FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Yet another sign of our very troubled times:
Almost half of Americans - 48.5% - live in a household that gets some kind of government aid.
That's a record high according to census data for the first quarter of 2010. It's up from about 44% of the population in 2008... and from less than 30% in 1983.
Here's how it breaks down:
More than 34% of Americans live in a household that gets either food stamps, subsidized housing, cash welfare or Medicaid. Applications for these programs are up nearly 50% in the past decade.
More than 14% live in homes where someone is on Medicare.
16% live in homes getting Social Security.
But that's only half the story.
As unemployment hovers above 9%, more than 46 million Americans live below the poverty line. And as more people turn to government assistance, there are fewer people actually paying taxes to support all these programs.
It's estimated that more than 46% of households will pay no federal income tax this year. In 2010, 45% of households paid no federal income tax.
It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that this is unsustainable.
With fewer than half of Americans paying federal taxes - and just about half living in a family that gets government aid - this country is headed down the drain. And fast.
It's no wonder the crowds protesting around the country keep growing with every passing day.
Here’s my question to you: How long can we go on with almost half of Americans living in households that get government assistance?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Troy in Kennesaw, Georgia:
Not for too much longer, Jack. Many people seem to think that government intervention in every phase of life, from the cradle to the grave if you will, is not a problem and that the federal government is all the nicer for doing it. Unfortunately there is a little thing called the national debt that is steadily increasing each and every day that we continue to spend money on everyone and everything. More wars? No problem. Federal money going overseas? No complaints here. Giving social security checks to dead people? Why not, we can always print more money, right?
Matt on Facebook:
We are on a road that will lead us to what Greece is experiencing.
It depends on how long and how successfully we can tax those who aren't getting government assistance.
Nick in Mammoth Lakes, California:
Why, until we run out of millionaires! No, seriously: Jobs, jobs, jobs. I have to believe that people would rather work than get assistance and would rather have a higher paying job than a low paying job. So if we are going to give them assistance anyway, give them a job or put them in school.
David in Tampa, Florida:
As a punch line from a Ron White joke goes "All the way to scene of the crash!" I fear things will get worse, a lot worse, before they get better. Neither political party has any real answers for what needs to be done to alleviate our problems. America, an Age of Enlightenment experiment gone terribly wrong with no way to fix it. If I had the money I would move, except there is no place to move to that isn't run by as big a bunch of screw-ups as we have in this country.
Peg in New York:
Not much longer, Jack. Something's got to give and it had better not be the backs of the middle class.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.