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Over 100 million US residents on welfare

Published time: August 09, 2012 15:38
Edited time: August 09, 2012 19:38
Reuters / Eduardo Munoz

Reuters / Eduardo Munoz

Government handouts are designed to help the needy across America, but how many US residents actually reap those benefits? According to a presentation to be delivered in Washington this week, it might be way more than you thought.

Republican Party representatives sitting on the Senate Budget Committee plan to present Congress with their latest findings on welfare programs in the United States this week, and their research reveals that the number of US residents receiving federal assistance isn’t only on the up but now is at its highest ever in the history of the country.

According to an excerpt from the committee’s new presentation, nearly one-in-three US residents receive government assistance — and that’s not even including those benefitting from Social Security or Medicare.

Over 100 million people in the United States are now receiving some form of federal welfare, GOP reps claim, a figure they’ve found after combing through statistics collected from the US Census’s Survey of Income and Program Participation. Paired with recent figures out of the Census Bureau, that brings the percentage of people residing in the States receiving some form or another of federal welfare at nearly one-in-three, given that the country’s population is estimated to be around 314 million, according to the department’s most recent statistics.

The committee’s findings actually put the figure of US residents on welfare close to around 107 million, which appears substantial when compared to statistics from only a few years ago. During the first quarter of 2009 when Barack Obama was inaugurated as president of the United States, roughly 97 million US residents were on the receiving end of federal programs.

And although the committee’s research does not take into account Social Security and Medicare, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, more than makes up for that exclusion: the study finds that the number of American receiving SNAP benefits have doubled in barely a decade.

"Among the major means tested welfare programs, since 2000 Medicaid has increased from 34 million people to 54 million in 2011 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from 17 million to 45 million in 2011," the Senate Budget Committee reports.

Researchers add that the expect spending on food stamps to reach $800 billion during the next ten years.

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