Federal spending concentrated on the 47 dependence-creating government programs that include housing, farm subsidies, and entitlements now comprises more than 70.5 percent of total federal expenditures as of 2010, according to Heritage’s Index of Dependence on Government.
This represents the fourth year in a row that the Index of Dependence on Government has risen, increasing by nearly a third — 31.73 percent — in that time span.
As Heritage’s Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, noted this week:
The 2012 Heritage Index of Dependence on Government found that 63.7 million Americans received either Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Social Security, or support for higher education—an 8 percent increase over the previous year. These same people were very likely to receive other federal benefits, such as Medicare or food stamps. Separately, The Wall Street Journal found that in 2011, 49 percent of Americans lived in a household where at least one member of the family received a government benefit.
Then there are the 78 million baby boomers who have begun to head into retirement. Further whittling the taxpayer rolls, many are projected to be substantially if not entirely dependent on Social Security and Medicare, further exacerbating the federal spending crisis that currently exists.