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Report Shows Reliance on Government Income at an All Time High

Americans are relying more on federal government aid than ever before according to an analysis of federal data conducted by USA Today.

Last year, 18.3 percent of American income came from government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits and food stamps, while earned income accounted for only 50.1 percent, the lowest number recorded.

The percentage of government income Americans received hovered around 12 percent during the 80s and 90s but rose during the last decade, the report says, due to an aging population, the economic downturn and an expansion of health care benefits. The biggest increase took place in the back half of the decade as the recession took hold.

When looking at those percentages as actual income, the amount of money the average American received from the government doubled from 1990 to 2010, increasing from $3,686 to $7,427, adjusted for inflation.

The report notes that Medicare spending is set to skyrocket once Baby Boomers start to retire in the coming years. Most were still working in 2010.


Asked by amazinggrace83 at 2:30 PM on Apr. 26, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 31 (50,242 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (29)
  • Sounds like people need to learn to take care of themselves and the government needs to stop paying for niceties like internet, cell phones and junk food.


    Answer by scout_mom at 5:18 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I heard this on the news a little while ago. I have said before and will say again...our country is at a dangerous tipping point. What will happen to those 18% when the well runs dry? How many will figure out how to survive on their own and how many will be winnowed out?

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 3:10 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Report Shows Reliance on Government Income at an All Time High

    We didn't give Obama enough credit, he got exactly what he wanted.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 2:32 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • And the oil companies make record profits
    Yup. Along with all the other american companies I listed yesterday that you are not bitching about.
    Save some money for Gas linda, and it won't hurt so bad. LOL

    Answer by jewjewbee at 3:02 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Wow! Nope not surprising. All Obama has done since elected is give out one goody after another

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 4:26 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Oh and the SS and disability isn't just for the old retirees anymore they also support young people who may or may not need it. for instance, I met a 20 yr old who got 2000 a month because he said he had bad ADHD and bipolar disorder, and I know older people who have far worse issues (like not being able to walk) who only get 600 a month...go figure...more people abusing the system....

    Answer by ramita at 5:11 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Obamas cheerleaders just name call, dont worry about it lol. The fact is 20 years ago you got denied SSI for stupid silly things and yes you pulled up your freaking boot straps and got a damned job.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:16 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • There is something wrong with a society that believes that it has to do nothing for itself while relying on others to do it all for them.


    ^^^ THIS!!!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 9:02 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • set to skyrocket once Baby Boomers start to retire in the coming years


    a little late here, 10,000 people apply for SS out of the BB generation NOW daily


    Answer by jewjewbee at 2:34 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • If you looked at the rising job loss/unemployment numbers, you really shouldn't be surprised-

    Nothing added to nothing still equals nothing-

    Answer by Sisteract at 3:26 PM on Apr. 26, 2011