Heritage: 67 Million Americans Dependent On Federal Government
February 9, 2012 by Sam Rolley
According to conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, Federal spending on Americans who are dependent on the government accounts for more than 70 percent of the Federal budget.
The report says that 67.3 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries, depend on the Federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance needs that were once met by individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches and civil society institutions.
Government dependence numbers have been climbing steadily since 1962 when the annual Index of Dependence was at 19. In 1980, the Index climbed to 100, and for 2010 — the last year for which the data are available — the Index stood at 294. Under the Administration of Barack Obama, the report says that American dependence on the Federal government has jumped by 23 percent, the biggest jump since Jimmy Carter was President.
Dependency on Federal housing, healthcare, welfare and retirement programs accounts for the largest portion of the jump in dependence since 2001 — about a 60.7 percent increase in dependence on the Federal government.
The percentage of people who do not pay Federal income taxes and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009. In 1984, 34.8 million tax filers paid no taxes; in 2009, 151.7 million — nearly half of all Americans — paid nothing.
The report concludes that the American republic has reached a point at which most voters go to the polls to protect their government benefits (dependence), corrupting both government and society’s whole.
Read the full report here.