From Investors Business Daily.
The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.
The conservative think tank’s annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”
The two-year increase under Obama is the biggest two-year jump since Jimmy Carter was president, the data show.
The rise was driven mainly by increases in housing subsidies, an expansion in Medicaid and changes to the welfare system, along with a sharp rise in food stamps, the study found.
[…]The report also found that spending on “dependence programs” accounts for more than 70% of the federal budget. That, too, is up dramatically. In 1990, for example, the figure stood at 48.5%, and in 1962 just over a quarter of federal spending went to dependence programs.
At the same time, fewer Americans pay income taxes, the report notes. Almost half (49.5%) didn’t pay income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which the researchers have data. Back in the late 1960s, only 12% of Americans escaped the income tax burden.
[…]Various studies have shown that extending unemployment benefits can keep unemployment rates higher than they would otherwise have been.
Obama’s own former economic adviser, Larry Summers, noted in the 1999 Concise Encyclopedia of Economics that “government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment … by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work.”
Democrats like the idea that more people are dependent on government – it makes them easier to control. For them, this isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.