Posted at Investors Business Daily.
At the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, some 108.6 million people received one or more means-tested government benefit programs — bureaucratese for welfare.
Meanwhile, there were just 101.7 million people with full-time jobs, the Census data show, including both the private and government sectors.
This is a real danger for the U.S. — the danger of dependency. Anytime more people are being paid not to work than to work, it imperils our democracy. No one votes to cut his own welfare benefits. So welfare grows.
[…]According to official data from the government, 46.5 million people live in poverty in the U.S. Doing the quick math, that means just 43% of all those on welfare are officially considered poor.
When you add in other government programs with a check attached — Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits, unemployment and other non-means-tested benefits — you find a whopping 151 million Americans get a check from the government other than an income-tax refund.
[…]A Cato Institute study in August found that welfare now pays more than minimum-wage work in 35 states. Indeed, the federal government has 126 separate programs to help low-income earners.
“The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” the study said. “Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour.”
Given all the disincentives, it seems as if the government doesn’t even want people to work. But why would that be?
Perhaps it’s in the interest of those on the so-called progressive left — those most responsible for the uncontrolled growth of the welfare state — to keep Americans out of work and dependent on government.
Sure looks that way. After all, for Democrats, dependent voters are reliable voters.
Where did the money come from? Well, all this subsidized dependency has been going on, we have been adding 6.5 trillion to the national debt. Our national debt is now up to $17 trillion – more than our entire Gross Domestic Product! The national debt will have to be paid back by future generations of Americans. So what we are really doing here is transferring money from children who can’t vote to adults who can vote. That’s what the Democrat Party is doing with all of this spending.
This program of inter-generational theft amounts to enslaving the next generation. You could even view the public schools as complicit in it, since they are teaching young people to value giving the public schools more money. It’s like brainwashing a victim of abuse to believe that the abuse is normal. By the time the young people wake up and realize that they are eating grass while their “educators” dine on caviar, it will be too late. This is not surprising since the Democrats are the part of slavery, historically speaking. Maybe we need to start using rhetoric like that so that people understand what is really going on.