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WSJ: 49.1% Receiving Government Benefits?

By JLP | May 26, 2012

From Number of the Week: Half of U.S. Lives in a Household Getting Benefits:

49.1%: Percent of the population that lives in a household where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011.

This number is misleading because it includes those receiving social security benefits even though they already paid at least something into the system.

I’m also not sure where he got 49.1% unless it’s overlap.


That number is concerning.

I’m sure it will come down some by the time Generation X retires and they means test us out of our benefits because we sacrificed and saved on our own.

Topics: Economics, Social Security | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “WSJ: 49.1% Receiving Government Benefits?”

  1. jon Says:
    May 26th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I disagree about SS. Since that generation let the politicians squander that money and now it is current workers who are paying for their benefits it isn’t “their” money anymore and is still a benefit born of theft.

  2. Jeff Says:
    May 26th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I agree with jon. I too often hear the “I paid in and deserve my money back” argument. Those same people didn’t complain when the government used the funds to finance other items for them and kept their tax rates lower.

  3. BG Says:
    May 27th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    So this statistic tells me that 50.9% of the population aren’t taking care of an elderly/destitute/disabled/etc person in their home.

    If you are taking care of granny in a spare room, then you are included in the 49.1% statistic from the article.

  4. Jack Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Unless you are doing it on your own dime, not someone else’s.

  5. Mary Horrell Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    You misspelled government

  6. BD Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Half of US social program recipients believe they “have not used a government social program”.

    Social Security is clearly a government benefit. It straight up gives you cash every month until you die, simply because you are old, and it even has “social” in its name (making me even more concerned for those who are confused about the “social program” question).

  7. JLP Says:
    May 30th, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for the catch, Mary. I corrected the typo.

  8. Jack Says:
    May 30th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    > It straight up gives you cash every month
    > until you die, simply because you are old

    Uh, no. Either you or your spouse has to have paid into the system, and one’s benefits are based on the highest 35 years of payments.

  9. John Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 10:06 am

    This article is just another load of crap printed by Rupert Murdock to support the Republican policies of cutting government programs for the middle and lower class people in order to justify more tax cuts for the wealthy.

  10. Jack Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    You seem to think that the wealthy all got their money by deceit and trickery, John.

  11. JLP Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 1:18 pm


    Please. We should cut government programs. We should cut all of them. The government has gotten too big and there aren’t enough “rich” people to support it. It’s as if the people of the U.S. are bunch of fish in a fish bowl and there is no more fish food.

    What income tax rate do you think is “fair,” John?

  12. BG Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    JLP) You agree with cutting everything in the list posted by BD in comment #6? 529 accounts, home mortgage interest deductions, student loans (I assume the subsidized variety), veteran’s benefits, etc?

    For me, I’d love to see every single tax loophole eliminated (includes 529s, home mortgage deductions, plus a ton of things not on the list). And then either eliminate other programs or raise taxes to fund them (I don’t particularly care which) — as long as we end up with a balanced budget.

  13. Jack Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I care very much whether programs are eliminated or taxes raised. Except for the few, enumerated powers given to Congress, everything else they do is a waste of money, and can be done better by the States of by the People.