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: It is not almost half. It is about 28% who receive public assistance from the government. Jack, do not count social security recipents, do not count for veterans disability, and do not count military retirees. The aforementioned people paid for the retirement in money or blood. Social security and medicare are not entitlements or some ponzi scheme, we paid for them. You only come up with 50% figure when counting retirees and veterans. I am not part of the public assistance, because I paid in both money and blood. How much more do you want, Jack? If it seems personal that's because it is very personal.
Are you ready for the great depression of 2012? As the unemployment, assistance rolls swell, as the number of protests expand throughout the US we will hit the danger point of where the poor can only get poorer , the rich only richer and the middleclass disappears from view. We are a broken country and the glue needed to put it together is locked away in the Congressional closet.
Each day that goes by and not create job opportunities for all americans is one day too many. As a result we do have people that have compassion for those that are less fortunate.
Surely the Tea party understands that this adds to our decifit, so it appears that their next focus in addition to eliminating social security and Health Care is to eliminate assistance for what they consider "dead beat americans."
Another opportunity for Government "Gridlock."
How did this happen?
We have got to find a way to get people employed again!
Until the Washington "geniuses" we send to represent us realize that the more jobs that leave this country and go overseas is simply feeding this problem and work on tax breaks to get more jobs created on our own shores – the problem will continue to add to the deficit and at some point the credit options won't be there for it to grow unchecked.
It's time for Congress to stop with the posturing and grandstanding and actually come together to solve the problem in a group matter – you know the way the rest of us adults do at our jobs!
As long as the Liberal Press supports the Liberal notion if you lack money, the cause is that the evil corporations and millionaires make too much money and steal from you, they will vote for Liberals who promise to steal from the rich and give to them rather than solve the problem on their own. It's time that the press help to get the message across that for the most part, wealth is earned and it you work at it, you can make it this country. We need to stop demonizing success.
Jack, that's not the right question. The real question is how long could those households continue living WITHOUT assistance?
It will go on until the last of the "baby boomers" are dead and buried.
At age 62, Wall Street 'traders' took half of my 401 with their shady deals, Wall Street 'banksters' took a third of the value of my home with mortgage credit default swap schemes, the local bank only gives me 0.4% on my savings and the company I used to work for, down-sized, let me go and will give me a whopping $67 a month when I am 65. Add that to Social Security and there will not be enough left to retire on so I will probably have to live with my kids till the day I die. I would venture a guess that the number of households getting some sort of government assistance will be closer to 99% before the last of us "boomers" (also known as the former middle class) die off.
Just cut off the Aid and let's see how they will not be out there to look for jobs. Government make people sleepy...
Not long, Jack.
Jason in Colorado
Actually, jack, when ObamaCare fully kicks in, the percentage will go up. So, how long can we go? I think by about 2014 we'll look longingly at the good old days of only 50%
No jobs, people get unemployment benifits for a period of time–25%
Social security, people earned this benifit–25%
Illeagles getting social security and unemployment benifits–THIS is your 50%
People receiving government assistance could always move into Mitt Romney's 11,000 square foot home (once it's built). How about camping out at the home of Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, or Paul Ryan? Viable options since the government can't indefinitely provide assistance to people. Another viable option would be for these people to work with the President and come up with a bipartisan jobs bill. What are they waiting for?
As long as private industry keeps sending American jobs to China instead of hiring Americans. We can't let people die in the streets like they do in Third World countries, as much as some Republicans would like that to be the case.
Outsourcing has been the worst thing that's happened to the American economy, because even though it's impossible for a person to live on minimum wage in the US, a person in China can easily live on a small fraction of that, on pennies per hour. Americans just can't compete, and it isn't because of "greedy workers," but a much higher cost of living here.
The only way we can turn around the economy, get Americans back to work, and reduce the need for the welfare programs that you deride, is to impose tariffs on all imported goods and services to correct for the cost of living differential between the US and the Third World countries that Big Business has shipped our jobs to.
Regime change is all the rage in the new era. What comes next can't be much worse than the oppressive, ( Police state ), conditions we live under now. Doug.
How long can we not? Or are you suggesting that the people who need help just drop dead? Is that what we've come to? What is it, Jack?
I own a knick knack store. Like clockwork the first of the month I have several regular customers that come in and spend a chunk of money on crap when they get their disability checks. They all look perfectly capable of holding down a job. My brother works at a grocery store where his regular customers use food stamps to buy pop then empty the contents out in the parking lot and return the cans to redeem the deposits. We have to pull the plug on these dead beats who are bleeding the working tax payers dry.
Not much longer, Jack. Something's got to give and it had better not be the backs of the middle class.
Simplifying the national tax code with a value added tax on all merchandise other than food, healthcare, housing and utilities, or fine tuning Herman Cain's tax solution proposal is the best way for taxation to be equally distributed in America.
How long can we go on with almost half of Americans living in households that get government assistance
Until the Congress is wise enough to pass the President's Jobs bill "for he is the Minister of God to
thee for good" (Romans 13: 4) and he is doing all in his power to get Jobs for the Country and badly
needs cooperation from a stagnant government.
Not very long and no end in sight. Pretty sad state of political affairs.
Jack: Things exist and happen for reasons-that what logic would dictate--how long can this go on--as long as the Government wants it to!
Not much longer, Jack. The half paying the bills are tired – and worse, broke. Can't get blood from a turnip.
It depends on how long and how successfully we can tax those who aren't getting government assistance. Read the 1952 novel "Player Piano" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. about a future society where machines do ALL the work and all the workers not needed to work are well taken care of, but of course without purpose in their lives...
Do you mean tax cuts for the rich?
Deductions for second homes?
Farm subsidies for Agra-business?
Sweetheart oil leases on Government land?
Perks for federal, state and local politicians?
Maybe you meant Social Security and Medicare or perhaps you meant housing and food assistance for those who work 40+ hours per week and are still living in poverty because of the pay rates established by the Job Creators.
Our President has been accused of Class Warfare but it seems to me that it is a defensive war.
About as long as we can go without the highest 2% of income paying their fair share. Today there are more people out of work and on gov't assistance that has never been on before. They're the ones that used to have a job and own a home. I know the republicans would rather tell them to fend for themselves and act like they're not even there. But god forbid having the rich pay their fair share. I do think in order to receive government assistance you should have to pass a drug test that would help weed out all who are taking advantage of gov't assistance.
I think we can go on longer and longer, as long as we tax the rich. After we get more people on government assistance we tax the rich a little more and a little more until we break the rich and then the middle class. This may take 50 years, we are heading that way slowly but surely and evantually will go bankrupt. The rich will move out to another country and the poor that have no desire to work will move someplace else to get their freebies. Maybe Cuba, Greece or closer to home Canada. The strong poor with good work ethics will survive and stay here and the vicious cycle will start all over again. Remember what happenned to communist Soviet Union.
I don't know...how long did the USSR last? ;) San Marcos, 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.
If it were just soc.security and medicare I would say indefinetly if we can stop congress from raiding it. However I believe you mean the freeloaders and mooches.In that case the answer is NO LONGER PERIOD. People are going to have to face up to the fact that not everyone is going to get a 20 dollar an hr. job someone is going to have to work for lessand NO ONE GETS MONEY TO SIT ON THEIR BUTT.
One last comment Jack and I hope you read this on air." Drug test all on asistance.All must work as volunteer to get paid 40 hrs.asistance"
Probably as long as it takes to get rid of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest 2% , Corperate Welfare, and Big Oil Drilling for free on our public lands. Since Big Oil imposed their President Bush on us, we've been getting ripped off by 200% of what the price should be per gallon. They have milked us long enough. Also we Americans pay 300% more than the entire world combined for bloated Defense Spending. We have enough money to fight three wars, but not enough money to help the starving, poor,elderly and disabled in our own country. 2 Billion a week for over ten years to fight some third world countries that never even sent up a plane, to fight. Countries that don't have a Navy or even a real army, give me a break. These Wars are for the benefit of Big Oil, let them pay for them and let them pay us for using our military. Investigate them for their crimes and maybe consider nationalizing them and train our military to work the oil fields. If Oil taken from our public land is being sold on a world market then the American People should see a slice of the pie. Where's the money ?
Obviously there's a problem when that many people are receiving government assistance and something's got to give, but Jack, you're asking the wrong people, you really need to ask the Republicans in Congress or more specially their taskmaster, Grover Nordquist.
24 million people are out of work or under-employed. In the last ten years fifty thousand factories have closed and those jobs sent offshore somewhere. There has been the biggest shift in capital from the poor to the mega wealthy in the history of mankind. These protests are people who are fed up with the whole imbalance. Loosing their jobs, savings, retirement accounts, houses, families and the list goes on and on. And now you want to kick them off their unemployment insurance? end welfare? Jack, as it is going right now, We all may be on some kind of assistance, sooner rather than later. i just hope these people get out and vote for their best interest next time. This proves that you get what you vote for.
Not for too much longer, Jack. However, 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 everyday 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 those who have already passed away? Why not, we can always print more money, right?
Please stop me when the sarcasm gets too much and, more importantly, too real Jack.
Let me get my crystal ball. Oh no it says, "Sooner than later we'll go bankrupt". Thanks to Bush for the wars and the Democrats for serving Americans. You did a fine job of destroying a wonderful country out of keeping your jobs instead of doing your jobs. Hope you sleep well tonight.
As a punch line from a Ron White joke goes" All the way to the crash site!!" 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.
It's hard to say Jack. Fortunately not everyone that qualifies for government assistance applies for it. There are jobs out there Jack. Now they may not be the jobs people want to do but there is work. What got America was globalization. When we opened our borders to free trade we cut our own throats in the process. Up until then we still made things in America. Now it is all imported and our jobs have been exported. Until we change the way we do business in America few new jobs will be created and few new taxes will be paid. No taxes means no benefits.
That depends on thte Republicans. Unless we raise taxes to both create jobs via government programs and pay down the deficit it won't last long. Corporate America isn't going to help.
I sometimes wonder if Republicans are so blinded by the mission of getting Obama out of office they are blind to what is happening to the country. Raising taxes has to be a large part of the recovery program despite the pledges to Grover Norquist.
Nothing can be done in the face of Republican intransigence.
Ask any random Republican if he is willing to give his life for his county. He will ansewer with a resounding ,"Absolutely!"
Ask that same Republican if he is willing to pay an extra dollar in a tax increase to save his country and he will answer with a resounding, "Hell no!"
We desperately are in need of revenue generating policies as it is clear that the current level of revenue income and spending expenditures cannot be sustained beyond the next several months.
there should of been limits and requiremtns placed a long time ago it has gotten out of hand att eh expense of the overtaxed american people who are working and still among other things continee to get gouged at the pump
Not long. We need to pressure the tea party Republicans to pass the President's Jobs Bill. People want to work, to support their families, to live a normal life like we used to have befor all the tax cuts for the rich.
As more keep getting added to the government doles, not very long. Groups on both ends of the age spectrum are subsidized and it is becoming multi-generational. Very scary and very soon.
Carol in Northampton, Ma
How long can we go on with almost 1/2 of Americans living in households that gets government assistance ?
That depends on how many more times they can raise the debt ceiling, Jack. As long as they continue to pour in money to the un-employment funds, I guess they can go on for a long time.
Who knows, Jack. But, I think the half that's getting government assistance needs to switch places with my half. It's our turn to get help and let them work to pay my bills for a change.
You can't, Jack, but this balloon has been gaining for decades. And, columnists have refused to delineate it. Imaangine if you having to live on remainder of dollars if you paid it out of pocket. You can't! This has been building for years, and now many have been on dole so long they don't know any other lifestyle But, media is responsible for not warning electorate of this before.. end of discussion
I guess you're counting the companies that pay no taxes, or the farmers who are paid not to grow anything, the oil companies who are reimbursed for their exploration costs, and the politicians who are paid to do nothing. Regardless, not much longer...if the demonstrations breaking out across the country are any indication.
Jack, this is a very sad question! "To be or not to be, that is the question!", Shakespeare.
Until it becomes clear to the majority of Americans that it is really only a free market society that follows the rule of law and protects liberty and property rights that is able to provide the most wealth to the greatest number of people. The apparent belief by politicians and the media that the State and it's Central Bank can promote prosperity is being trashed as we watch the news each night. At some point one can only hope that Americans will wake up to the nonsense that is central planning as practiced by the US government.
Ron Paul in 2012...
When America is being forced to cut budgets at every turn–how long can we go on with almost half of Americans living in households that get government assistance?
A) America is 14 trillion in total debt–increasing by a trillion each year!
B) America has blown an equal amount by purchasing superior foreign goods!
C.) America has been printing funny money!
D.) In a few years the medicare budget will effectively be cut in half.
E.) In even less years the medicaid budget will be cut in half.
F.) In a decade or so, the social security budget will be halved.
G.) Government assistance will cease somewhere between medicaid and medicare.
H.) My gues is 2016.
I used to be a productive member of society who worked hard and paid my taxes. Now I am unemployed thanks to the Bush Recession and the obstructionist GOP is blocking EVERYTHING that might be helpful to the economy and get laid off workers off of the dole. I am one of 14,000,000 unemployed chasing ZERO JOB GROWTH! Please let the Obama administration do something to let us be productive again!
Alex the unemployed Army Veteran
IT IS TIME THAT THE BIG FAT CATS START PAYING TAXES AND QUIT GETTING GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE THEN, ISN'T IT? They have been riding the Gravy Train for too long now. There are so many people who need Government asst. and it sure isn't the ones that started getting it from Bush and has continued for 11 years. I grew up poor and know how it is to be one of the unfortunate in school. It isn't fun. If you haven't walked in their shoes then quit complaining.
We Americans are very good at 'spinning' the term 'government assistance.' Corporate tax breaks and reduced tax rates on investment income are examples of 'good' assistance; funding things like health care, pensions, and education are 'bad' assistance. In fact, these are all examples of welfare. Until we stop discriminating forms of income (wages vs. everything else,) and government assistance of all forms (business incentives vs. a Social Security check,) we have no chance of a solution. The first step is to call things what they are!
How long can we continue with our "Trickle Down" economics, that has slowed to a "Slow Drip" whereas we wait for the wealthy to stimulate the economy with all of the stimulus money, tax cuts, corporate tax cuts that are funneled into corporate profits for the shareholders, and the numerous other corrupt policies that we have adhered to for the past 30 years, while the government is forced into unprecedented borrowing to keep the economy from free falling? The unequal distribution of wealth is to blame for all of our economic woes. WE NEED MORE OCCUPY WALL STREET DEMONSTRATIONS.
we are on our way to economic failure.
Jack I really hope, if I could get out of power i would out there walking with them.
We'll know the answer to that question when the revolt begins.
It will take until 99% of us are on government assistance. This is not too far off if the way our Congress misrepresents the working men and women and represents Corporate America doesn't change drastically and immediately. Couple this Congress' dereliction of duty to the people with their nonchalant attitude to eternal warring and there we are. $11.5 plus Billion a month spent on America and Americans, would go a long way toward solving the PEOPLE'S economic, educational, employment, social, infrastructure and medical needs while still bolstering Corporate America's bottom line. Just a thought. Silly one apparently. I firmly believe, however, if we end our war involvements our wounds would heal themselves and get us back on our feet in all the ways needed to be a strong nation again. These wars have not and will not accomplish anything positive for this country or any other. End the wars...end our collapse as a nation.
Not long Jack its all being given to others countries. aND THE aMERICIANS put out doors and hungry
Can you say unsustainable? This is why we need to fix the economy. But based on the discussions in Washington DC, I really don't think the current leaderships are going to do anything about this growing problem. It's time for a change in leadership and to get new blood in Congress and the White House. The current group just do not want to work together.
WHAT? do you want people to STARVE, Cafferty? many of these people now getting assistance were productive, tax paying workers just a few years ago who lost their jobs due to outsourcing and the housing market crashing.
you want to know how to PAY for it? start by slapping a tariff on the products made by Chinese wage slave labor and also hiring layed off construction workers to rebuild the nations infrastructure. those people then go from welfare recipients to tax payers again and hopefully taxing the cheating Chinese will also bring some manufacturing back to America.
I don't see the American people going on much longer as long as Republicans such as Boehner and even President Obama continue to remain at loggerheads over the Jobs Creation Bill. The Republicans and their rich sponsors need to suck it up, dig into their checkbooks, wallets, or purses and start paying, so that we can break out of this deadlock. Otherwise, I'm all for a good ole fashioned 'angry mob' to run them out of town.
As long as the financial markets believe a less than 2% yield on a 10-year Treasury bond is an appropriate reward for the dangerous risk one bears by loaning money to a government that cannot pay it back. When our fiat currency goes confetti the Welfare-Warfare State will come to its knees. All hell breaks loose when this happens so let’s hope we restore soundness to our currency and cut the government by at least 90% before D.C. wrecks our nation.
Jack, according to your stats, not long. If 45% of households paid no federal income tax in 2010, this deficit in government revenue can only be made up by increasing taxes on those already paying or print more money. Both ideas are poor at best. Added to this is the Republican's mantra, in particular, of no new taxes or increases and you get a federal government in dire need of an income flow. I believe Obama has to take leadership and exhort lending institutions to make loans available to small businesses to expand and hire and target key and basic infra-structure projects all through the country to get many people back to work and paying taxes. The problem is that the infusion has to be large enough to make a dent. It's time the president stopped compromising and carry out his economic election promises or he may not get a second chance before the next election. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead should be his mantra.
Jack, the 14% on Medicare and those of us on Social Security are there because most of us worked for decades to deserve it. I worked 41 years for it. We are not on welfare, we don't work because we are too old to get hired or are sick, or both. GOP enthusiasts say all people receiving government checks are no-good, drugged out slackers. Jobs are the answer, but Boehner's buddies are not willing to even give Obama's jobs bill achance. You can be sre that I will go back to work, only to put these cold, partisan and dangerous policies of the GOP where they belong...in tomotrrow' trash pickup.
Probably until the "job creators" that the GOP want to protect so badly begin to actually create jobs and stop giving themselves huge, million dollar bonuses for not creating jobs.
Hey, we need more tax cuts to stimulate the economy. How dare anyone speak of raising taxes on the wealthy an additional 3 or so? It not the average people who benefit from tax cuts, yet they continue to vote for the people who proclaim cuts are needed. At the same time, any benefit the poor receives gets eliminated so the wealthy can have champagne in their bathtubs and pools.
We can sustain this only until you are elected President! I've said it before, and I'll say it again! CAFFERTY FOR PRESIDENT! <3 Love ya, Jack!
"This isn't a joke and the media would be well advised to take them seriously. Really? I never heard you say that about the TeaParty when it first came into the scene. Remember the vile, degrading comments/names the msm called these folks? But, back to these demonstrators........don't they know that wall street donated more than 16 million $$ to obama? Don't they know the cozy relationship wall street has with the WH? These demonstrators should be protesting the obama administration, not wall street!
If the "Job Creators" keep shipping jobs overseas and taking vast sums as rewards for this action from the big businesses they control or own large shares of stock in, things will most likely get worse. But there might be a silver lining. Some of the jobless and homeless might get jobs as guards to protect the priveledged class from other jobless and homeless. Kind of sounds like feudalism, not capitalism, doesn't it?
hopefully another twenty years. By then I'll be gone or too senile to see how this all ends. Not a pretty picrure.
Hello Jack. This is what happens when our elected representatives sign UNFAIR TRADE AGREEMENTS all in the name of GLOBALIZATION. As Ross P. said when NAFTA was signed..... remember?? about hearing "that great big sucking sound". That was our jobs and our wealth headed out of America. I can still hear that sucking sound today because jobs are still leaving this country. Can you? Even President Obama wants to increase that sucking sound with his 3 unfair trade agreements sitting in congress waiting for passage and his signature. This Country will not recover with temporary jobs created and paid for by you and me the taxpayer. It's just make believe and we all know it. Either we fix those trade agreements so they are fair or dismantle them completely or we let this Country disintegrate. What if we had no food stamps,healthcare,assistance in many forms and social security in this Country to help Americans. I'll bet the cemetaries would have an over crowded emergency on their hands. Maybe family plots in the back yard will be coming back into fashion sooner rather than later. Our elected representatives are killing America!!!
The real irony? The party that created this problem, the Republicans, are also the ones complaining the most about 'the welfare state' AND coming up with no solutions or blocking any attempt to counter the problem. How long will this last? Until we stop reelecting the same politicians creating the problems.
Maybe it's time for a second American revolution. We the people are the ones that empower the Congress to rule in our stead, not the rich. The next few years are going to be extremely interesting.
It's a complicated mess – that's for sure. but to me it means that the middlle class and lower miiddle class have been squeezed to the breaking point. When the top 1% has more accumulated wealth then entire bottom 40% combined you have big trouble. That was the situation in the 1920's and it got ugly. Since WW II people have found work in places supporting a defense and baby boomer economy. A high school educations sufficed. That's been over for a long time. Technology. loss of blue collar jobs and a poorly educated lower/middle class has hurt us big time.
As long as the American people are being Capitalized on by Corporate America and the Republican party, the Spring Awaking could continue till some other country comes and rescues us from the oppression of Capitalism by corporate America..
Lets add about 2/3 of our House of Representatives to that list and see what happens then.
Social security and medicare are NOT governemnt aid. They were paid for by the people who getting benefits. We were NOT given a choice whether to contribute. That money is ours, except of course, what was STOLEN by the government. Welfare, however, is different. Those protestors in New York would do better to put that energy into looking for work instead of trying to get a handout. America was built on self reliance. Perhaps these folks should move to Denmark. We don't want socialism here.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, Jack. We are looking straight into a ten to thirty year global depression after the dollar collapses and all these programs will be gone. There is a way to stop it, but I don't even think we have until the election to fix it. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson know how to fix it. Nobody else seems to see this. And I can't see Obama applying these changes. Perhaps the Occupy movement will force some change, but I fear we won't do the right things. Stock your pantries, stock up on water and medical supplies, get a gun to protect your stockpiles. Its a fight for survival.
They promised us jobs and once in office they"ve done NOTHING. Oh wait - they named a Post Office.
THAT IS THE PROBLEM - REPUBLICANS WILL DESTROY THE ENTIRE COUNTRY TO GET RID OF ONE HALF-WHITE MAN.
We cannot go on indefinitely this way howver it's truely unamerican to stop assisting these people. We should stop assisting rich people and companies. We should stop aiding foriegn governments and paying for a millitarty presence everywhere else. After all that is stoped we will have money to make our system work at home. There will be less people in poverty who need help
The fact that so many Americans are receiving some form of assistance reveals how the wealthy have already destroyed America without creating jobs. Only when we getthemoneyout of politics will American corporations begin to spend money to create jobs in America, not overseas and in hidden bank accounts.
Government assistance is necessary, because our wealthy elitists have dropped the ball, and if they do not pick up their national responsibility to take care of creating real jobs, then we will return back to Feudalism Days.
Joe, Binghamton, NY
Without that government assistance, some of those people may very well be out in the street. Why do some perceive spending money on needy citizens as wasteful or unsustainable while the U.S spends more money on its military than all other nations in the world, combined?? Ron Paul has the right idea when he suggests pulling the troops home and focusing on America's needs, as opposed to every other country's.
Nationalize all privately held property and assets. Have the local party chief decide who lives where and what rations they get. Appoint a minister of information who decides what the official news outlet may report and when to report it. Do away with the two party system, have just one party where only party members may vote on the candidate.
How's that for hope and change, Jack?
The last time we had any spending money was the year 2000. As a nation we ran out of money years ago, so the answer is, until 2004.
But I take issue with your characterization of Social Security and Medicare as “government assistance.” It is not. That is our money which we were forced to salt away over our working lifetimes. It is not charity or welfare. It was taken from us with the promise that we would get some of it back. And I still have to pay taxes on it anyway (read: give some of it back).
What is unsustainable is the number of Americans not working due to productivity gains by their former employers, which are encouraged by dividend tax rates that are too low. Allow this rate to go up and the incentive is less to throw people out of work and into poverty. If you include living on debt in your figures, the numbers are worse. The only way out of that is higher wages and less automation and outsourcing.
Don't count Social Security - we paid for it. And how much does that assistance add up to, compared to the corporate welfare we are all subsidizing? Tax breaks, subsidies, etc., for industries making huge profits? And stashing the money overseas? And what about privatization? Every time we PRIVATIZE anything, we are PROFITIZING it so that the taxpayers' money goes directly into the pockets of some big business! Don't we get that?
maybe shipping all the manufacturing jobs to countries with cheap labour was a bad idea
About as long as 400 Americans have more wealth than 150 million Americans. About as long as a presidential candidate discloses he made between 9 and 40 million dollars last year and only pays 14% in taxes. About as long as we annoint to sainthood a guy who outsourced American jobs and treated Chinese workers so bad they jumped to their deaths from his building all the while making him 78 billion dollars. I could go on and on and on and on and on. You get the point.
How long can the American worker live on Minimum wage and no benefits and still be a comsumer. Without consumers how long will those "small business people" continue to stay in business selling foreign made products.
Problem is (( gaming the welfare, church organizations and unemployment system, and teaching their kids how to game, third, fourth generation’s,)) these people work jobs for tax-free cash only , so they can stay on the welfare assistance this needs to come to an end.
Dale New Mexico
We have become a society of entitlements. I don't mean Social Security for retired people who have paid into it throughout their working lives, or medicare which we have also pain into throughout our lives, and STILL have it deducted from our Social Security checks. (Which by the way will increase under Obamacare.... not the benefits but the premiums.) No, I'm talking about waste in Social Security and Medicare. Fraud both by those who steal from those services and those in government who took and spent the money that was taken out of my check all these years. I'm talking about unemployment payments for two years. Ridiculous. Get a job. Any job as we did when we had to make money to support our families. The government never gave me unemployment insurance when things were tough, I had to find work and I did. Soft today? You betcha.
We certainly can't go on much longer, that's for sure. I think the real question should be is what is going to happen when this country is hit by a mega disaster, you know like the much anticipated California earthquake and our government is broke. Just what is going to happen! It's not a question of if, but when! The reason that I've never griped about paying taxes is because I always figured uncle Sam is there when the you what hits the fan, well guess what the fans a spinning, the pump is primed but who has the umbrellas?
Dave from NH.
It will go on until these villianous rich people get tired of paying so much tax to the people who are not working. That will be the "American Spring." Not too many people begrudge giving to those who are in need. But the taxpayers will balk at handing it out to those who make a life on the dole. Paying single mothers to have babies? Where is the sense in that? Obama talks of having the rich pay more. What happened when the rich say, "We have paid enough." That will be the real problem!
This country was built on exploitation of its own people, Jack. There are no more groups to step on (trying to screw over
the hispanics isn't working), so now Americans are turning on each other.
You see Jack, Americans are trained to fight each other instead of the top tier who are the real culprits. Little old men
like to camp out in the front of the markets to point his finger at customers who get a little help to keep them from starving to death in their own country, while he will kill a brick if someone decides he doesn't need his medicare check.
No one should go hungry in this great country of abundance, Jack, while tons of food is being wasted and thrown
out because the greed quota hasn't been met for the day. Free food for ALL, Jack!
You quote statistics that pertain to the middle and lower class Americans and as the GDP has not decreased since 1983 but rather increased substantially, where is all the money? Gee, I wonder.
In the 1980's Reagan, the sudden large influx of lobbyists, and large corporations wanted everyone to make ten dollars an hour with no benefits, and many of their union busting actions and anti labor policies prove this out. Today, they got their wish. And the shame of it all, is there are still Republican politicians blaming the workers.
The moral of this is, be careful what you wish for.
It's unsustainable and it could get ugly. If you give a lion a steak daily and don't bring anything one day, he's NOT going to be in the mood to hear your excuse even if it is logical.
Hey Jack: How about zeroing in on the enormous salaries the Congress earn for
doing nothing? Why always talk about cutting the benefits that poor people need?These programs were generated long ago to provide those who live from hand to mouth. If this is the best you can come up with, well Jack, you just don't understand. It's comfy in that chair at CNN. Try living on one meal a day, and losing that cushy job. Trust me, it just doesn't feel great!
I It is going to get a lot worse if Romney becomes president. His economic adviser is Glen Hubbard (George W. Bush's economic adviser) and he is going to make drastic cuts in government spending which well cause a very deep recession. Be prepared for the Second Great Depression. Economics isn't politics, it's science and only the numbers change, not the scientific method. We need drastic economic change.. Do what FDR did...tax the rich. What TR did...bust up the banks via anti-trust. Kennedy-Clinton...lead and inspire the people. Johnson...deliver the bacon.
Jack, this is the result of 30 years of republican economic policies, and the 2012 Gee-nO-teaParty candidates are campaigning for more of the same, and more! What's that definition of crazy again?
We can't–just like we can't go on with 1% of the population holfing most of the assets. These balances were tried before, do you remember slavery and feudal societies?
As long as our capacity for compassion holds out. Without government assistance in these hard times, many of these people would be starving in the streets. People who call for shrinking or ending government benefits without an immediate, simultaneous plan for employing people now are callous and out of touch with how difficult it is now to make ends meet, no matter how hardworking one is.
I do not know that answer Jack but I can only hope it will be as long as I am disabled and unable to work.
Jack, no more than 10 years before the country revolts.
The short and simple answer is that we can't continue as it is. The American people need to be given the opportunity to support themselves, and that can only come through jobs that adequately support them and their families, which don't exist at this time.
Jack-If we keep hiring Democrats to spread the wealth it is just a matter of time before the dream dies. Also more baby boomers are collecting So Security. I am now in those statistics and I have no choice in accepting SS thanks to a Clinton era law that said I must sign up for Social Security or I won't be eligible for health coverage in the form of Medicare. I would gladly and on a volunteer basis give up a portion of So Security to help the country even though I have paid into it for many years at the highest rate.
This article hits the nail squarely on the head. It is terribly important and will cause what no amount of politics or editorials will: change in the allocation of wealth inexorably up the ladder. No politician can survive widespread popular anger spilled over to the streets. No matter how dysfunctional the political system has become – and it is extremely so – every office holder is elected – and fears voter wrath.
This is the beginning of the People taking over from a do-nothing throng in Washington and State Capitals – this is our nation's fail-safe, and the switch just turned on.
wall street & big corporations have all the good jobs. Crummy politicians send all the jobs worth a pig in a poke over seas. how are we suppose to support familys waitin in line at the unemployment office.
The question really is how long will Americans wait? For myself, if something doesn't change soon enough, I will move elsewhere seeking opportunity. America once was the oasis for opportunity, but with the increasing corruption, both within Wall Street and our own government; you will see more Americans moving out of the country to find opportunity.
Here's the other side of the coin. If you eliminate all that Government assistance can those people not on assistance pick up the slack. What happens to all those "small business people" when half of their custoers no longer have money to pay for anything but food. Who keeps the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker in business.
I think it should be more equal across the board. I own a small business and I am considered rich. I pay more taxes a year than some of these huges companies. Instead of hiring a new employee to grow my business I have to hold back because of the economy and taxes that I pay. This is crazy!
The bigger question is why has it taken you so long to find out what the republicans have known all along?
Like with everything else from the government, until they turn off the faucet. When that happens is anyone's guess but it can't be too far off.
Jack: Just to remind you – Social Security is NOT government assistance. I paid for my Social Security during my 35 plus years of working, so I feel that I earned this – the government is not giving it to me!
You're' counting Social Security and Medicare recipients as receiving "assistance"? That's wrong, and you must know it. This question is just a hyped up mess from a deficit hawk. Can't you find another cause?
Jack, I don't think that social security should be lumped together with welfare and food stamps. I recieve social security because I earned it. My husband recieves railroad retirement, Why? Because he earned it. I bet you don't read this one, you never read mine. Guess you don't like me.
Read your history book, Jack, and mark these words, regarding the decline of the Roman Empire: 'bread and circuses'. Keeping the masses fed and entertained was the government of the day's solution to all their problems. You have welfare and American Idol.
America as a nation cannot sustain a situation in which half the U.S. population lives below the poverty line, pays no taxes, consumes public services and is supported by a small percentage of the tax paying public. The remedy to this situation is to put all unemployed Americans back to work!! Work creates responsible citizens who pay taxes.
I wonder if it's more $$'s than the big business not paying taxes.
Please don't forget the Social Secruity and Medicare are and have been paid for by us all our working career...it is not a hand out. Medicare costs me almost $100.00 a month on top of what I've paid into it all my life...the same for my wife. Yet, we have NOT used any benefits (YET). SS is OUR retirement ...not a gift!!!!! We paid for it!!!!
With people who are beggers and trying to be picky does not create an increase in employed Americans. The amount of government aid without restrictions is unprecedented. There are people who receive aid per child so they have more children to get more aid instead of try to apply for a job. This is one example of our inability to hold people accountable in this country.
It's not how long, it's what to do about it. I.e. why work as long as you can get something for nothing.
You lump medicare and social security in with food stampsa and medicaid. This is wrong. I paid for both social security and medicare for many many years. The trust fund is going broke because it was raided by congress and the White H House. Don't lay the problem on people who have worked for these two programs all their working lives.
We are so focused on the weath of the lower class, thats recieving government help. the reason why they need it is because the government has stopped Jobs in tracks for them to continue to support there family. I personally dont see the reason why this is a topic, we fail to realize all of our money is being recycled from the government to the people. We always put on a mask hiding the real problems. put this problem aside and lets handle some true head on problems. For example The fact were losing wages because were scared to trade. Im on a lower class family income, try having to Search what your going to feed you and your family on a hour to hour basis. I dislike it and its not the best feeling.
I'm not sure Jack. However, the fact that other countries have made more friendly business environments for our big business.....its not to hard to hard to figure out why they leave our country. Nothing will change until we incentivize companies to come back to the USA. To me it doesn't matter what party you are talking about. Both Democrats and Republicans are free traders. Looking back forty years ago nobody ever thought being a global economy would have this effect on the USA. Hind sight is 20/20. My view is level the playing field for our companies. What we have to pay to bring our goods to another country is the exact the amount that country should pay to bring their goods to the USA, no ifs ands or buts about it.
It will go on until more than 50% receive handouts. Then they will have a majority to make sure to elect liberals who will cintinue the handouts-assuring the bankruptcy of this country.
We are a household that receives Social Security and Medicare. I would not call that government assistance! We paid for it!
One need only look to the Eurozone. The Greeks were subsidizing everything. We must not emulate them.
Probably not long – but, it would take Congress doing the right thing, and that means revising tax laws that benefit their "friends".
Assistance needs to be a hand up for those that need temporary help – not a way of life. BUT-the wealthy need to pay their fair share and not hide behind loop holes. Their "we create jobs and trickle down economy" isn't working. If something is not done we're ALL going to be on assistance. When that day comes I'm sure I'll be in favor of every kind of aid I can get!
It's gonna take smart people to fix this. Where are all the smart people Jack?
We fought a war for independence because of taxation without representation. Now we have representation without taxation. (apologies to Tom Friedman) If we don't pay taxes, we don't have much skin in the political game, and it really is only theater. Better to tax citizens at a flat rate, so we can plan without worry both for households and government.
How dare you characterize Social Security and Medicare as government assistance? As a senior who diligently and religiously paid into the system, I detest that characterization. Smart man like you ought to know know better. Shame, shame on you.
You presented a great question. I would suggest that before you ask such a question look at what our economy has become over the last 30 years to actually create this situation.
It'll go on until the 5% who control 90% of the wealth are forced to reinvest some back into this country, The increase in people needing government aid closely reflects the people who have lost middle class jobs. Of course the other alternative is simply to wait 20 years until most of the Boomers have died off...
Jack, If I hear one more person say "I don't want my tax dollars to pay for the people who don't work", I will scream. I am fed up with people who think that they have personal control over where their tax dollars go. They sound really stupid.
The people who worked all of their lives are having their taxes taken from them by the Higher relm such as corporations.
So who is paying for who? Let's not get it twisted, Jack. I've worked for years only to get swindled by the system. I plan on having a tee shirt printed up that says, "I have my bridge card and I ain't afraid to use it", and wearing it to the
market this coming Saturday. Anyone who doesn't like it is welcome to meet me in the parking lot. El.
"The only way we can turn around the economy, get Americans back to work, and reduce the need for the welfare programs that you deride, is to impose tariffs on all imported goods and services to correct for the cost of living differential between the US and the Third World countries that Big Business has shipped our jobs to."
This guy is right. We also need to stop exporting manufacturing to China.
What he leaves out is that the government is starved for revenue–the answer to that problem is to fairly tax the top 2% of incomes and make offshore bank accounts illegal or allowable only if they are not secret accounts. The top 1% have been cheating the rest of us by their flagrant abuse of Republican tax breaks and low income tax rates, allowable concealed income, and the rest.
Tax the rich, dammit. It's about time they paid for their stealth financial crimes.
That's what the demonstrators around this country are saying–they GET IT!
Until some point after the 2012 election when Obama, the Carter redux- heads back to Chicago.
Jack I don't se my social security as a 'handout'. I worked hard for 30 yearas in health care, Hubby worked in various construction venues for longer than that. We paid our taxes and our dues.
I realize that there has been a lot of misuse of funds, but those of us who did our part and now have to depend on 'our part' which is getting smaller and smaller in this economy are not taking a 'handout'.
The economy itself, outsourced jobs, rising fuel prices, medical expenses and the financial debacle (bailout) is a large part of the problem. Government has made it so that 46% are not paying taxes and 48% recieving 'handouts'. I think the solution is somewhere in the government and business sectors, not on those who are trying to 'get by'.
Not that I expect anything to happen, unless those entities completely starve us out, and well they might.
Not much longer, i doubt we will have much of an economy at all by the end of the decade. one thing that would really help is to stop giving unemployment checks after a certian amount time. if they don't get back on their feet within that amount of time, that's their problem.
Jack, that's nothing compared to the corporations and contractors living on the tax payers dime. Not just the ones with government contracts, but also those corporations that our pensions are invested in at home and abroad. That adds up too. As long as they are given tax breaks to outsource our jobs, Americans will need assisstance just to eat, and a relatives couch to sleep on. That make three in my house.
In your comments regarding how many Americans receive government "aid" you included Social Security as a form of government aid. It is not government "aid". It is an entitlement based upon recepients having paid into the social security trust fund for many years. At age 71 I receive social security benefits after I paid social security for more than sixty years. I continue to do so. Their is a difference between aid and entitlement.
Dumb question. All the rest of the free world have waaay more government benefits – Medicare for everyone and on and on. Sweden for example has a huge number of government benefits that we in the US do not have. They are wealthier, live longer and are happier, in fact they regard us much as we regard Mexico.
It will take the time until most Americans arrive at the fact that there is something very wrong with our system. Only half are at that point. The poblem is selfish greed. Those in power have no basic needs problems, so nothing is wrong. We keep going through these economic 'bubbles' of excess by the wealthy and when the crash comes, they want to do it again. Most think the President has a magic wand that can undo decades of the greedy taking care of number one. This is going to take a long time to fix even if it could be done by those who didn't create it.
Everyone in America is finger pointing, especially the politicians. No one wants to actually make a sacrifice and acknowledge there is a price to pay by us ALL, for letting greed run rampant and losing our economic competitiveness in the world. Government aid, including stimulus programs, bailouts, and job programs are only perpetuating the denial of the true cause of our problems and reducing the sense of urgency to correct fundamental problems sooner than later.
Americans want & need jobs! Most people who are on entitlement programs would rather go to work-for a decent wage.
Our Foreign Trade agreements with China must be re-negotiated. Rescind NAFTA.
Jack-explain to Joe America why the USA is importing everything from Apples to Wood from China!! Stop the imports!
Bring our jobs back. American really want to work!!!!
No one ever "dreams" it could happen to them. If just one person in your immediate family gets a mental illness your family's "household" is now on the dole because of Medicaid and Food Stamps? The bigger crisis for this family is someone had to quit a job to care for a sick person. A bread-winner can lose his job and if there are children depending on him or her, he can get Food Stamps. Or, he can go knock on some "Job Creators" door. And what about Social Security, Jack? How many households are collecting Social Security that are multi-millionaires? And lastly, why don't you do a breakdown of industries - like health care - who mooch billions in Taxes from the government – those "premiums" taken out of everyone's paycheck "before federal tax?"
Jack all people do not live off the govt. I receive ss and I don't ask for any handouts from the govt. I worked 30 years and gave my ss payments up to receive my husbands,he died at the age of 52.....mine was thrown back into the pot
I paid the maximum into Social Security for fifty-one years. If I had invested that money myself I would be far better off than I am today with the $1500 a month I receive from "government assistance" as you have chosen to define it. Attitudes like yours, revealed in the public media, are a powerful source of the wedge between the "haves" and the "have nots". Do you plan to return your SS check when you retire? Do us all a favor and make that move.
At this very moment we are not "going on" with the business of this country, which is prosperity and productivity. But a person's breaking point will be relative to their location and economic status. Expect poorer areas to exhibit unlawfulness first, but the suburbs won't be too far behind.
Pay attention to John from Alabama. He took the words right out my mouth. Social Security and Medicare WE paid for. And don't use these 2 programs in the same breath as "Entitlements." These we paid for.
Take away those on medicare and social security and it amounts to only 18% on assistance. To that 18%, target the "get off welfare" programs. Push the medicare and social security retirement to 67, 68, 69 years of age. That'll keep workers in the workforce longer and save the programs. As for the unemployed, somehow, get corporate AmArica to loosen the purse strings on the trillions it is sitting on "till things get better" on the expectation they will...putting america back to work. Finally, close the loopholes that permit companies like GE from paying zero taxes and the wealthy paying low rates and we'll make it through.
Our masked jobless crisis numbers are beginning to show up in other categories. Poverty, Disability, Homeless,
There is nothing in sight to reverse our government dependent masses. It can only get worse. The Jobs Plan is actually a temporary stimulus plan which does more for the employed than the jobless. We are experiencing the destruction of our middle class and there is nothing to prevent it.
At this very moment we are not "going on" with the business of this country, which is prosperity and productivity. But a person's breaking point will be relative to their location and economic status. Expect poorer areas to exhibit unlawfulness initially, but the suburbs won't be too far behind.
Mr. Cafferty, I am a 60 year old disabled man that has had no medical insurance for over 3 years. I was born in the US and the son of a WWII veteran who took a bullet for our country. He received disability for that (what you consider a handout). I finally rec'd medcaid one week ago and can now take the medicines that have been prescribed for me because i could not afford them before getting medicaid. I consider this a blessing, it is a helping hand not a handout. Until you are put in a position of need as I and my Dad have been you show your ignorance when you use certain words. It is a helping hand Jack, not a handout. WE ARE NOT LEECHES!
It isn't half. Everyone gets assistance. The rich pay nothing in taxes over the current cap. The Middle class pays for the education of the work force that the rich refuse to pay a living wage. Big oil and coal take our taxes as subsidies and use them for lobbyists to buy our Congressmen and work against us. In my experience it is usually the rich looking for a free ride.
Jack – We are very disappointed in you! To say that social security and medicare recipients are receiving government AID is outrageous. We worked and paid social security and medicare taxes for more than forty years. We are not receiving government aid.
Kitty Hawk, NC
Jamestown Colony failed in its first year. A new rule, "If you don't work, you don't eat" was imposed and the colony thrived. Able bodied citizens are becoming enslaved by the government through entitlements. Disabled and elderly people should receive aid, but the days of being paid for repeatedly having illegitimate babies should be at an end.
A huge percentage of unemployed, non-taxpaying citizens are generational dependents on the State. They grow up with parents, grandparents and other relatives all around on welfare, disability and government handouts and they know no other way of living. They scheme to be certain they can also live off the State. Many work for cash on the side. They have nothing invested in our country or its success. They pay no taxes and have no motivation. This must stop. Those of us who work hard should not have to support this.
We'll continue to wallow in this abyss until these career politicians with their outdated views of how the country and the world really works, decide to take off the blinders and live up to the true oath for which they were elecred! It's a sad day when the Congress and the Administration simply become the butt of jokes for every other nation in the world! These President Obama, Boehner and all the rest of them need to read "The Fall of the Roman Empire," and take heed!
Here's the solution Jack: There are over 40 million working Americans over age of 50. Let the government give each one of them a million dollars with the following conditions: They quit their jobs, buy a home or pay off their mortgage and buy a new American made car. That solves the unemployment problem, the housing problem and fixes the auto industry.
I think I'll run for Congress.
Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona
How many of the people in question are working full time, but need assistance to survive? It doesn't make sense not to pay people enough to live, then fund a large bureaucracy to administer a food stamp program...
Jack, let's not forget that a majority of those government proceeds distrubuted to American households on a monthly basis go directly into paying for essential items like utilities; telephone service; food and gasoline - in essence fueling corporate profits to record highs while personal and household incomes continue to plummet or stagnate. The real question is how long can we go on with the government subsidizing Corporate greed and profiteering vis-a-vis the poorest citizens' lifelines and not tax the corporations accordingly and reinvest the money into the "hand-out" system to perpetuate it's existence? We need to stop blaming the poor and clarify that "entitlements" is not the "four-letter word" it has been turned into by the Tea Party.
Many in Congress seems to care more about party loyalty than the well being of the country ....after all this recession and soon to be depression is not affecting them...they still get to go to their expensive mansions and trophy wives ...we had 8 years of republican incompetence ...this country needs a make-over not a republican party...it is time to put America first congress
Mr. Jack you were right in your book, "it's getting ugly out there"...and it will remain ugly until the demise of the entire system.
We can not go on much longer, when those who created the mess of unemployment would not come up with new ideas and do not want to change the policies that are perpetuating the situation.
I would get rid of the H1B visa policy. It brings people in for positions that can be filled by Americans and they were filled by Americans. Americans were laid off just to have the foreigners take over. Companies get a subsidy to hire those too. So, get rid of those subsidies.
The next, Bush gave tax payers money away to companies for moving over seas. That was money that did not belong to Bush. If companies want to move let them do it with their own money just like "people". Investment returns like a share of the profits those companies are making overseas, should be demanded in taxes and tariffs.
The next, jobs are necessary. If there are people who are getting hand outs, (and Social Security is not a hand out, workers have already contributed and those are contracts, it would be immoral for the country now to take that away), then those who are able body should be part of the work force, but do not insult them if there are no jobs. We lost 43,000 industries during the Bush adm and it is not the fault of the people. Ask that back from the corporation who because of greed, cause this trickle down negative effect on the country.
Taxes will have to be raised temporarily, no question about that. On everyone excepts on the working poor. I do not mind paying more. We are not rich, and we have two unemployed kids that had to come back home but we will not starve without it.
Feel bless by the presence of the poor. That is why charity is a virtue while greediness is not. The poor will be there always, that what Jesus said. Think why...It is not to punish them but to give the opportunity for all of us to be charitable so feel bless.
I could go on and on and on, but to be brief, the answer to the question is–NOT LONG.
Since changes are likely to piss some voting block off enough to lose an election, real reform is doubtful. Therefore the gravy train will go on as long as China keeps the purse strings open. The day the lending ends will hurt a lot of folks...
Jack: we can "go along" with 1/2 of the population getting some form of assistance as long as we can go along with the "assistance" better known as "tax breaks for the rich and corporate welfare"! Lets cut the bull and remove this "assistance for the rich." ! Even many of the rich and corporate CEO's say it is right to recind these taxes and loopholes!
What is our congress thinking!
Oh, I get it. Most of them are or will be millionaires, or get the majority of their campaign money from the rich and corporations! I understand now!!!!
Bunch of crooks!
I was afraid for America's future long ago. No it is not possible to continue as we have. Many great society's have come and gone, and soon ours will be one of them. People are STILL foolishly looking to government to solve this crisis. Yet all government does it make it worse. Take California's decision to award a huge bridge contract to China, now there is government at work for ya. If that doesn't convince people our elected officials are clueless I don't know what will!
To call Social Security a "government handout" shows a total lack of understanding of economic reality . When you pay into a pension fund out of your payroll taxes for four or five decades and then receive a monthly pension from the investment, how is that a handout? Since American corporations decided to increase their bottom lines by doing away with employee pensions and their 401K investments evaporated in the Wall St meltdown, if retirees didn't have Social Security many of them would probably be supported by their adult children or else live in their cars. Please Jack, you can't be serious.
The answer is, we cannot. Without a contribution into the donation bucket, it wont be there for us to take back out when we need it. What we need is what our industry needs, retooling. When something gets obsolete we replace it, right now our system is like comparing MS DOS with windows 7. All of these programs were developed during a time when the cost of living was much lower. If something isn't done soon to modernize both our infrastructure which was developed during the thirties, forties, and fifties. And our programs we will meet our fate as all old things do.
It is unsustainable as long as the people who send our jobs overseas, get rich off exhorbitant health care costs, rip us off with banking fees and scams, rip us off with high energy prices, and then are rewarded with the lowest tax rates ever and tax loopholes and sibsidies we'll never see are allowed to continue doing so. Apparently the Republican agenda is to make sure this stays the same until they've got all the money and we're all in poverty, so maybe returning the House to Democratic rule might help...
Oh, God help us Jack. We've got a group of multi-millionaires, the Deficit-Reduction Committee, working behind closed doors on how to Tax the Poor and Middle Class. I guess you're doing they're "up-front" public relations for them?
The US government currently reminds me of a Loony Toons cartoon. Obama is the Road Runner and Boehner is Wiley Coyote that keeps on trying to set a trap for him using Acme products that are both useless, a waste of time, and a waste of tax-payer dollars. Meanwhile the American public sits back and watches and laughs.
As long as the dollar has value, Jack. Once the global market dumps the dollar as the world currency all Americans will be asking for some sort of assistance, including Congress. What happened to American Exceptionalism Jack? The reality is we are losing faith and confidence in ourselves. We feel entitled to something. American Exceptionalism has turned into "American Absenteeism."
Eric from Macon, GA.
why do you couple medicare and social security with the 34% of the people on government subsistance programs? the medicare and social security people have paid for their coverage thru taxes and therefore are not a burdenon the system as your question implys. can we afford to support the 34%? only if the government gets out of the way and lets the system do the job that has worked in the past.
Well, at least a lot of this "government money" comes right back into the economy. The grocery stores, pharmacy and department stores. Now who owns them? Guess the Rich are not benefiting from goverment doleouts?
Jack how about corporate America and the rich welfare? How long can we keep bailing them out with our tax dollars and have them and their Gop friends kick dirt in our face?Today they are sending their Uncle Tom Negro Mr Cain to propose a 999 flat tax, wasn`t. Steve Forbes that 1st proposed a flat tax?How many billions does he have in the bank? Untill we abolished the rich and corporate America welfare, ordinary folks deserve a bail out as well..
this is simple math.....its pays to stay at home for most low income people, cant find a job that pays as well as sitting at home and drawing welfare, back in the day I was a young man it was a discrace to take government handouts but this has changed, these programs were set up to help the unfortunate but unfortunatley lots and lots of people have figured out how to cheat the system, no different than corporations have figured out how not to pay taxes..... so you are left with the only people who pay their fair share is the middle class and for that we are being drained dry to the brink of poverty.....
We won't be able to if the Republicans and Tea Party get their way and eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and if every single gov't social safety net program gets eliminated.
We won't be able to if the Republicans and Tea Party succeed in eradicating what's left of the middle class, and if Congress doesn't get off its collective duff and create jobs. Taxpayer monies fund these programs, and if people aren't working, then there's no taxes coming into the gov't coffers.
The rich and corporations take advantage of tax loopholes and shelters written specifically for them and don't pay taxes or, while those who are poor enough don't earn enough to pay taxes. That less the disappearing middle class to foot the bill for these programs, plus to bail out corporations, to pay for the wars, and more.
It will end when there is no more money and when China refuses to lend to us.
And Jack, I really wish you would get your facts straight and stop calling Social Security and Medicare entitlements. Entitlement implies that someone is getting something for nothing. Working people paid into Social Security and Medicare for their entire working lives. It is their money. If the gov't hadn't raided the Social Security piggy bank to pay for other pet projects, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
What I want to know is why you keep hammering away at "entitlements" without ever once having an honest discussion or story about corporate welfare. BP, GE, and BoA paid no taxes and earned record profits. We're still subsidising them, and they should be paying taxes.
Go after the real thieves, the robber barons of this era instead of the honest working people who got screwed by the rich, the corporations, the lobbyists, and their servants (the politicians).
This is clearly a massive policy failure. Its common sense – if 5% of kids that finish school cannot read, you can argue that the problem relates to the individual because 95% did manage to learn something. But if 30 to 50% cannot read, clearly the problem is bigger than the individuals. That same logic clearly applies here: this is a major policy failure. To blame this on the recipients is either utter ignorance, or willful malice. The latter is the domain of the perpetrators of that policy, and the former is the domain of their stooges.
I dont get why everyone is nuts about other people making money? My answer is always... "Go get a job as a CEO or EVP of something then, right? Go get a job on Wallstreet...How hard could it be? I'm sure these are really easy jobs that shouldn't consume your every hour and alienate you from family and friends. You just need to update the ol' resume, right? I'm sure you're fully qualified."
Common sense should tell the government that people who are not employed cannot support their households. How else are they going to provide for their families if not with government assistance. Do the government want people to become outlaws by stealing and robbing to support their families? When the government come aboard and provide the country with jobs, don't expect people to wither up and died or do the government want that to happen like other foregin countries. I have a job and its hard in this socity to make it with the income I have. I budget from the first penny to the last penny to make end-meat. Don't look down on people who need assistance, provide them with JOBS.
The people on Medicare are not on government "assistance", they paid into the system. The people on Social Security are not on government "assistance", they paid into the system. The fact that the population is aging and growing proportion of people are eligible for these two programs inadvertently skews your argument that a growing % of people are on government assistance. That being said, we need to reexamine qualifications for government assistance. Ultimately, we need a basic social safety net of food, shelter, and health care or the masses will soon riot.
Yes it is Jack, and wait till congress starts to attack S/S and medicare! Then the rookies protesting today will witness the rath of the experienced protestors of the 60"s and 70's! Us elderly people knew how to riot (oh excuse me, protest)!!!! Just think what we could have done if we had had the internet!
We all are getting close to the point of doing the same thing that is happening around the world when government of the rich trods on its people!. Britain,Seria, and on and on!!
Jack.. this mess will continue until the tax code is written so "everyone.. and I mean everyone" pays some portion of Federal Tax, and then all products that are not manufactured in the USA are taxed to the point that companies will be forced to manufacture products here. Obviously, Obama will not be in the White House and the "new" President will need to work with the "new" Congress to make it happen. In short we need to start nation building right here in the USA.
Jack, let's go a little deeper. How many businesses receive government benefits through contracts, subcontracts, tax advantages, and income from individuals receiving government assistance?
Despite the Tea Party rhetoric, government spending has a critical economic role in advanced societies. Perhaps you know of another economic model that will work well for a country with our history and potential. In a commercial republic like ours, the options seem limited.
What a second, 45% of households didn't pay federal taxes in 2010? I wonder who those 55% who paid taxes were. According to Citizens for Tax Justice (a research group that supports progressive taxes and the Reid Millionair surcharge), the Top 1% account for 20.3% of all personal income and pay 21.5% of the tax bill. Sounds fair to me already... in essence we need to make the economy better and taxing the rich probably isn't going to make it so, it will just make people feel a little better
I bet all those getting assistance would love to change places with someone paying taxes. It is no fun to be so poor you don't need to pay taxes.
Jack, at least you've got a job. With some members of Congress on a obsessive mission of destruction that is affecting almost all Americans, one wonders if there's any sanity left in Congress. Repulsive legislation, or the complete refusal to legislate, is the result of which you speak.
51.5% = haves
48.5% = have nots
made in china and made possible by Wall St. YUCK!
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.
About Jack Cafferty
Subscribe | Send Feedback