Posts tagged Entitlements

18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels

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Source: http://endoftheamericandream.com

By Michael Snyder

18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels

 

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…

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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?

This article first appeared here at the The American Dream.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

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How the Paper Money Experiment Will End

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Source: https://mises.org

By

How the Paper Money Experiment Will End

 

6609A paper currency system contains the seeds of its own destruction. The temptation for the monopolist money producer to increase the money supply is almost irresistible. In such a system with a constantly increasing money supply and, as a consequence, constantly increasing prices, it does not make much sense to save in cash to purchase assets later. A better strategy, given this senario, is to go into debt to purchase assets and pay back the debts later with a devalued currency. Moreover, it makes sense to purchase assets that can later be pledged as collateral to obtain further bank loans. A paper money system leads to excessive debt.

This is especially true of players that can expect that they will be bailed out with newly produced money such as big businesses, banks, and the government.

We are now in a situation that looks like a dead end for the paper money system. After the last cycle, governments have bailed out malinvestments in the private sector and boosted their public welfare spending. Deficits and debts skyrocketed. Central banks printed money to buy public debts (or accept them as collateral in loans to the banking system) in unprecedented amounts. Interest rates were cut close to zero. Deficits remain large. No substantial real growth is in sight. At the same time banking systems and other financial players sit on large piles of public debt. A public default would immediately trigger the bankruptcy of the banking sector. Raising interest rates to more realistic levels or selling the assets purchased by the central bank would put into jeopardy the solvency of the banking sector, highly indebted companies, and the government. It looks like even the slowing down of money printing (now called “QE tapering”) could trigger a bankruptcy spiral. A drastic reduction of government spending and deficits does not seem very likely either, given the incentives for politicians in democracies.

So will money printing be a constant with interest rates close to zero until people lose their confidence in the paper currencies? Can the paper money system be maintained or will we necessarily get a hyperinflation sooner or later?

There are at least seven possibilities:

1. Inflate. Governments and central banks can simply proceed on the path of inflation and print all the money necessary to bail out the banking system, governments, and other over-indebted agents. This will further increase moral hazard. This option ultimately leads into hyperinflation, thereby eradicating debts. Debtors profit, savers lose. The paper wealth that people have saved over their life time will not be able to assure such a high standard of living as envisioned.

2. Default on Entitlements. Governments can improve their financial positions by simply not fulfilling their promises. Governments may, for instance, drastically cut public pensions, social security and unemployment benefits to eliminate deficits and pay down accumulated debts. Many entitlements, that people have planned upon, will prove to be worthless.

3. Repudiate Debt. Governments can also default outright on their debts. This leads to losses for banks and insurance companies that have invested the savings of their clients in government bonds. The people see the value of their mutual funds, investment funds, and insurance plummet thereby revealing the already-occurred losses. The default of the government could lead to the collapse of the banking system. The bankruptcy spiral of overindebted agents would be an economic Armageddon. Therefore, politicians until now have done everything to prevent this option from happening.

4. Financial Repression. Another way to get out of the debt trap is financial repression. Financial repression is a way of channeling more funds to the government thereby facilitating public debt liquidation. Financial repression may consist of legislation making investment alternatives less attractive or more directly in regulation inducing investors to buy government bonds. Together with real growth and spending cuts, financial repression may work to actually reduce government debt loads.

5. Pay Off Debt. The problem of overindebtedness can also be solved through fiscal measures. The idea is to eliminate debts of governments and recapitalize banks through taxation. By reducing overindebtedness, the need for the central bank to keep interest low and to continue printing money is alleviated. The currency could be put on a sounder base again. To achieve this purpose, the government expropriates wealth on a massive scale to pay back government debts. The government simply increases existing tax rates or may employ one-time confiscatory expropriations of wealth. It uses these receipts to pay down its debts and recapitalize banks. Indeed the IMF has recently proposed a one-time 10-percent wealth tax in Europe in order to reduce the high levels of public debts. Large scale cuts in spending could also be employed to pay off debts. After WWII, the US managed to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio from 130 percent in 1946 to 80 percent in 1952. However, it seems unlikely that such a debt reduction through spending cuts could work again. This time the US does not stand at the end of a successful war. Government spending was cut in half from $118 billion in 1945 to $58 billion in 1947, mostly through cuts in military spending. Similar spending cuts today do not seem likely without leading to massive political resistance and bankruptcies of overindebted agents depending on government spending.

6. Currency Reform. There is the option of a full-fledged currency reform including a (partial) default on government debt. This option is also very attractive if one wants to eliminate overindebtedness without engaging in a strong price inflation. It is like pressing the reset button and continuing with a paper money regime. Such a reform worked in Germany after the WWII (after the last war financial repression was not an option) when the old paper money, the Reichsmark, was substituted by a new paper money, the Deutsche Mark. In this case, savers who hold large amounts of the old currency are heavily expropriated, but debt loads for many people will decline.

7. Bail-in. There could be a bail-in amounting to a half-way currency reform. In a bail-in, such as occurred in Cyprus, bank creditors (savers) are converted into bank shareholders. Bank debts decrease and equity increases. The money supply is reduced. A bail-in recapitalizes the banking system, and eliminates bad debts at the same time. Equity may increase so much, that a partial default on government bonds would not threaten the stability of the banking system. Savers will suffer losses. For instance, people that invested in life insurances that in turn bought bank liabilities or government bonds will assume losses. As a result the overindebtedness of banks and governments is reduced.

Any of the seven options, or combinations of two or more options, may lie ahead. In any case they will reveal the losses incurred in and end the wealth illusion. Basically, taxpayers, savers, or currency users are exploited to reduce debts and put the currency on a more stable basis. A one-time wealth tax, a currency reform or a bail-in are not very popular policy options as they make losses brutally apparent at once. The first option of inflation is much more popular with governments as it hides the costs of the bail out of overindebted agents. However, there is the danger that the inflation at some point gets out of control. And the monopolist money producer does not want to spoil his privilege by a monetary meltdown. Before it gets to the point of a runaway inflation, governments will increasingly ponder the other options as these alternatives could enable a reset of the system.

 


About the Author

Philipp Bagus

PhilippBagusPhilipp Bagus is an associate professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. He is an associate scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and was awarded the 2011 O.P. Alford III Prize in Libertarian Scholarship. He is the author of The Tragedy of the Euro and coauthor of Deep Freeze: Iceland’s Economic CollapseThe Tragedy of the Euro has so far been translated and published in GermanFrenchSlovakPolishItalianRomanianFinnishSpanishPortugueseBritish EnglishDutchBrazilian PortugueseBulgarian, and Chinese. See his website. Send him mail. Follow him on Twitter @PhilippBagus 

 

Image credit: https://mises.org

 

Ron Paul: Crowd of 5,000 in IL, but he’s not winning?

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Source: http://www.allvoices.com

By

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“President Paul” chants broke out as usual Wednesday evening in Illinois by thousands of supporters who showed up for a chance to be in the same room with the rock star GOP candidate, but something very unusual happened — hundreds didn’t have to wait outside.

You see, usually when the Texas congressman arrives in town, most venues are just too small to hold the unexpected crowds that clammer to hear the wisdom of the Father of Liberty.  So, often hundreds end up staying outside waiting until he leaves in hopes for a chance to wave at him on his way out.

But this time, the venue was big enough. Are his crowds getting smaller? Au contrare! This crowd was so big that a few days before he was to come to town, organizers realized they weren’t going to have enough seats in the original place picked out, so they moved it to a location that would accomodate the massive group of unified freedom fighters.

I do not understand why thousands of people keep showing up for the Paul rallies — yet he is not winning the race for the Republican nomination? Could it be from messy caucuses? Could it be voter fraud? Do other candidates get this kind of reception? Something does not add up here…

Check out the more than 5,000 people who showed up to see Paul at the University of Illinois on Wednesday evening in the video above. Is the “establishment” in control of the mainstream media? Is that why most people don’t hear about the crowds that come to see Ron Paul? What is going on in this country? Surely these caucuses or “beauty contests” can’t mean anything if they are not being handled correctly, can they?

Just this past week, Ron Paul won his first caucus in the Virgin Islands, but the mainstream media said Romney won. In Maine, many votes were turned in, but never counted, or they reported totally different numbers, according to Ben Swann of Cincinnati’s Reality Check.

In Washington state, hundreds were turned away in Kennewick because there “wasn’t enough room” in the Hotel for all the folks that showed up, so they weren’t allowed to vote! But, in the article, Thousands welcome Ron Paul in Washington state, you’ll read that hundreds had to wait outside due to overcrowding.

Depending on the week, media outlets will tout the three other candidates: You’ll hear, “Romney is winning!” Or, “Santorum just won several states and upset Romney!” And even sometimes, “Newt will do very well here, these are his kind of voters!” But wait! Stop!

Ron Paul regularly has many lower- to middle-class individuals giving to his campaign. He rakes in millions. He tops Google Trends and social media interest in him grows month after month. But he gets very little coverage compared to the other three GOP candidates. It doesn’t even make sense. Even a child could do the math — it’s called subtraction!

Does America even care if it is a fair race? Is anyone going to step up and say, “Something is wrong here?” Is anyone going to question why the mainstream media ignores, avoids and discredits Ron Paul while venue after venue is packed with his supporters at each stop he makes? I don’t get it…

[CIM Comment]

Our last hope, so don’t be a “party” tool!

Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!

Sen. Rand Paul on Last Episode of Freedom Watch

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Rand Paul attacks Obama and the Republicans. 2/13/12

[CIM Comment]

Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!

 

Santorum touts his true conservatism, but …

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Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com

(Charlie Neibergall, File/Associated Press)

Santorum opposes abortion rights and favors a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He takes a hawkish line on foreign policy, saying he would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities unless they were opened for international arms inspectors.

“I’ve voted toughly over the years to cut spending and to rein in entitlements,” he said recently.

Not always. Santorum, who rose to the No. 3 GOP leadership post in the Senate, supported the sweeping No Child Left Behind education reform bill that conservatives complain gave too much control to the federal government. He has said he regrets his vote.

In 2003, Santorum was a leading advocate for extending Medicare prescription drug benefits to seniors, a measure that conservative critics branded as a massive entitlement expansion that would run up the federal budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. He now says the vote was a mistake.

Santorum also voted for a massive highway bill in 2005 that was stuffed with earmarks, including the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska.

He fought food stamp cuts in 2005 and has pushed hard to get more federal money for Amtrak and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides fuel aid to the poor. Both are programs popular in Pennsylvania but considered by many conservatives to be examples of a bloated federal government.

Santorum worked to extend subsidies in 2005 for Pennsylvania’s dairy farms. The $1 billion, two-year national program paid dairy farmers when milk prices dropped.

In 2002, Santorum went to bat for retired steelworkers. He pushed a plan to use some revenues from a Bush administration proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to pay some health and pension costs of about 600,000 retirees from bankrupt steel companies, a key constituency in Pennsylvania.

Santorum has already come under fire from his GOP rivals for his heavy use of earmarks, which are a favorite target for tea party activists who see them as wasteful.

FULL STORY HERE

Salon Attack on Ron Paul Refuted

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB_PolQW-N4&feature=youtu.be

Bestselling author Tom Woods responds to Salon attack on Ron Paul (“Ron Paul’s Phony Populism”). http://www.tomwoods.com http://www.facebook.com/ThomasEWoods

[CIM Comment: Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!]

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site and donate today!

 

 

To The CRIMINAL Policticians: Entitlements My Ass!

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Source: http://www.realnewsreporter.com

Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. Pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff ever had.

Entitlement my butt, I paid cash for my social security insurance!! Just because they borrowed the money, (thank you Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter!) it doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!! Congressional benefits; aka, free health care, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my retirement entitlements!

Emergency Rooms for their general health care — At just one hospital the cost to tax payers totaled over 25 million a year!
Someone please tell me what’s wrong with all the people that run this country! We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,?
In the last year we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey. And now Pakistan home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$’s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when its time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?

We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans.

AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without ‘needed’ meds, and mentally ill without treatment -etc,etc.

YET…

They have a ‘Benefit’ for the people of Haiti of 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes,bedding, doctors and medical supplies.

Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries.

SAD?

YEAH, OK, SO WHEN DO WE GET MAD AND

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?????

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