For those that believe that our nation is offering only a basic safety net of government benefits, I offer the following items for your consideration from a Jan. 25, 2013 Wall Street Journal essay by a resident scholar at The American Enterprise Institute:
Over the last fifty years, government transfers to citizens have been growing twice as fast as overall personal income, now totaling 18% of all personal income versus 6% in 1960;
Social welfare programs dispense entitlement benefits of more than $2.3 trillion per annum, or $7400 per capita;
In 1960, social welfare programs accounted for one third of federal spending. Today, entitlement programs account for two thirds of federal spending;
49% of Americans live in homes that receive one or more government transfer payments, up nearly 20 points from the early 1980’s;
In December 2012, there were more than 8.8 million working age men and women receiving disability payments, nearly three times as many as in December 1990. For every 17 workers, there is one recipient of Social Security Disability payments. The Social Security Disability Fund is on a path to run out of money before President Obama leaves office.
We are headed in the wrong direction, friends, and if we do not determine a means to fix it, and soon, the era of government checks written with borrowed money, will come crashing down. How much longer can we continue to expect that there will be a sufficiwnt number of individuals capable of paying for their neighbors' benefits?