Tags: US | Households | Government | Aid

WSJ: Half of US Households Receive Government Aid

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 08:03 AM

In the first quarter of 2011, 49.1 percent of U.S. households was home to at least one person receiving government benefits, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing Census Bureau data.

The 49.1 percent of the population in a household receiving benefits is up from 30 percent in the early 1980s and 44.4 percent in the third quarter of 2008, the Journal adds.

"The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15 percent of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26 percent had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2 percent had a member receiving unemployment benefits," the newspaper reports.

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"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."

The figure represents a cause for concern as automatic government spending cuts are set to kick in at the end of this year.

Considering those spending cuts are due to coincide with the expiration of several tax breaks, growth could be affected.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warns that failure to deal today with the combination of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes kicking in at the same could throw the country into a recession next year, with gross domestic product shrinking 1.3 percent in the first half.

"Given the pattern of past recessions ... such a contraction in output in the first half of 2013 would probably be judged to be a recession," the CBO says in a report, according to Reuters.

International organizations have issued similar warnings, including the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a 34-member international economic organization.

"The programmed expiration of tax cuts and emergency unemployment benefits, together with automatic federal spending cuts, would result in a sharp fiscal retrenchment in 2013 that might derail the recovery," the OECD said in its latest economic outlook, Reuters adds.

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here



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2012-03-29
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 08:03 AM
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