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WSJ: Nearly half of U.S. lives in household receiving government benefit

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By Doug Powers  •  May 27, 2012 03:59 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

A ten percent increase from 2008.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Cutting government spending is no easy task, and it’s made more complicated by recent Census Bureau data showing that nearly half of the people in the U.S. live in a household that receives at least one government benefit, and many likely received more than one.

The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.

The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15% of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26% had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2% had a member receiving unemployment benefits. Families doubling up to save money or pool expenses also is likely leading to more multigenerational households. But even without the effects of the recession, there would be a larger reliance on government.

Instead of showing signs of reversing from this unsustainable course (unfortunately sustainability is mostly only a concern in the environmental sense), the trend is only picking up speed:

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As Doug Ross noted over at his blog, once this number gets too far over the 50% hump, it’s all fast downhill from there — as others are finding out the hard way.

**Written by Doug Powers

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