18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The American Dream blog,

Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million?  In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system.  And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs?  When it comes to the transfer of wealth, nobody does it on a grander scale than the U.S. government.  Most of what the government does involves taking money from some people and giving it to other people.  In fact, at this point that is the primary function of the federal government.

Just check out the chart below.  It comes from the Heritage Foundation, and it shows that 69 percent of all federal money is spent either on entitlements or on welfare programs…

Heritage Foundation

So when people tell you that the main reason why we are being taxed into oblivion is so that we can “build roads” and provide “public services”, they are lying to you.  The main reason why the government taxes you so much is so that they can take your money and give it to someone else.

We have become a nation that is completely and totally addicted to government money.  The following are 18 stats that prove that government dependence has reached epidemic levels…

#1 According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted by Terrence P. Jeffrey, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month.  How long can such a lopsided system possibly continue?

#2 Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

#3 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

#4 Today, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.

#5 Back in 1960, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 10 percent.  In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent.  Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.

#6 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the total number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to nearly 47 million.

#7 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#8 It sounds crazy, but the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.

#9 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#10 According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.

#11 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, more than 70 million Americans are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#12 The number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.

#13 Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.

#14 If the number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program were gathered into a single state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.

#15 In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

#16 It is being projected that the number of Americans on Social Security will rise from about 62 million today to more than 100 million in 25 years.

#17 Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

#18 According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

Many will read this and will assume that I am against helping the poor.  That is completely and totally not true.  There will always be people that are impoverished, and this happens for many reasons.  In many cases, people simply lack the capacity to take care of themselves.  It is a good thing to take care of such people, whether the money comes from public or private sources.  In every society, those that are the most vulnerable need to be looked after.

But it is a very troubling sign that the number of people on government assistance is now far, far greater than the number of people with full-time jobs.  This is not a sustainable situation.  The federal government is already drowning in debt, and yet more people become dependent on the government with each passing day.

The long-term solution is to get more Americans working or starting their own businesses, but the federal government continues to pursue policies that are absolutely killing the creation of jobs and the creation of small businesses in this country.  So our epidemic of government dependence is going to continue to get worse.

And many of these programs are absolutely riddled with fraud and corruption.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Natural News article

To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone. Dr. Melgen isn’t the only one bathing in the fraud of this crony government program. Medicare dished out over $1 million to almost 4,000 doctors in 2012, according to the new data release analyzed by The Washington Post.


Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is calling on the public for help in identifying fraud. He says, “The program is funded by and large by taxpayer dollars. The public has a right to know what it is paying for. We know there is fraud in the system. We are asking for the public’s help to check, to find waste, and to find potential fraud.”

Instead of fixing their own problems, they want us to help them do it.

Just great.

And of course they always want more of our money to help fund these programs.  In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, Barack Obama has proposed 442 tax increases since entering the White House…

-79 tax increases for FY 2010
-52 tax increases for FY 2011
-47 tax increases for FY 2012
-34 tax increases for FY 2013
-137 tax increases for FY 2014
-93 tax increases for FY 2015


Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.

The more we feed the monster, the larger and larger it grows.

And yet poverty is not decreasing.  In fact, the poverty rate has been at 15 percent or greater for three years in a row.  That is the first time that has happened in decades.

Barack Obama promised to “transform” America, and yet poverty and government dependence have just continued to grow during his presidency.

Not that anyone really believes anything that he has to say at this point.  In fact, one recent survey found that only 15 percent of Americans believe that Barack Obama always tells the truth and 37 percent believe that he lies “most of the time”…

A Fox News poll released Wednesday shows that six out of every ten Americans believes that President Barack Obama lies to the American people, at least some of the time. A plurality – 37% – say that he lies “most of the time,” while another 24% say he lies “some of the time.” Another 20% say he lies once in awhile, while only 15% say that he never lies.

So what do you think?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Oh regional Indian's picture

NUMBers, but sometimes they do tell a stroy.

It's weird, India has sort of followed the inverse pattern on all those stats, in the service industry and china in manufacturing.

All of them, from female participation in the workforce, savings, .gov dependents...all of them...

When Austerity bites in the US, watch out fat bottoms, I mean, below!


Check out these NUMBers, literally...



wee-weed up's picture



The article stated:

"Many will read this and will assume that I am against helping the poor."

Yep, this is because the MSM preaches that crap every day! Anyone who is for fiscal responsibility is automatically labeled anti-poor and vilified.

TheReplacement's picture

I'm for helping keep the numbers of poor lower - as in, I don't want to be one of them because I pay several times more in taxes than I do for food and clothing or just housing.  My taxes are so high now that I'm going into debt just to pay the government to take care of the "poor".   

Tax revolt anyone?

Keyser's picture

According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

How in the hell is this even possible? We are being scammed on a monumental scale. 



TruthInSunshine's picture

Salomon Melgen, a nice Irish name:

"To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone."

nmewn's picture

lol...I love self deprecating humor.

Its those damned Irish again! ;-)

401K of Dooom's picture

Beggorreagghhh, I believe he's from Killkearney!

NihilistZero's picture

No one is for "real" fiscal responsibility.  TPTB created the Free Shit Army.  If I destroy your purchasing power through monetary debasement and "free trade" to enrich myself and in turn toss you a few crumbs, I've won.  To blame the masses who are so far removed from understanding the source of their plight is beyond naive.

If I rape your wife and kill your kids and your only recourse is to use .gov to achieve the smallest recompense, you are the victim, not me.

In the absence of the state most of these high income earners wouldn't make nearly as much.  .gov exists solely to protect their interests and it's as far from laissez-faire capitalism as you can get.

In a peaceful anarchist system there could never be a Buffet or a Gates and the Rothschild's would have faded into history long ago.  Government protects their existence and influence.  The welfare state is for their benefit and no one else.

greyghost's picture

nihilistzero you are so correct. the writer goes to great length to mention food stamps and soc.security and welfare...nonstop even. yet not one peep about the corporate welfare wagon that endlessly churns out kickbacks to business daily. hell my first thought was what will i do with my first soc. sec. check.....here's a hint....spend it! yep, all those welfare, soc. sec. and food stamp checks get hoarded every month, month in and month out, endlessly. so exactly where would american business be without this flood of money every month? just ask walmart, seems their business "welfare" checks have gone down since the republicans cut back on food stamps, ouch? just look at the screams to start another war...seems the republican passed auto cuts to the military are starting to hurt? weren't they something like 10% a year, and we are now into this 2 years? i have noticed the calls for gutting social programs are reaching a fever pitch......did this jackass author call for more cut backs in the military budget? around and around in circles they go. oh, i'm sorry he says the military is only 18% of spending....LOL LOL 

caconhma's picture


Let us all stop BS. 

Help poor? Why?

I came to America almost 40 years ago. I started work for minimum wages. Back then, it was $1.80 per hour. My first boss was Chinese and he did not understand a 40-hour workweek. I went to school and then to a private university and I have paid for it. I never got any penny from a government. For the last 30 years, I have worked as an engineer & a manager for private companies.

And now, I have to pay to support lazy and stupid? Sorry, I don't think it is a good idea. I came to America from a socialist country. I do believe in an old socialist saying: “People who don’t work must starve!” Either these lazy & stupid starve or the entire society doomed to extinction.

The choice is ours. Either we change the situation or we deserve our destiny. Complains will change NOTHING!


SeattleBruce's picture

The choice is not helping the poor or letting them starve. The question is how do you truly help anyone (hint: it's NOT with handouts.) It's by helping people become employable again, or by encouraging them to start businesses, and, it's by running businesses ourselves that gainfully employ people. Look at any group that works well with 'the poor' and you'll see elements of all of this. In the past shelters used to employ people in need in running the shelter facility and good ones today - like Seattle's Union Gospel Mission - continue to follow that model.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Nihilist, couple outstanding comments. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, many of zero hedge comments are trashy. Too bad!

Quick examples:

The article was written ‘based’ on Heritage Foundation research—such a shame.

1st) Actually, the ‘food-supplement’ for Americans is a lot worse than written. We’re talking over 100 million Americans in need of food because of not enough income.

2nd) Military spending is over 100% of income tax collected—excluding FICA—[ including homeland security, Vet’s retirements and benefits, wars as discretionary spending, nuclear expenses hidden on energy department, interest on these debts].

3rd) Then, you have comments by Keyser linking to Breitbart neocon site.

Anyway, keep up the good work!  

A Nanny Moose's picture

Indeed. They don't interpret the data. The data says that even with all that gummint help since FDR and LBJ, the income disparity has grown. The data also says that even poor people live in air conditioned dwellings with fridges, cell phones, computers (laptops), interwebz, cable TV, Flat screen TVs, washer/dryer. Even the poor in the US are among the top 5% on the planet.

NihilistZero's picture

You completely misunderstand what poverty is.  All the toys in the world can't make up for the spiritual emptiness of inescapable poverty.  To be unable to effect real change in your family and community.  To be governed by an inherently unjust judicial system that constantly works to ensnare you (try working for minimum wage in CA to better yourself and then getting hit with a $400 failure to stop ticket).  Sure the very best and brightest can move up, but why should it only be them?

The vitrol directed at the working poor by many on this site is disgusting.  In the 1970s a fry cook could afford a family and a life.  The only reason he can't now is the last 30 plus years have been spent raping the American laborer through dishonest money and un-free trade.

To all of you who were skilled and/or fortunate enough to avoid the poverty class know that .gov is only a step away from sending you there.  Fight the real enemy and understand that taking food out of the mouth of your unfortunate (and perhaps ignorant) brother is not the answer.

SeattleBruce's picture

Yes Nihilist, vitriol toward our fellow workers is uncalled for. However honest discussion about how to help people who are now poor is important because if there's one thing .gov does quite well it's to create a totally dependent class, and getting through that after a year or two (or more) of being programmed is pretty challenging. The answer on a personal level lies in personal relationships with people and in the wise application of funds (often private, and perhaps public if helpful) in retraining and recovery programs and in employing these individuals (rather than shunning them). Doing this is a direct frontal attack on .gov dependence and is, in my view, one of the strongest fights we can make for the freedom movement.

mumbo_jumbo's picture

no many will read this and wonder why there's no mention of the 60% of US corporations that pay no fucking tax (which as a % of GDP is at an all time low for corporations even though profits are at an all time high) AND THE BEST part is the sheople conditioning to convince them that the social security system that we've paid into our whole lives (to the tune of $200K and fucking counting) is now some kind of an entitlement to ask for YOUR MONEY BACK.....oh well so long as  the job "creators" are tax free.

what a one side piece of propaganda.

ndotken's picture

Americans are so very very fucked.

Cattender's picture

it's a recovery.. Damn am i getting tired of saying that.

Spigot's picture

Yeah, you're right. Americans are so stupid they would read something like this and take it seriously. It's a hack job article intended to be used by political candidates to get their electorate to foam at the mouth about  "the issues". Articles like this are a snow job. The average american voter is too dumbed down to actually look at this kind of article and see the flaws. It is AGITPROP at its finest.

Escrava Isaura's picture


Awesome comment!

sgt_doom's picture

Of course it's going to follow an inverse pattern, you idiot!

They shipped all those jobs to India and China, so American-based multinationals should either charge them taxes, and turn it over to the IRS for said offshored jobs, or pay the taxes themselves.

With every job offshored from the USA, so goes a chunk of the GDP!

Must I always explain everything . . . .

Richardk888's picture

Is Social Security an entitlement seeing as how I have been paying into it since I was 14 years old?

jimmytorpedo's picture

If you pay the mafia protection for 10 years, do you hope they come burn down your business in the 11th year?

Richardk888's picture

My preference would be for them to stop taking it out of my check and letting me chose where to invest/spend it.  Hell, they could even keep what I have paid up to this point.

Either way though, if I live long enough to collect social security, it wont be an entitlement.

kchrisc's picture

They can't let you choose, as they know that as things are now, you'll choose gold.

Frank N. Beans's picture

we are supposedly too ignorant to know how to invest our own money, so the govt takes some of it, intending to give it back to us, in small doses, when we are old

it's called a ponzi scheme


Keyser's picture

Berrnie Madoff is a piker compared to the bankers. 

Zero Govt's picture

any institution with Barney Frank head of a financial committee you just know has lost the plot completely

maskone909's picture

we shouldnt have to make things so god damn complicated for producers to provide goods and services to consumers


its mind blowing when you realize how much rules and regulations exist for something as simple as buying a car to drive to work, or obtaining a job.

you have to register with the DMV, pay them exorbatant amounts of fees, obtain auto insurance, comply with smog laws,


oh, you want to find a job>? 

you must graduate from an educational institution($$$), comply with the licensure in that field, have a cell phone and email for communication($$$), trnasportation, housing, clothing, ability to feed yourself after this is all said and done(good luck)


omfgBBQ i am rambling but this is awefull.  we are taxed and bled to death. just a matter of time before SHTF

James_Cole's picture


oh, you want to find a job>? 

you must graduate from an educational institution($$$), comply with the licensure in that field, have a cell phone and email for communication($$$), trnasportation, housing, clothing, ability to feed yourself after this is all said and done(good luck)

Umm...welcome to 2014? You're competing with a global labour pool and increasingly sophisticated software -showing up and being willing to work doesn't mean much (if it ever really did). 

Incidentally, making the basic cv requirements you cited above out of reach ($$) for regular people is more or less the mission statement of the 'heritage' foundation the author quotes for this article.  


Anusocracy's picture

They're are control freaks.

Control is advantageous to survival of the controllers.

StychoKiller's picture


The long-term solution is to get more Americans working or starting their own businesses, but the federal government continues to pursue policies that are absolutely killing the creation of jobs and the creation of small businesses in this country.


Professional clowns are on the decline

Apparently the Govt is taking away circus jobs too!


deflator's picture


If you pay the mafia protection for 10 years, do you hope they come burn down your business in the 11th year?


If they were delivering protection no, but since it is all take, take, take and is disintegrating on it's own it doesn't fuckin' matter.


 I bought a condo in a complex of more than 270 units. I tried to tell the HOA that the place had fallen into disrepair and that squirrels and racoons were destroying the place 4 years ago and they laughed in my face.(a condescending left arm wrapped around torso, right thumb under chin with index finger pointed at temple saying, "Mr. Gilmore, I kinda like the squirrels and the trees.")  Now the city wants to condemn the whole complex as a safety hazard.

 The HOA board has self managed the complex for the past 20 years taking in more than half a million dollars every year for the past 20 years. The HOA currently has $4,000 in the bank and zero records for the past 20 years of expenditures.  90% of the home owners think everything is going good.

 The local, "mafia" as I understand it would be whatever local commercial real estate developer the Federal Reserve happens to be backstopping through it's various REIT's. In this case it happens to be Fogelman, the same Fogelman who built this place as apartments and was able to illegaly convert to condos in 1986 thereby passing on the risk of his faulty engineering and construction. Now when the city condemns the 570 acres of prime RE he can pick up the pieces for pennies on the dollar by decree no less.

If not for FED Reserve backstop of REIT's, local mafias would be bankrupt even with their pseudo ham fisted corruptions.

jimmytorpedo's picture

I won't explain my previous comment although it may have been misunderstood.

Suffice it to say, when a cheque comes from my government, I take much more pleasure in burning it than cashing it.

Stolen money will not stain my virtue.

The bully can steal my milk money only for so long.

Venegance is for the smart, the meek shall inherit nothing except empty promises of streets paved with gold.

The zombies may steal my mental output but they will NEVER EAT MY BRAIN.



deflator's picture

My government does not send checks, they insist that all transactions be electronic. You have to have a checking account and receive their check by direct deposit.

NotApplicable's picture

Given it's a ponzi, does it really matter? People paid Madoff lots of money too.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

You were paying for your parents generation.    It's nothing but an intergenerational ponzi scam.   

BigRedRider's picture

That's right.  Now shut up and work to make my monthly bennies.  If you're smart, you'll pay to put your kids through college so they can get nice paying jobs to pay your way through retirement.  You know if you fail to do this, you break the link and you don't get shit for retirement, Christmas, Easter, or Father's Day.

lakecity55's picture

"Girls, nothing for Daddy this Fathers' Day. Write a check to the SS fund for me."

Unknown Poster's picture

Spot on. With geezers living longer and fewer workers, the wheels will come off this gravy train.

PT's picture

We got machines that let one man do the job of a hundred.  No need for anyone to starve.



Yes, yes, some jobs still don't use those machines so one man can only do the job of one man, but it still averages out quite high.  No need to panic but you do need to think.  Oh hang on, cancel that.  You're doomed.

Unknown Poster's picture

Robots don't pay into social security.

PT's picture

But they do let one man do the job of a hundred so the production is actually there to cater for the masses.  The one thing that actually matters is production.  (Okay, the next thing that matters is distribution.)

Unknown Poster's picture

Social security is still a ponzi scheme.

Sure robots are increasing production, but that isn't working out too well for those without a job. EBT, SNAP, social security and the rest of the programs aren't sustainable. BTW I am not doomed, I am ENTITLED to your stuff. ;)

Zero Govt's picture

if the men stayed in production there'd be considerably less capital available for new investment ...the cheaper robots increase capital available 

Unknown Poster's picture

Zero government, now thats something to get closer to.

Where labor is cheap producers are less likely to use machines. Chicken farming and egg handling are more expensive to start up using modern techniques, but cheaper in the long run if labor is high.

slightlyskeptical's picture

 Ultimately, as efficiency improves, the avaiable market for the goods produced gets smaller and smaller. It's really simple math....welfare keeps the market moving and those who still work, working. Welfare is a product of greed and not compassion. A world where welfare was not needed ,would be a world where power and great wealth would be much harder to achieve.

Let's face it, if everyone was employed in some type of productive capacity we would only need to work 15-20 hours per week to produce everything we want resource permitting. The alternative is simply death of the majority of the population. Choose your sides wisely.

PT's picture

Funny that.  Some people are unemployed and yet others are putting in 70 hour weeks and still being told that they don't work hard enough.  Why can't they just hire one more person and have 2 people working 35 hour weeks?

One guy works 84 hours per week for 2 grand per week, another guy works 84 hours per week for 20 grand per week.  Where are the people who work 42 hours per week for ten grand?  Or 21 hours per week for 5 grand?  (Maybe I just don't hear about them.)  

Like I said, our second problem is distribution.

Our first problem is production.  But if that was really a problem at the moment then we wouldn't have channel stuffing.  We got resources.  We got production.  We got labour.  We even got plenty of labour left over.  And we can't run our machines at full capacity because they produce too much.  But no-one can afford to buy anything.  We got a "money in the wrong place" problem.  And that is an imaginary problem that is creating real world problems - the tail is currently wagging the dog.  The production is there.  The productive capacity is there.  The labour is available.  We have a distribution problem.







Okay, the little flaw in the above argument is that we may have a resource problem.  But for some reason that doesn't stop us from building houses that no-one can afford to buy, be it in "capitalist" US or "Communist" China ( sorry about the words in quotes, I know I'm taking great liberties by using them ).  It doesn't stop us from building residential units 20 miles away from retail units and commerce units.  It doesn't stop high rises from being built beyond the point of diminishing returns.  It doesn't stop my govt (at least) from paying people to produce more "self-reproducing resource consuming units" (i.e. babies).   So the plebs have to learn to do without due to oil shortages.  Well, why do they still have to work so hard???  If they only earn half as much, can't they take 6 months off?

Unknown Poster's picture

Individuals make their choices based on the rewards they perceive, the costs and the rules they have to operate under. The government says they know what is best for society. They haven't convinced me. The whole shitshow is messed up, but most people want happy news and someone to take care of them.

Distribution and production are usually decided by prices not beaurocrats. That's why communism doesn't work.

PT's picture

Yeah, fuck communism.  But fuck capitalism too.  It doesn't quite work as advertised.  Fuck the whole capitalist / communist dichotomy.  Extra brain cells will be required.