1 in 2 Americans Dependent on Federal Government

Posted: Apr 16, 2007 5:21 PM

As reported today in the Christian Science Monitor, a study prepared by economist Gary Shilling has found that 1 in 2 Americans now receive income from federal government programs, an increase from from 1 in 4 in 1950.  It is apparant that entitlements like Social Security and government healthcare programs are largely the source of this increased dependency on the government. The budgetary reality of these increases must be confronted.
You can read the article here.

"Healthcare and Social Security are the big programs poised for growth, thanks to the arc of the baby-boom generation, longer lifespans, and rising medical costs. Insurance-style programs also include farm subsidies and efforts to relieve poverty."

"You do have the yearning for cradle-to-grave paternalism, but as Americans you also have the carry-over of the frontier spirit" of individual opportunity, says Shilling. "That's the trade-off that will define the scope of government," he says.

"European nations have shown that advanced economies can maintain generous social-welfare programs, but...these nations pay a price of more tepid growth. Sweden...has in recent years dropped off the global Top 10 list for per-capita output. Ireland, by contrast, has kept the government burden low and enjoyed rapid economic growth."