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?

Comments (11)

Veda Connolly - December 13, 2013

stop funding to people on drugs; stop funding housing unless they take care of their property, like paint the walls, take care of the outside (require it in a contract!) & have inspections then when they get a job, they lose the housing! Get on your own two feet! This nation needs to learn some skills and get some pride in what they do!

Barbara Macey - December 13, 2013

Why can’t the federal government “bite the bullet” like regular folks? I for one am “sick to death” over these lousy politicians saying one thing to our faces then giggle & joke while selling us short. Most of congress should have been proclaimed Liar of the Year along with Obama.
We are inundated with L. Graham literature–too late–no more votes from me. I am surviving cancer (I pray) & live with my 2 children–suZZZ has MS & Joe is a Diabetic; we are very careful how & where we spend out money.
Enough said!

Merry Christmas & Thank you.

Robert Baareman - December 13, 2013

We need to recognize we are at war with evil. Compromise, reaching across the aisle, partisianship will not work. We need to defeat our enemy. Until The republican Party moves from center to the right, we, humanly speaking are unable to accomplish much.We need a fresh group of conservatives voted in office in 2014, we need to remove those who are comfortable with the status quo. Above all pray daily for our nation to wake up to the insanity deception and destruction blueprint for America

Joe Spencer - December 14, 2013

Start cutting back on the number of people on the rolls.
Check for citizenship first if they are not citizens they should not be using our system. These foreign
folks think we are dumber than a bottle of rocks and easy to steal from

John Huston - December 14, 2013

The one, major thing we can do is to develop the “gold mine” we are siting on. Once we control both House & Senate plus the President, we can release the oil and gas reserves and build all the support petrochemical industries that once made America great. Till then we have to keep throwing bricks in from of the liberal machine to keep it occupied. We must elect true conservative politicians. If this means losing some moderate Republicans along the way, so be it. For the future I will be voting for politicians on both sides of the aisle who have been vetted and backed by the Tea Party. Don’t ever forget the Tea Party is really the “silent majority” and they are coming to take America back.

Holly Chapo - December 14, 2013

What happened during the Clinton presidency when welfare reform was passed and signed even though he was dragged kicking and screaming to the table? The legislation dramatically reduced welfare dependency. The same approach can be taken to get people off these dependency programs. In some cases, it may be prudent to provide limited block grants to the states to administer programs that they can handle better than a bloated, uncreative federal bureaucracy. What about going after waste, fraud and abuse and actually doing something to ELIMINATE it? How about doing something about illegal aliens who are gaming the system? I’ll bet Newt Gingrich could come up with a whole host of suggestions to address this disasterous problem.

helen Bartel - December 14, 2013

I grew up in the “30”s”, as bad as it was when FDR introduced all his programs, CCC, WPA, etc. There was also a work requirement. You did not receive benefits without some work. I think to ease out of all the welfare programs we have today, we must require work to qualify for food stamps, housing allowance, etc. This would not only provide work, but move us from a free entitlement mentality. We have to do something to change this attitude that the government owes me something without any responsibility from me.

cd - December 14, 2013

until all administative agencies are cut back or eliminated their growth,cost and userption of power will continue.base line budgeting must go.congress must regain its constitutional roll to control spending and law making or executive branch will dominate with directives.

Don Jessen - December 14, 2013

It was evident there was voter fraud this last election and as strange as it seem will the left will rig the elections going forward to stay on power? How previlant is corruption in our government and why isn’t there something done about it. I keep receiving mail saying things are being done that are impeachable but here nothing from those in power that could do something about it.

Jay B. - December 17, 2013

Winning ELECTIONS would be a good start!

The Welfare Reform and Responsibility Acts must be passed. No benefits are given out unless earned first.
And we’ll need to start electing more Republicans and Conservatives as well. Go after the young people and Hispanics and give them jobs. Hispanics don’t care about Amnesty or Immigration Reform – what they really want is the jobs and benefits – that’s it! They want to take care of their families, not receive crumbs from the table of the Democrat Party.

Bobby Blue - December 25, 2014

Thischart is really vague. Does it include corporate welfare?

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