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Is U.S. on its way to becoming a welfare state?

Over 100 million people in the U.S. are now receiving some form of federal welfare according to the Senate Budget Committee.

Rather than recovering from the nation’s deepest recession since the Great Depression, it appears as though citizens of this great nation are on a downward spiral into poverty.

Food stamps and Medicaid make up a large, and growing, chunk of the more than 100 million recipients, according to published reports.

“Among the major means tested welfare programs, since 2000 Medicaid has increased from 34 million people to 54 million in 2011 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) from 17 million to 45 million in 2011,” the Senate Budget Committee reported. “Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $800 billion over the next decade.”

A U.S. Census Survey of Income and Program Participation indicates that about 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011.

This is difficult to comprehend. If that many people are on public assistance and the economy is still projecting an unemployment rate that has not been below 8 percent in three or four years, what changes in our governmental leadership are going to be needed to pull us out of this downward spiral? One must ask the question: if one-third of Americans are on the public dole, and 8.3 percent of our workforce remains unemployed, who is going to be picking up the tab? Is the plan in Washington, D.C. to continue robbing from Paul to pay Peter?

If the hard working Americans fortunate enough to have a job are asked to continue to pay for those persons on welfare, how long will it be before we are in the same financial mess as Greece, or Italy or France?

As of Aug. 9 our nation’s debt was $15.911 trillion. That breaks down to $139,809 per U.S. taxpayer. How long can each taxpayer sustain this debt load?

Just in case you’re wondering, the interest on that debt is $225,180,301,507. Our gross debt to gross domestic product is 104.33 percent.

It’s up to the citizens of the country to decide if we will be able to sustain this heavy debt with the leadership we have in Washington.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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