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About entitlement nation -- new report shows more Americans dependent on the government than ever before in our nation's history.
A whopping 67 million of us rely on government handouts just to get by joining us now with more the co author of that study.
William beach director of the center for data analysis at The Heritage Foundation.
Bill welcome to the show this is an all time high work really dependency on the federal government.
Is it just the effects of the recession or is there something else going on here.
No we think about a fifth of the -- change in the index is due to economic activity like a recession.
The rest is due to two factors.
One is the fact the population is growing over time.
Particularly the retired population is really starting to take off and I'm very concerned about the future of the index because of that.
And that the rest the biggest majority of the changes due to policy changes I -- members of congress and the president.
Are actually saying this is the direction we want -- go and here's the law and that's what's really move in that index up this year.
-- a look at some of these numbers drill down just a little bit is America the dependent after all.
One in five reliant on government for housing health care food stamps college and of course is we say retirement those benefits of course -- their slightly different than some of the others.
70% of the federal budget goes individual assistance programs 70%.
And the average individual benefit is 32000.
Dollars you know.
I think this is not gonna go over very well with the American people when they see that people who are on the government dole are getting more money than the people paying their tab.
Well I think you're right about that and and and most Americans are very concerned about the fiscal future of the federal government -- What we've been on -- in the red alert the past eighteen months.
Well now we kind know what's driving that deficit was driving that debt that's -- big growth in these programs.
Two and a half trillion dollars associated with these -- Tennessee creating programs.
-- -- I'm not against helping people and in fact matter is we gotta do this at the community level where.
Helping other people build strengthen communities and families when we're dependent on the government however.
We're depend on an agency which really isn't doesn't have a huge -- -- to get us back on our feet.
It's a problem and it's only gonna get worse.
We strike an interesting note there because I think it's absolutely true that.
What we're talking about is is not pulling out the rug out from under people's feet but maybe something a little smarter a little more intelligent.
They can also be empathetic.
I would -- respond -- Newt Gingrich has made some pretty amazing comments about food stamps harassment Gingrich.
The fact is.
That more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president -- American has.
Is that true.
Well I I -- I I don't know whether that's actually true or not.
You know relative to the size of the population there may have been some cases back in the seventies early eighties where we actually have a higher percentage.
The point is that both parties have been growing this index.
The Republicans during the bush years voted the end of Medicare part.
A Medicaid expansion occurred just a few years ago through the Children's Health Insurance Program both Republicans and Democrats got behind debt.
So it's it's really important not to accuse President Obama just because you sitting in the White House.
-- being the cause of all this problem both.
Party yeah right exactly blame I mean that's my view is that there's a lot of people to point fingers at.
And some of them are Democrats and some of them are Republicans.
Somehow we have to find a way.
To pull back on the spending because I mean what's your view if this spending isn't curbed in some -- what happens with the ultimate end game.
Well we're almost on that cliff you know we're all these baby -- ever be -- 77 million of us.
Are about to retire after that point we really are kind of lost in the fiscal woods.
So it's it's the next couple of years let's let's get our act together on Social Security Medicare Medicaid there are many very good proposals out there -- -- has one called saving the American dream.
You know we need to reform those programs before they get out of control.
Dependency is something that is natural we all are -- at one time or another we ought to be though dependent on people who love us and no less.
-- get us back on our feet so we can help them when -- -- in trouble dependency on the government is causing our fiscal crisis today we need to return to programs that are driving that.
Okay bill thanks for coming on today fascinating numbers and I I'm sure will continue to follow this study is she doing here -- your thank you so much.
Thank you think rumor.