A May 26th story in the Wall Street Journal confirms what many of us have heard – half of all Americans are now on some form of government assistance. According to new data from the US Census Bureau, 49.1% of Americans live in a household that receives at least one government benefit. There are many households that receive more than one form of taxpayer funded aid. That is up from 30% in the last large recession of the early 1980’s in which unemployment, inflation and interest rates were at much higher rates.
There are a lot of things that could be said of these numbers. l have some questions too. What aid is effective and the most helpful? Are there fewer stigmas to government aid than there were in the past? Does this widespread government assistance mean that voters will, or will not “bite the hand that feeds them” if a candidate supports cuts in aid or government spending? Is this massive dependency an intentional part of a bigger plan by some political elites, as first suggested by Columbia University scholars Cloward & Piven? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloward–Piven_strategy)
There is one answer we do know; this condition is inconsistent with the history of the free-enterprise system and it is not what our nation’s founders envisioned for us.