This Alarming Chart Shows America’s Dependence on Big Government


In Heritage Work

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?

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 Chart Shows How Americans’ Dependency on Government Continues to Climb


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


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 »

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