Almost half of all Americans participate in at least one government benefit program, according to data recently released by the Census Bureau
The census found that during the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of the population received benefits from at least one federal-government entitlement program, CNSNews.com reported.
The number of Americans receiving government benefits is expected to skyrocket once Obamacare is fully implemented in 2014. Under the Affordable Care Act, federal subsidies will be given to help offset the cost of health-insurance premiums for Americans who earn up to 400 percent of the poverty level.
According to the Census data, benefit recipients at the end of 2011 broke down this way:
• 82,457,000 receiving Medicaid
• 49,901,000 receiving Social Security
• 49,073,000 on food stamps
• 23,228,000 participating in the Women, Infants, and Children program
• 20,223,000 collecting Supplemental Security Income
• 13,433,000 living in public or subsidized housing
• 5,098,000 collecting unemployment
• 3,178,000 receiving veteran's benefits
• 364,000 collecting railroad retirement benefits
According to more recent survey data reported in July by The Associated Press, four in five adults are struggling
to find sufficiently paying employment and are relying on some kind of government welfare to make ends meet in the meantime.
The cost associated with all the benefits is huge. The Senate Budget Committee recently reported that the federal government has spent $3.7 trillion on welfare programs over the past five years. That doesn't include what was spent by the states.
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