I am often asked if I believe our Republic is close to the tipping point. My answer is yes, I truly believe we are. There is a great quote often attributed to Scottish historian, Alexander Fraser Tytler, Alexis de Tocqueville or some other very astute person that sums it up nicely:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
Well, here we are on the brink, backed up by cold hard facts. According to analysis of U.S Census Bureau data by Terence Jeffrey at cnsnews.com, in 2012 there were 86,429,000 people who got up every morning and went to work in the private sector – but they were way outnumbered by those receiving “means-tested” government benefits including, Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (Social Security Disability), public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
In the last quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 82,457,000 people lived in households where one or more people were on Medicaid. 49,073,000 lived in households were someone got food stamps. 23,228,000 lived in households where one or more got WIC. 20,223,000 lived in households where one or more got SSI. 13,433,000 lived in public or government-subsidized housing. Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on “one or more means-tested program.”
That means there were more people receiving benefits in this country than working full-time in the private sector.
If you include the 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, the 46,440,000 receiving Medicare and 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation, you now have 147,802,000 receiving benefits. (I’m intentionally leaving out veterans and their benefits).
The 147,802,000 folks outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.
What do we do now? Institute the fiscal policies (tax, regulatory, and monetary) that create private sector economic growth by way of individual entrepreneurial investment (not government), innovation and ingenuity – and get Americans back to work. As we get Americans back to work, we can increase receipts for Social Security — and it must be in a “lock box” so politicians cannot spend it.
As we get more Americans back to work, we reduce the welfare rolls and those requiring unemployment benefits and Medicaid. Many fail to realize that Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are part of the “mandatory spending side of our federal budget — along with net interest on the debt. That comprises some 62 percent of the federal budget.
As President Obama likes to say, “it is math,” but this math does not bode well for the future of America. America now has more people on Medicaid than the population of England. We have more people on food stamps than the population of Spain. This is the result of the Obama economy, the growth of the welfare nanny-state and the demonizing of hard working Americans. Clock is ticking…