to have a happy holiday season, you’re not alone: in much of America, more people receiving government assistance than actual paychecks.
In 11 of the 50 states in the US, residents dependent on the government outnumber private sector workers.
“America is rapidly becoming a nation of takers,” economic blogger Michael Snyder writes. “An increasing number of Americans expect the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, and they expect the government to dig into the pockets of others in order to pay for it all.”
Snyder explains that in the states California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Hawaii — all states won by US President Barack Obama during the November general election — the number of Americans dependent on government aid dwarf those going into work to receive a paycheck.
According to a report published by the Heritage Foundation, 62 percent of government spending in fiscal year 2012 has gone towards entitlement programs that benefit needy Americans, with more than one-fifth of all of Uncle Sam’s funds going into Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs.
And although the United State spends more money on their military program than any other nation in the world, only 19 percent of government spending goes towards national defense. By comparison, that’s two-percentage points lower than the amount spent on Social Security.
“Yes, we will always need a safety net,” writes Snyder. “There are many people out there that simply cannot take care of themselves.We certainly don't want to see anyone sleeping in the streets or starving to death.”
“But if the number of people jumping on to the safety net continues to grow at the current pace, the net will break and it will not be available for any of us,” he adds.
Last week, the Hunger and Homelessness Survey released by the US Conference of Mayors reported that of 25 cities surveyed, 21 have seen an increase in homelessness during 2011.
As of September, the number of American’s participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, reached an all-new record high.