Home > Federal, National, State > Alarming growth of dependence on government, and desperate need for welfare reform

Alarming growth of dependence on government, and desperate need for welfare reform

July 6, 2010

The 2010 Index of Dependence on Government: Dramatic Spike in Dependence Projected

Published on June 28, 2010 by William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell

Abstract: Year after year, The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Dependence on Government documents the ever-growing number of federal aid programs and the ever-growing number of Americans who rely on government subsidies for their existence. The number of Americans who now pay no taxes has passed 35 percent. The International Monetary Fund predicts financial devastation for the U.S. by 2015 unless drastic cuts are made in the deficit immediately, and Congress has lost control of the national budget. An impending tipping point for the structure of American government and civil society is tangible. Following are preliminary estimates for the upcoming 2010 Index of Dependence on Government that all Americans should heed.

The Heritage Foundation has published the Index of Dependence on Government for eight consecutive years. For each of these eight years, the Index has signaled troubling and rapid increases in the growth of dependence-creating federal programs; and for each of these eight years, Heritage has warned of the threat that rapid growth in government dependence poses for the United States’ republican form of government, as well as for the broader civil society.

Preliminary estimates for the 2010 Index dramatically underscore the concerns of years past. According to preliminary estimates by The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA):

1. Americans’ dependence on government grew by 13.6 percent in 2009.

2. The Index’s dependence variables that grew the most over that past year are:

  • Health and Welfare at 22 percent,
  • Rural and Agricultural Services at 20 percent, and
  • Housing at 15 percent.[1]

3. The increase over 2009 means that the Index has grown by 49 percent since 2001.

4. Americans’ dependence on the government was 14 times greater in 2009 than it was in 1962.

The increase in the Index of Dependence on Government during 2009 is the greatest single-year percentage change since 1976. It covers data through the end of 2009, which was a momentous year across a wide horizon of public policies. Even seasoned Washington insiders, however, might be surprised to learn just how noteworthy that year was.

As you can see in the chart we had problems during the Bush years as well as now, however where Bush was correcting course, now Obama is taking it back in the wrong direction and to new unprecedented levels!


the whole report is here: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/The-2010-Index-of-Dependence-on-Government-Dramatic-Spike-in-Dependence-Projected

Confronting the Unsustainable Growth of Welfare Entitlements: Principles of Reform and the Next Steps

Published on June 24, 2010 by Kiki Bradley and Robert Rector

Abstract: The growth of welfare spending is unsustainable and will drive the United States into bankruptcy if allowed to continue. President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request would increase total welfare spending to $953 billion—a 42 percent increase over welfare spending in FY 2008, the last full year of the Bush Administration. To bring welfare spending under control, Congress should reduce welfare spending to pre-recession levels after the recession ends and then limit future growth to the rate of inflation. Congress should also restore work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and apply them to other federal welfare programs.

Podcast: Listen to Katherine (Kiki) Bradley on slowing the growth of welfare.


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