[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Depressing news in this article:
U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.
Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.
But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times.
Also, an estimated 59% of the 308.7 million Americans in this country get at least one federal benefit, according to the Census Bureau, based on 2009 data. An estimated 46.5 million get Social Security; 42.6 million get Medicare; 42.4 million get Medicaid; 36.1 million get food stamps; 12.4 million get housing subsidies; and 3.2 million get Veterans’ benefits.
And the handouts from the government have been growing. Government cash handouts account for a whopping 79% of household growth since 2007, even as household tax payments–for things like the income and payroll tax, among other taxes–have fallen by $312 billion.
The entitlement state cannot continue. Period. Yes, we would love to make everyone have a wonderful little safety net, but the math just doesn’t work. It’s that simple. And if we are ever going to balance our budget, we are going to have to recognize that reality.
Meanwhile, in defiance of reality, we are about to slam into our debt limit. CNS reports that we are less than a week away from that event. I summed up the ridiculousness of the argument for raising it a few months back:
Try this sometime. Go to your local bank. Tell them that you need a loan. They will ask why, in one way or another. When they ask why, explain to them that you already have a massive loan to someone else that you will not be able to repay unless you get this loan from them. When they ask how you got that loan in the first place, then explain to them that this loan was taken out because otherwise you couldn’t have paid a previous loan.
And when they ask how you plan to pay off this loan, explain to them that surely someone else will loan you that money.
Then, let me know in the comments when they stop laughing at you.
I have yet to hear a cogent explanation as to why we must extend their credit. I think it should only be done with the steepest conditions.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]