Video: Bill Beach Explains How Much Taxpayer Money Goes to Dependency Programs

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In Heritage Impact

More than 70 percent of federal money goes to programs that create dependency on government, Heritage Foundation economist Bill Beach explained Tuesday on Fox Business.

According to a recent report Beach coauthored with Heritage’s Patrick Tyrrell:

  • 128 million Americans now receive benefits from one or more federal assistance program. That’s more than 41 percent of the population.
  • Between 1988 and 2011, the amount of the U.S. population that receives assistance from the federal government grew by 62 percent.

In fact, these numbers may underestimate the scope of the problem. They explain that the Census Bureau Current Population Survey is “well known to undercount those receiving Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, State Children’s Health Insurance, higher-education support, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.”

Every year, Heritage publishes the Index of Dependence on Government to provide lawmakers with accurate information about the number of Americans who rely on government.

How do you think we can address government dependency?

Heritage’s Top 10 Policy Reports of the Year

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In Heritage Impact & Heritage Work

Year after year The Heritage Foundation continues to make an impact in the fight for conservative principles. This year, Heritage’s expert policy analysts testified before Congress 34 times and distributed more than 1,100 policy reports on Capitol Hill. Below is the list of the top 10 most read research papers of the year: Continue Reading »

President Obama’s Economically Destructive Tax-Hike Plan

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In Heritage Work

Obama tax plan hit to the economy
President Obama’s plan to increase taxes primarily on “high-income earners” and small businesses will have devastating effects on the economy, according to a new report from The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis.

“Private-sector employment in the U.S. economy would fall by an average 1.1 million jobs (1 percent) per year,” explain Heritage economists Bill Beach, John Ligon and Guinevere Nell. “And Americans would work 2 billion fewer hours relative to baseline levels.”

Not only that, but the tax hike wouldn’t achieve its intended effect of increasing revenue by $160 billion per year. Instead, it would generate only about $68 billion per year.” This is due, the report notes, “to a smaller tax base commensurate with the smaller economy. For example, fewer hours worked and lower real wages result in less federal income and payroll tax receipts.”

The Center for Data Analysis has developed a unique dynamic model that forecasts how policies like tax increases affect human behavior. Most models, including those used by the government, assume no such changes. For example, many official government projections fail to note that Americans change their saving and investment behavior based on tax policies.

What do you think of proposals to increase tax rates just for high earners?

Ron and Chenza Lazof Establish Lazof Family Fellow with a Unique Gift

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In Other Work of Note

Heritage Foundation members Ron and Chenza Lazof are stalwart proponents of low taxes, limited spending and a vibrant free market. The Dallas couple began supporting Heritage in 2010, but like many of our members they wanted to do more to advance their conservative principles. With the help of Heritage’s planned giving office, that’s exactly what they were able to do.

As the director of Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, Bill Beach has been named the first Lazof Family Fellow. The CDA uses social science databases and sophisticated models to accurately measure and predict the consequences of policies in areas like taxes, welfare and entitlements.

In this tough economy we may wonder how we can do more with limited resources.  If you own appreciated stock, a business, real estate or other valuable asset, gifting a portion or all of it to Heritage might be a great way to make a non-cash gift that benefits you (by lowering your potential capital gains and income taxes) and helps Heritage save the American Dream for future entrepreneurs.

If you would like to learn more about how you can take advantage of this opportunity please contact the Heritage Legacy Society at (800) 409-2003 or by email at legacy@heritage.orgLearn more on our gift planning website.

William Beach: Heritage’s ‘Numbers Guy’

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In Other Work of Note

William Beach directs Heritage's Center for Data Analysis.

“I’m convinced that freedom actually works and that it works for everyone,” The Heritage Foundation’s William Beach says. “And the freer we are, the better the economy and society works. I just don’t believe that free people are bound to fail.”

Beach directs Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, which he helped start in 1998.

Heritage established CDA, Beach says, to win the “numbers battle” and back up conservative policy ideas with sound economic analysis. Established groups like the Congressional Budget Office often used outdated tools that scored conservative proposals badly, giving liberals an advantage in policy debates. CDA aimed to change that dynamic–and has. Continue Reading »

Heritage Chart Shows How Americans’ Dependency on Government Continues to Climb

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In Heritage Work

Click to enlarge.

A new chart from The Heritage Foundation shows the dramatic growth in the number of Americans who now depend on the federal government for their livelihoods.

Over the past five years, the number of Americans dependent on the federal government has reached a record high of 67.3 million people, about one in five Americans, according to The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Dependence on Government. Continue Reading »

Video: What’s Wrong with Dependence on Government?

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In Heritage Impact

When you become dependent on government benefits, “you’re dependent on a bureaucrat who could really care less if you get out of poverty,” The Heritage Foundation’s Bill Beach told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney.

Watch the video:

Read Heritage’s complete 2012 Index of Dependence on Government for more.

One in Five Americans Now Depends on Government Assistance

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In Heritage Work

Americans are suffering from a growing dependence on big government.

In fact, one in five Americans now depends on Uncle Sam for assistance, according to new Heritage Foundation research.

For the last 10 years, The Heritage Foundation has published the Index of Dependence on Government to highlight the dangers of America’s increasing dependence on government programs.

The 2012 report paints a grim picture, as Heritage’s Bill Beach explains:

Today, more people than ever before—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 once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions.

This growing dependency has two major causes: 1) increased government spending on dependence-creating programs, and 2)  a shrinking number of taxpayers who pay for the programs.

In 2010, the United States hit an ominous milestone as nearly half of all citizens paid no federal income tax. Continue Reading »

Video: Heritage’s Bill Beach Explains Americans’ Growing Dependence on Government

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In Heritage Impact


With more than one in five Americans receiving some sort of entitlements from the federal government, 70 percent of the federal government’s budget goes to pay for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance, with recipients ranging from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly invited The Heritage Foundation’s Bill Beach onto his program this week to discuss our country’s growing dependence on federal assistance. Beach explained what this means for the movement to cut federal spending:

If you look at the drivers of the annual [federal] deficit, it’s in healthcare, and all these other programs of income support and so forth. As this population grows, Mr. O’Reilly, that deficit will grow with it.

Suppose one day we have to pull it all back and somebody says, “look, you’ve got to cut your debt or cut your annual deficit,” then are we looking at political pushback in addition to fiscal problems?

The Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Dependence on Government shows an alarming trend under the Obama Administration of a level of dependence on our government that has never been seen before.

Read the full report here.

Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis Earns Attention in Washington

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In Heritage Impact

Bill Beach

Bill Beach heads Heritage's Center for Data Analysis

Writing in the New York Times, Bruce Bartlett worries about the growing influence of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis.

Describing conservative efforts to explain the flaws in Keynesian economics, he writes:

My concern is that the Republican effort is just a smokescreen to incorporate phony-baloney factors into revenue estimates to justify unlimited tax cutting. How soon before the C.B.O. is required to incorporate estimates from the right-wing Heritage Foundation in its calculations?

It already has a very well-financed Center for Data Analysis that the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, used to analyze his budget plan last year, bypassing the Joint Committee on Taxation and C.B.O.

Ryan did turn to Heritage last year to help analyze the effects of his 2012 budget plan.

Far from competing with the Congressional Budget Office, however, Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis works with the group to help it produce more robust reports. For example, the CBO recently asked Heritage experts for technical help with their analysis of federal employee compensation.

Heritage has also worked to educate lawmakers directly about the importance of sound economic analysis. Heritage’s Bill Beach, who directs the Center for Data Analysis, testified before Congress last fall about the importance of considering the “dynamic effects” on the economy of tax policy changes.

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