PostHeaderIcon Benefit Insanity

Benefit spending soars to new high“:

The recession is driving the safety net of government benefits to a 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.

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.

I can remember when $17K in annual income put a family into the uppermost tier of the middle class. Then, back then $17K would purchase 485 ounces of gold – do the math.

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.

• 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.

That is 11% of our population on food stamps! What happens when price increases catch up with the obscene currency inflation and $114 won’t buy a loaf of bread? And $114 per loaf would be cheap by Weimar standards – it couldn’t buy a crumb in Zimbabwe.

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.

Natch… one definition of insanity is repeating something that has already been tried and expecting a different result. ◄Dave►

2 Responses to “Benefit Insanity”

  • If you want a view of the future of this just keep an eye on California. We have some of the best benefits in the nation, and the nature of permeable borders within the states means that we have a constant flood of the disabled and unemployable coming in from the other 49. The government of course passes this cost on to workers and businesses. The cost of doing business has gone up to the point where we are seeing a mass exodus of the more functional elements of society. If Obama doesn’t give us a bailout soon, we will make an excellent example of the possible perils of socialism. I think he’ll double down when things get tough, at which point you’ll be in it with us.

    • Sharon W. says:

      I think you’re right about that……..California is ‘too big to fail’, however, since the costs of sustaining Utopian Entitlements is unsustainable, we will all fail……that’s the beauty of Tyranny! Equal misery.

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