Index of Dependence on Government

Americans continue to remain dependent on big-government programs, which have expanded dramatically over the last five years, report Heritage experts David Muhlhausen and Patrick Tyrrell in the 2013 Index of Dependence on Government.

According to the Index:

America is increasingly moving away from a nation of self-reliant individuals, where civil society flourishes, toward a nation of individuals less inclined to practicing self-reliance and personal responsibility. Government programs not only crowd out civil society, but too frequently trap individuals and families in long-term dependence, leaving them incapable of escaping their condition for generations to come. Rebuilding civil society can rescue these individuals from the government dependence trap.

Nearly 70 percent of total federal spending goes to these dependency programs, according to the Index, which “is designed to measure the amount of federal spending on programs that assume the responsibilities of individuals, families, communities, neighborhood groups, religious institutions, and other civil society institutions.”

What should the government do to reverse this alarming trend?

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