Universal Life Care
Submitted By Todd on June 8th at 11:35am
They call it a safety net, which implies that when an occasional productive person hits a rocky road, there's some short term help.
Even before socialized medicine, one of every six tax dollars spent is a handout. That's not a safety net, it's universal life care.The recession is driving the safety net of government benefits to an historic high, as one of every six dollars of Americans' income is now coming in the form of a federal or state check or voucher.
Benefits, such as Social Security, food stamps, unemployment insurance and health care, accounted for 16.2% of personal income in the first quarter of 2009, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That's the highest percentage since the government began compiling records in 1929.Well, of course it's the highest ever. The percentage is not likely to go down!
In all, government spending on benefits will top $2 trillion in 2009 — an average of $17,000 provided to each U.S. household, federal data show. Benefits rose at a 19% annual rate in the first quarter compared to the last three months of 2008.Last year's budget was about $3.4 trillion, and Obama will give away $2 trillion. Even so, we have a dead economy with consumers unwilling to spend. What's the money going to?
•Unemployment insurance. One-fourth of the extra spending covers jobless benefits, a program started in the Depression. The stimulus law, passed in February, increased benefits. • Social Security. The bad economy has prompted a 10%-15% jump in early retirements, the program's actuary says. A 5.8% increase took effect January 1. Bottom line: $55 billion in new costs. • Food stamps. Enrollment hit a record 33.2 million people in March, up 5.2 million from last year. The stimulus law boosted the size of the benefit. Average March benefit: $114 per person.Liberals consider this a success.
The safety net is working, advocates say. "We're not seeing the hunger we saw in the 1930s because the food stamp program is doing what it's supposed to do," says Florida food stamp director Jennifer Lange.What's next?
Adam Lerrick, economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, says the benefits' explosion will eventually lead to an economic crisis. "We've seen this movie before in many countries. It always has the same ending," he says.Just imagine what it will be like when condoms and birth control pills are provided free to all in the socialized medicine plan.