Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Too many people taking out and not enough people paying in

The Wall Street Journal reports on a troubling statistic regarding the percentage of Americans living in a household that receives government benefits: Nearly Half of U.S Lives in Household Receiving Government Benefits

The pool of Americans relying on government benefits rose to record highs last year as an increasing share of families tapped aid in a weak economy.

Some 48.6% of the population lived in a household receiving some type of government benefit in the second quarter of 2010, up a notch from 48.5% in the first quarter, according to Census data.

Not to get all conspiratorial but that is exactly what the Left wants because the more people depend on the government, the more likely they are to vote for politicians who will protect that benefit. Politicians get to bribe voters with the hard earned money of other people or with borrowed money that they will never have to worry about paying back.

Half of all people in the U.S. live households that receive some sort of government benefit. A similar percentage of American workers pay no income taxes. It is probably safe to assume that there is a lot of overlap between these two groups (I am the exception, paying no income taxes but not receiving any government benefits unless you count my tax “refund”). More and more Americans get to vote in our elections but don’t have to pay for the consequences of those voting decisions. How else do you explain the current President and the "Occupy Wall Street" movement?

This is a dangerous and unsustainable system. When a majority of people start to realize that they can vote to steal from others, democracy is doomed. As more and more people live in households that are on the government dole and more and more people don’t pay income taxes that fund those government benefits, the burden shifts to a shrinking population of workers who sustain this system by their taxes. We face a double-whammy of increasing the pool of Americans who don’t pay into the system and a gradually more and more skewed ration of tax paying workers to benefit receiving seniors as older Americans live longer and younger Americans have fewer children to replenish the workforce.

We need to reduce the number of people who a) have no stake in the spending decisions of politicians by ensuring that all Americans pay something in income taxes and b) receive some sort of benefit from the government paid for by someone else. Getting financial goodies from the government shouldn’t be the default, it should be rare and it should be temporary. A society that devours those who work and earn to benefit those who don’t is not going to survive for long.
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