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Despite the famed 1996 Welfare Reform Act and the more recent welfare adjustments in 2006, 60.8 million Americans remain dependent on the government for their daily housing, food, and health care. The number of taxpayers is shrinking – and the country may be rapidly approaching the point where more than one-third of Americans do not pay taxes for benefits they receive. In February 2009, the leadership of the Congress and the new Obama Administration may have driven the final stake into the heart of any semblance of fiscal responsibility when they enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – essentially overturning the fiscal foundation of welfare reform.
Starting in 2016, Social Security will not collect enough in taxes to pay all of the promised benefits – which is a problem for all workers, but especially for the roughly half of the American workforce that has no other retirement program. Add in spiraling academic grants, flat-out farm socialism, and the swelling ranks of Americans who believe themselves entitled to public-sector benefits for which they pay few or no taxes – and Americans must ask themselves whether they are near a tipping point in the nature of their government.
More About the Speakers
The Honorable Jim DeMint (R-SC)
United States Senate
The Honorable Tom Price (R-GA)
United States House of Representatives
Center for Data Analysis,
The Heritage Foundation
Vice President, Government Studies