NEW YORK – As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, it is important to remember that despite establishment-media reporting of an Obama “economic recovery,” the number of Americans on welfare today is higher than the number that have full-time jobs, says Michael Snyder, creator of TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com.
Snyder outlined the economic reality in a recent editorial that points out the fragility of the U.S. economy.
“The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a ‘Robin Hood mentality’ that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead,” Snyder writes.
“Anger at the ‘haves’ in America continues to rise at a very alarming pace, and the ‘have nots’ are becoming increasingly desperate. At some point all of this anger is going to boil over, and you won’t want to be anywhere around major population centers when that happens.”
Documentation for Snyder’s claim that there are more Americans on welfare than the number of Americans working full-time comes from Census Bureau statistics that show there were 108.6 million people in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs. That’s compared to the 101.7 million people who worked full-time year round in 2011, including both private sector and government workers.
The U.S. Census Bureau further reports nearly half (49.2 percent) of Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program, with 84.5 million Americans, 26.9 percent of the population, living in households where one or more persons received Medicaid benefits.
Despite the trillions of dollars spent in anti-poverty programs since President Lyndon Johnson launched “The Great Society” in 1964, the U.S. under President Obama has just seen the highest spike in poverty since the 1960s, leaving 50 million Americans living below the poverty line, defined as a family of four earning less than $23,021 a year.
As measured by the Census Bureau, median U.S. household income fell for the fifth straight year in 2012, to $51,017, the lowest annual income adjusted for inflation since 1995. As a result, income inequality has intensified, with the top 5 percent of all households earning 22.3 percent of all the nation’s income in 2012.
Nearly one out of five U.S. households were enrolled in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly known as food stamps, with 22,993,709 American households enrolled in the program in August, totaling 47,665,069 persons, approximately one in every seven Americans. In the 1970s, by comparison about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.
Since President Obama took office, the federal government has spent a total of $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs – excluding Social Security and Medicare) – a sum nearly five times greater than the federal government spent on NASA, education and all federal transportation projects over that time.