Government Dependence Soars

by Peter Kirsanow

While President Obama was boasting to Matt Lauer about the creation of 250,000 jobs in January (a figure dwarfed by the number of people who dropped out of the job market entirely in November and December), the Heritage Foundation released its annual Index of Government Dependence. The index analyzes the extent to which Americans are dependent on federal government programs.

Among the cheerful findings:

 — The number of individuals dependent on federal government programs grew by 7.5 percent in just two years under the Obama administration — the largest such jump since the Carter administration.

 — 67.3 million Americans now rely on some federal program.

 — Medicaid, housing subsidies, food stamps, and welfare account for most of the increase.

 — Spending on dependency programs soaks up more than 70 percent of the federal budget.

 — In 2009, 49.5 percent of Americans paid no federal income taxes, up from 14.8 percent as recently as 1984.

 — 34.8 million Americans were not represented on a federal taxable income return in 1984. Today that figure is 151.7 million.

 — 5.6 million fewer Americans are on the jobs payrolls than four years ago.

Now, everyone knows this administration inherited the most debilitating recession in the history of mankind. According to the study’s analysis, however, the effects of the recession account for only one-fifth of the growth in dependence. 

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