by Patrick Tyrrell, William W. Beach
The Heritage Foundation
January 09, 2013
Between 1988 and 2011, the amount of the U.S. population that receives assistance from the federal government grew by 62 percent. That means that more than 41 percent of the U.S. population is enrolled in at least one federal assistance program. To make matters worse, per capita expenditures on recipients are rising as well. In 2010, over 70 percent of all federal spending went to dependence-creating programs. That growth is unsustainable, as baby boomers are now retiring every day and their entitlements cost more each year. The publicly held federal debt will exceed 100 percent of GDP in 2024. Such a high level of debt always hurts an economy—and the people who live in it. The time for Congress to reform dependence-creating government programs is now.