August 30th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

1 in 6 Americans taking government aid?


Traditional food stamps like the ones pictured here are no longer distributed. All 50 states now provide debit-style EBT cards. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In case you think times aren't tough... a record one in six Americans is getting aid from the government. One in six.

USA Today reports on the stunning growth of programs like Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and welfare.

Some numbers: more than 50 million Americans are on medicaid - that's up 17 percent since the recession started.

President Obama's new health care law will add another 16 million people to the health care system. Experts say doctors are already indicating "that they're at their limit."

More than 40 million people get food stamps - an increase of almost 50 percent during the recession. The food stamp program has grown steadily for the last three years.

Almost 10 million people are collecting unemployment insurance, which is about four times as many people that got unemployment in 2007.

Congress has extended unemployment benefits eight times, which now means the unemployed can collect a check for up to 99 weeks... almost two years.

And there are almost four and half million people collecting welfare - an increase of 18 percent during the recession.

Critics worry that it will be hard to cut back on all these programs once the economy recovers. While supporters say the government should be there to help people in bad economic times.

But just remember: we, the American taxpayers, are the ones footing the bill for all of these government programs. And as caseloads continue to increase... the soaring costs will be tacked on to our already skyrocketing deficits. The cost of the food stamp program alone is up 80 percent... and jobless benefits are costing us four times as much as they used to.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when 1 in 6 Americans takes government aid?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jackie writes:
That there are not enough good paying jobs to feed and house Americans. What is the alternative? To have all these unemployed, underemployed people living in the streets begging for food? Have you seen the photos of the depression? Bring the good high paying manufacturing jobs back to America and maybe we can start living again and actually have a little hope.

Charlie in Washington writes:
Jack, Interesting choice of verbs: "takes" vs. "needs." The verb "takes" implies recipients are fleecing taxpayers; while "needs" puts the blame on economic conditions beyond their control. Either way, these demands are unsustainable when talking about a "recovery" that may be five years in the future.

Bert in California writes:
Any stats on how many of the one in six are illegal aliens?

Carol in Auburndale, Florida writes:
Times are tough for the working class people. But it can be fixed. Bring our jobs back home and put our people to work. It is time for these corporations to man up and decide that they need to be more concerned about their country than their outrageous profits. We have to make things here and put our people to work, and if they won't bring the jobs back home where they belong, start taxing the hell out of their products coming back into this country. Make it so it would be cheaper to make it here.

Gordon in New Jersey writes:
I'd much rather see my tax dollars spent to help my fellow Americans who are in trouble than to see them spent on tax cuts for the rich and tax breaks for politically connected corporations - many of whom caused this mess in the first place.

Dave writes:
It means the current "stimulus" programs are not working. It means what many of us have known for years - simply giving people money usually does NOT work!Give REAL stimulus to the small businesses so they can expand and hire more workers, who will in turn pump money back into the economy.

Tracy writes:
It means our government is failing.

Filed under: Government • Hunger
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    It means our economy is in shambles, of course.

    I really wonder, at this point, considering that we have no chance of recovery for at least 4 more yrs., and then only if we can get the right people into Washington, whether the US can recover from this situation, or whether the end of the US, as we now know it, is indeed, near.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  2. Jim Bailey

    Does it mean Wal-mart will have to cut their prices even more so we can afford to buy goods from China...goods we USED to make?
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek CO

    August 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  3. Conor in Chicago

    It means that a generation of "values voters" concerning themselves only with "values based" issues has finally culminated in the complete offshoring of the American middle class while they are still screaming about "Jesus".

    August 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  4. Denny from Tacoma

    Are you including our politicians as recipients of government aid? My defintion of aid includes the spending of our money on all ineffective bodies.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  5. Kevin of SD CA

    Does this include all the government employs, and officials getting glorified welfare in the form of all the entitlements they receive which individuals in the private sector are denied?

    August 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack. It means that we are only a few months away from having bread lines again and if we get to that point I only hope that Pelosi, Reid and Bohner are in line behind me and I'm the last one to receive any bread that day.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  7. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    You including SS? Military retirement? Federal retirement? Congressional retirement? Come on, write a better question.

    If you're talking AFDC, disability, unemployment, we're in a world of hurt. But you backed the GOP, live with your coverage. And as for Fox, they're in the hen house.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  8. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    You are way off Jack. It is much more than 1 in 6. Remember almost every single farmer in the country is getting government aid. And certainly don't forget the people of Alaska, who get $1.12 for every $1.00 they send to Washington. The oil companies get billions every year just for hanging around and making messes. The biggest welfare queens are Dick Cheney's buddies at Haliburton with their no bid contracts and no government oversight. I could go on and on but you get the idea. The poor get very little of the welfare compared to the gang of greed.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  9. Janne from NC

    It means the principles of self reliance and independence this country was founded on have been replaced by the welfare mentality.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  10. Barker

    People getting Social Security and Medicare is legitimate, since they paid for it the whole time they were working.

    They should cut all the other social programs, though.

    For the poor people, I'd rather see them convert some old prisons and offer the poor room and board, but no cash. That way they'll have food and shelter in their time of need, but they'll also have an incentive to get out there and get a job as soon as they can.

    With the current welfare system, it's too easy to sit back and do nothing but have a kid every couple of years to keep the welfare checks coming.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Maria - Los Angeles, CA

    More votes for the Democrats and they are doing nothing to encourage people to take responsibility for themselves and their families by making responsible choices in life. We have become a society of enablers. Most of the people on public assistance are there for a lifetime with no reason to get off.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  12. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Laws have been changed make it beneficial for companies to construct plants overseas, employ people at low wages and allow profits made outside the country to be not taxable, via tax loopholes. Meanwhile, in this country there are McJob's or you can join the military, the pay is about the same. Of course, the McJob is much safer.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  13. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Jack, it means we're becoming an entitlement dependent society. People these days think the government owes them everything. Guess folks like you and me Jack will have to keep on working to pay for them.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  14. Simon,Florida

    It means that our President is happy with the fact that more people are dependant on the government. So far, his plan is working out very well. Now if he can just keep his health care plan moving along he can up that number to1out of 3.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  15. Annie D.

    It means we shouldn't have entered into trade agreements that sent all of our good paying manufacturing jobs to China.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  16. Richard, in Kansas

    It shows that the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer. All the result of trickle down economics and republican deregulation that leads to markets running wild. Enjoy your tea.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  17. JENNA

    What does it mean when 1 in 6 Americans takes government aid?

    It means that the GOP plan to outsource US jobs to make sheep out of the masses has worked.

    Roseville CA

    August 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  18. Joe CE

    Unemployment is very serious. You can't have massive financial irresposibility promoting unsound moprtgages and selling worthless stuff in the major markets without this result. It is compounded by the loss of at least 30 million jobs thru stupid trade policies. ongress is threating to eliminate credits for cor[porate tax paid to foregin goverenments – one small step. For a log time, the US economy appeared to be healthy but this was based on overseas production and earning = the average wage earner was losing ground. The long term recovery of the US economy depends on renegotating trade agreements to provide FAIR competion.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  19. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It means if you qualify-–get it while the gettin is good. I remember a former new correspondent who was receiving federal subsadies (probably spell that wrong) for a sheep farm that he owned in Colorado--perfectly legal-but he wasn't going to let the opportunity pass without getting his hand in the cookie jar. It is always those who need it most--that never get it--like the sheep farmer mentioned in the above paragraph.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  20. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Pretty simple, Jack! We have a large senior population. Over one in ten Americans are over 65 most of whom are on Social Security. There are many who are sick or disabled who need assistance, including many wounded veterans. And, yes, there are the poor people with children who the conservatives vilify as unworthy of aid.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  21. Ed

    If the other 5 work for the government it means we're all on government assistance.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  22. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack I think it means we have an unsustainable crisis on our hands that needs to be addressed right away. We can go about this in two ways. The first, cut benefits making people less eligible to receive them, sending families' to the streets to fend for themselves. The second choice would be to find a more economical way to handle the situation. People on unemployment should be made take job training classes and do community services while collecting unemployment. Failure to do this would mean loss of benefits. This would help to get rid of the people who do not want to work. We need Congress coming together putting politics aside and get down to work. There is a third choice, we can have Glenn Beck figure everything out on his magic blackboard.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  23. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,it means three things,1.There are a lot of needy people out there who need help through no fault of their own,2.There are a lot of lazy parasites who think the government owes them because their worthless butts were born in this country,3.There is a far left wing portion of government in charge that have no idea on how to create jobs!

    August 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  24. Ken

    Ken in Houston

    What does it mean when 1 in 6 people are on government aid? It means there are a lot of sorry ass people in this country that needs to get off of their butt and learn to work for a living. Quit depending on government hand outs for your living. The only ones who should receive aid are people who have become disabled and can't make a living at all.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  25. Gary bellew

    It means we're not doing a very good job as a people and "our government" seems to be more concerned with the rest of the world instead of its own citizens.

    Gary, MO

    August 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  26. Ed

    If the government didn't assist us all in some way we wouldn't need it.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  27. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    It means that the Republican idea of tax cuts won't work. It means that without taxes, the support of those that aren't as fortunate as the rest of us would be told, "Let them eat cake!" It means get off of Obama's back for doing something that is expensive.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  28. Trueman

    Hi Jack,
    It means that America is a socialist country. Yes, big, bad, scary socialism. And it's already here, corrupting your children and feeding your elderly. What's next? Publicly funded schools, parks, and police? Only a step away from Soviet Russia, which Palin can still see from her house.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  29. Paul Round Rock Texas

    This should be no surprise. It will climb till we get to 1 in 3 then the goverment will have the have and have not government they have wanted for so many years when only the rich will get what they want and the rest of get nothing.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  30. Meg from Troy

    Those of us in the middle class out on the front lines of this economic crisis will not be shocked or surprised by that statistic. There aren't any real jobs out here, no loans being made, few opportunities to take advantage of. People are still losing their house, cars, and lives on a daily basis. Our President and Congress are not hearing the silent screams.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  31. Terry in Hanover

    It's means the economy is in a long dark tunnel with no light at the end for many Americans. Our government leaders are more interested in playing games with each other to distract the average voter from seeing that our representatives let the foxes run the hen house in a corrupt scheme that benefits the Haves over the Have-Nots. It's time to end the game.

    I believe it's long overdue that our members of Congress should be forced to take a severe pay cut; lose their perks, benefits; and retirement funds; and work 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year like the majority of Americans. Let members of Congress live on Social Security and then see if they want to continue diverting money from the Social Security Trust Fund into the General Fund. We must make government accountable to all Americans - poor, middle class and rich. The only way to achieve that now is to keep voting incumbents out of office until finally our elected representatives get it.

    I'm an Independent, not a member of any party including the tea party. But I'm 56 and fed up with how our government has been hijacked by profiteers on Wall Street and in the Big Banks. If we don't fight back now, then we will wind up with a caste system where the majority of us are too poor to afford the necessities of life while the top 1% party on their yachts with our elected representatives serving them champagne.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm |

    it means that those persons hollering and screaming about big government had better re-think their attitudes. In order to reduce big spending, you must reduce the deficit. want to start with reducing aid given to those out of work? It may be your child, brother, sisiter, or mom included in the 1 in 6 getting aid. Remeber, Republicans do not believe in hand outs, so get the money before they take over Congress, God forbid
    be careful what you ask for.

    grandma on social security from Virginia.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  33. Joan

    Means the economy is in deep trouble – as well this Whitehouse and associates do not know what they are doing. Obama ADM has made the economy worse with their "resdistribution of wealth"...we have left the Democrat Party as they no longer represent "we the people".

    August 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  34. Thom Richer

    It means the government (Congress) is doing a very fine job of controlling the masses without weapons or force. It means paying workers a living wage is a thing of the past. It means we desperately need jobs. If that isn't enough, it is another means to keep corporate profits up with tax dollars and not have to call it a "bailout" or "stimulus."

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  35. C. C.

    It's ok, this is part of tax breaks for the rich, over inflated home prices,
    bad investment and market speculation, two wrongly thought out wars,
    and greedy oil and insurance companies.... you know, Bushes' legacy!

    August 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  36. Dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    It means we've let it finally happen. The beast has fallen.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  37. Steve, Clifton, VA

    It means that the Government/Tax payers can avoid the significant cost of having to incarcerate hundreds of additional people who would succumb to thief and armed robbery to feed their families without help from the Government.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  38. Jane (Minnesota)

    It means that both of the partys (Dem & Rep) absolutely had better focus on creating domestic jobs and not be rewarding corporations for outsourcing or not support job creation – just because your party won't regain a majority in Congress. It just amazes me why this is such a shock to everyone that so many are on assistance. If you remove taxpaying jobs and send them out of the country – you reap just the mess we have now.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  39. Dennis north Carolina

    It means that we gave away eight million or more jobs because of NAFTA free trade treaty and other trade treaties that big business special action groups wanted. we also have ten million illegal people in this country taking jobs while the government is not sending them back across the boarder. big business has a strong hold over our elected officials which could be called corruption.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  40. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack, they are just trying to catch up with the members of congress, they are the biggest abusers of government handouts. That plus all the side money they get from their lobbyist buddies just go to show why we're in such lousy economic condition.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  41. B.J., Quincy, Il

    It means that we are out of jobs, we have no money, fair trade isn't fair, and we need the jobs that these companies so willingly moved to Mexico, China, Brazil, and any other country.My question:
    If the Banks , who were so close to bankruptcy have recovered, repayed their loans and are making a profit, WHY is the rest of the country doing so poorly and no matter what the media or the government says , the economy is not, I repeat Not, getting better for the people on main street, it's getting worse.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  42. Kevin in Dallas

    It means we've got tens of millions of people that should be doing something for that money, like repair our aging infrastructure. Who knows, maybe all of that manual labor will do something about our obesity rate, which might do something about our health care costs, which might do something about or deficit.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  43. michael vivian

    If one in six is accepting Government aid, then the Government is too big and involved into the lives of us all. Help stamp out Too much Government. Fire the newly hired team of Czars that President Obama has put into place. Neither elected nor confirmed, these people are another example of Too Much Government. Abolish the Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  44. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, you saw the frustrated tax payers footing the dole at Beck Rally on Saturday

    August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  45. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    It means that we have a serious economic slowdown creating more unemployment than we care to quantify or we have a Nation of deadbeats. In either case this country has to make some serious decisions. Should we spend more money on job creation and close down certain freebies or do we cut taxes and give everyone a piece of the dole. Alternatively we can cut taxes and slash all benefit programs and hope that some other country will help our needy. It simply depends upon your Political preference.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  46. Robert Stroney

    Dismantle steel mills in China & bring them back to the United States of America Bring back our jobs!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  47. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Is that before or after Social Security is counted? If it does not include retirement benefits, than I would suggest that it is time to use tax policy to make it hard for companies to hoard money and instead make them start hiring people. Taxing dividends and undistributed profits would be a nice starting point.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  48. Jerry Illinois

    I like your question for today!
    I'm a 73 year old retired worker who started working delivering
    newspapers from a bicycle when I was only 12 years old and
    worked every year since and NEVER collected one penny
    of unemployment money. But I have seen 2 of my son in laws
    and one of my daughters lose their jobs and they would rather
    be working than going on unemlpoyment.When was the last time
    you collected aid?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  49. frankie

    It means that Bush's tax cuts on the wealthy need to be repealed. If the wealthy were not hell-bent on making astronomical profits right now, the poor would be getting paid honest wages. If you think that the wealthy do not need to be regulated because they automatically trickle down on the poor, please consider how the insurance companies treated the people who lost their homes in hurricane Katrina.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  50. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    It means that the incompetance & contempt for the middle & lower classes, unprecedented greed of Bush & his fellow Republican'ts know no bounds, & that countless people will be paying for Bush's mistakes for many years, if not forever. The most obvious lives that have been ruined by his diabolical decisions, are in Iraq, (whose Country is also in shambles now, thanks to his desire to invade it), & almost 2,000 souls who were victims of Katrina, & of Bush's incompetence. (He was well aware of the danger years in advance, was advised to restore the wetlands & strengthen the levees, but all warnings & pleas fell on deaf ears. Also, Katrina was predicted in plenty of time to make arrangements for a successful evacuation, & to have help & supplies ready for survivors.) Unfortunately, every one of his friends who were given jobs at FEMA, were inexperienced, & just as clueless & incompetent as their pal, Dubbya.

    How many lives could have been saved? How much suffering would have easily been prevented, if Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, or Barack Obama had been President then?

    Pondering these questions is futile, & only makes us feel worse about everything that went so wrong in America during the last administration. The myriad repurcussions will echo for generations to come.

    That's why so many Americans now have to depend on the Government, but they thank their lucky stars that at last, the Government is dependable.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  51. Jackie

    That there are not enough good paying jobs to feed and house Americans. What is the alternative? To have all these unemployed, underemployed people living in the streets begging for food? Have you seen the photos of the depression? Bring the good high paying manufacturing jobs back to America and maybe we can start living again and actually have a little hope.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Gordon NJ

    I'd much rather see my tax dollars spent to help my fellow Americans who are in trouble than to see them spent on tax cuts for the rich and tax breaks for politically connected corporations - many of whom caused this mess in the first place.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Loren

    It means that the Government has failed in its task to help create jobs. It means that people are inured to the social disdain felt for those who accepted government benefits. It means a whole lot more people who will vote for Democrats under the mistaken belief that providing more government benefits is good for them.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Did you join the Tea Party, Jack? Are you trying to vilify the poor as undeserving like Glenn Beck and Sharron Angle? Most poor folk in America are white and yet your picture only shows people of color. By the way, unemployment is insurance workers pay into for when it is needed.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Tracy

    It means our government is failing.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  56. Kenneth in Pinon Hills, California

    It means we have over three hundred million people that private business cannot provide enough employment. For years we were warned of the population explosion and its consequences and impact for lack of jobs. Not to fret, we helped solve some of China’s population explosion by giving them millions of our jobs. Geez, can’t we do anything right anymore?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  57. George


    It means that Americans are in need. Yes there are some that take these programs for granted, but there is large majority that need these programs. I don't understand when 9/11 hit everybody was united. Now people are now "for every man for himself". Americans need help and we as "Americans need to response" even if it means paying a little more.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Eddie (sittingbull ) Bullard

    Hey Jack how come no one said anything when Halliburton and Black water and other companies that sprung up for the occasion took $600 billion in government aid for the war in Iraq ?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  59. Mario

    It means that the pie is much smaller, and the slices less available.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  60. Dave, Orlando, FL

    First I take issue with unemployment benefits being government aid. It is not. That is money that we are all forced to put aside for our rainy day (which happens to be now). It is no more government aid that Social Security or my own savings account. As for the rest of it, the real taxpayer financed aid, it means that the Bush administration really blew it big time and Obama hasn’t stepped up to the plate yet. It means that we are in deep doo doo.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  61. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, it means that the economic climate in the U.S. has not been favorable in creating jobs from high to low tech categories. As a result, many people simply do not have a job to meet a level of existence that is barely above subsistence. Compounding this is the fact that a small percentage of people have learned how to play the system and are content to do so as a viable lifestyle. Also, with advanced technology, industry has been able to get by with fewer employees and it means more people will be sitting on the sidelines who eventually will be thrown onto government aid programs. Too many people, not enough jobs is a reality that faces not only the U.S. but all industrialized countries. Technology can be a two-edged sword.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  62. katiec Pekin, IL

    So what would you suggest, Jack? People dying because they cannot afford health insurance and there was no other care available, filing bankruptcy because the insurance companies have cancelled or refused insurance, people losing their jobs standing in bread lines, losing everything else in addition because of no unemployment, letting people starve due to no welfare?
    Your republicans brought our country and the world to their knees, but all you can do is criticize our president who is fighting for the survival of us and our country. Recovery is even slower because of your party obstructing everything as they are sacrificing the American people because of having lost the presidency and their undying love and support for Wall St and the rich.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  63. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    It is a consequence of the policies that shipped our jobs overseas, while at the same time took money out of our local banks to gamble on derivitives. People are out of work and the local banks can't lend money to local businesses to hire people. The republicans bankrupted this country, and redistributed the money to the top one percent. The rest of us were left to drown in an economic Katrina. Now the people can't feed themselves without aid. Conservative city's are turning off the streetlights,shutting down schools. Police departments can no longer respond to some calls and are closed during the late night shift. Everytime the republicans get on the soap box they divide us against each other. They blame the little guy. They blam social security. They blame medicare. They point the finger at everyone and everything, except the deregulation of the financial markets and their gambling with our money. When we ask them for their solution all they want is more deregulation, more privitization, more prisons, more division, more disenfranchisement of the people.
    What it all means is that we are being taken for a ride. Not by those that are reduced to taking aid. But by those that have taken our wealth from mainstreet to the casinos on Wallstreet. These are the biggest welfare queens of all time.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  64. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, my daugther is one of these people receiving help and I'm grateful that there are such programs. She works full time at the largest retailer in the world but can't afford to feed her family and live in a half decent apartment with 2 kids. She needs to have some surgery and is not able to pay for it but we'll find a way to make it happen. If she was here illegally, the surgery would be paid for by the taxpayers, like my daughter.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  65. Jon- Delhi, NY

    It means people need help and when the people need help it is the governments job to fight rather than take flight. On another hand you're right that we, the American taxpayers, are the ones footing the bill. Why shouldn't we Jack? Ever heard of love thy neighbor? I'm certain that a great deal of Americans have heard of that, or most likely read of it, and claim to live by it. So this should not be a problem.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  66. Ed from California

    It means were getting into dire straights. It means keep on voting Republican so that number can get to zero. Meaning no aid for anyone! No Medicare, Privatize Social Security, No Welfare, No unemployment insurance insurance, No Medicaid, No government help in any way. Now that's a tax break we all can get behind, right? Keep on buying foreign produced products and that number will reach 6 out of 6.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  67. Carol Auburndale, Fl

    Times are tough for the working class people. But it can be fixed. Bring our jobs back home and put our people to work. It is time for these corporations to man up and decide that they need to be more concerned about their country than their outrageous profits. We have to make things here and put our people to work, and if they won't bring the jobs back home where they belong, start taxing the hell out of their products coming back into this country. Make it so it would be cheaper to make it here. By taxing the goods coming back, you have money to pay government aid to the people who have been laid off because outsourcing and corporate greed. Be American, Buy American!! If we all quit buying anything made overseas and only bought what is Made in the U.S.A. we would force them to bring the jobs home.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  68. Steven G.

    I think that this should show people that these aren't just Americans looking for a handout, but are those that are truly struggling in this economic climate. I don't get food stamps, unemployment, medicaid, or welfare. I pay my taxes like any other American and I am proud to know that a portion of them go to people in need. Of course there are people that are milking the system and I hope that they are weeded out and punished.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  69. Conor in Chicago

    What does it mean? That "Globalization" worked. What the hell did you people think was going to happen? Allow the Industrial base to relocate to Thrid World countries and you didn't think that would destroy the US economy? Oh right, I forgot, this country spent the 90's trying to find out if Clinton cheated on his wife or not because we are a "Christian Nation" and the 2000's invading countries that didn't threaten us and turning over the power of government to corporations that don't care what happens to the United States.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  70. Rich - TX

    Jack, I know people are going to say it is fear mongering, but, we are becoming a SOCIALIST country. The numbers don't lie. PLEASE people wake up.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  71. calaurore9

    It mean something's gotta give, or stop giving as the case may be.

    Carol Colitti Levine
    Northampton, MA

    August 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  72. tom trapani, quito, ecuador

    Jack, it should be obvious to even the most cursory observer we are in an extremely sever recession possibly bordering on another great depression. The great depression lasted for more than 10 years the Second World War was the beginning of getting up out of it as America geared itself up for the fight.

    It seems to me we have forgotten how to pick ourselves up. A great many of the currently unemployed can be utilized by engaging in many of the activities utilized in the 30's depression, Build high speed rail berween major cities as well as internet connections acrosst the entire country, repair our decrepit infrastructure, by implementing a 2 year peace corp here in the US for all youth men and women 18 years or older not currently in the military as well as all able bodied men and women ( no exceptions for wealthy or well connected) plus everyone receiving unemployment insurance checks regardless of circumstance. it's time to mobilize all the country into worthwhile activities.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  73. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well it makes you wonder doesn't it. After 75 years of big social programs you would think things should be fixed by now. It is time to throw people to the wolves. They will either learn how to suceed on their own or fail. How else are we going to fix this mess.The Nanny State will only prolong the problem.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  74. Mel Seyffert - Houston

    It means that the "Trickle Down Theory" doesn't work. The rich have been getting their tax cut, so: where are the jobs that it is supposed to create. They're probably in Bangalore, India, Singapore, or China. Ronald Reagan' s idea never worked mainly because there was no provision to keep jobs in the US.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  75. Tom in Texas

    It means this country needs to bring back manufacturing and other JOBS from overseas while there still is a chance to rebuild middle class America.Why don't our do-nothing Congressmen and Congresswomen act ? A minority are fighting hard for us, but they are up against the greedy who are too busy taking care of their corporate overlords.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  76. sheila

    it's a scary statistic and with the possibility of getting scarier. We need jobs but we need jobs that pay a living wage. We need employers that are concerned about their fellow citizens rather than just the bottom line which only benefits a few at the top. People need to make a wage that covers their basic needs and then some.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  77. Donna Wisconsin

    And just what would you have us do, Jack? Leave all these folks be on the street, back peddling apples like in the depression? If you loose your job and can't pay for housing or food or medicine, what are you suppose to do? Oh! join the already high number of Americans living on the street. I think I heard California has at least 90,000. Shame on you! And then you will hear those righteous Republicans telling everyone they just need to get up off their butts and work! The media makes me sick.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  78. Kenneth From Atlanta

    No open jobs that match to the person looking for one.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  79. diana

    it means the food stamp rules are to lax. Did you know you can have $10,000 in the bank and if your income eligible you can still get food stamps? you don't need to use that $10,000 for food. Just let it sit in savings and let the taxpayers feed you.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  80. Gregg

    It means we are not in a recession.
    We are in a depression!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  81. jim in Chicago

    And don't forget all of the people who deduct their mortage interest payment, which is really subsidised housing. Also, how much does Sara Palin and her family members get from the state of Alaska due to oil revenue?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  82. Bob Kobs

    Tell it to the Rethugs and T-Partiers who want to eliminate social security and the federal govt altogether.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  83. southerncousin

    Obama's goal is 100% and he that is the only thing he is working hard at.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  84. Gary

    What does 1 in 6 taking aid. It means the Administrations policies are failing. It means the Administraion is in way over their heads.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  85. Tony from Southport, NC

    It means that Democrats are in charge.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  86. Jason

    what a bunch of crap. sick of this hand out nation. help yourself for christ sake.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  87. Bert California

    Any stats on how many of the one in six are illegal aliens?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  88. Dave in Kansas

    What does it mean?
    It means "I'm mad as h*ll and I'm not going to take it any more!'

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  89. rrock

    In the big picture the cost of the Iraq war was probably 100 times more than we are spending on food stamps each year. If we are worried about money we should get the money out of the world's most expensive military – our own.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  90. bbrooker - San Diego

    What this means is that blame game aside, the U.S. found itself in the midst of a global economic crises. Of course these numbers are going to skyrocket in light of the economic crises as the federal response. But people do not want to live off of food stamps or welfare, when the economy turns people will move away from these services.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  91. MyOpenComment

    "Critics worry that it will be hard to cut back on all these programs once the economy recovers."
    Thats because these critics failed basic economics in high school.

    Look..more are ON aid because of the recession, and once the economy recovers, people fall OFF aid because they have jobs again.


    Nothing like using a false wedge issue, to argue that government aid is "growing too fast".

    Of course, these critics also fail to tell the story of what things would be like of 1 in 6 Americans suddenly became homeless, sick, and hungry in the streets too.

    Nothing like using politics to ignore the reality of a real problem.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  92. Ashley

    This shows what many people have come to expect as a way of living in this country. Hard work is not necessary, hold out your hand and the rest of us will work for you!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  93. Jeffrey

    I am scared to answer from fear of being called a racist.

    If you had to support 1 out of a family of 6 and you told that person to get a job you might not be called a racist, but that is not how it is in America today.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  94. 4America1

    I would like to see a breakdown by ethnicity

    August 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  95. ann Donald

    We need to stop the madness. First of all, you can not expect 49% of Americans to support the whole country. We need to go to a Fair Tax system where EVERYONE pays with items they purchase. This country is never going to recover because of the illegals not paying taxes and the lack of incentive for people to work. Fair Tax would mean people live within their means. Stop welfare and unemployment!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  96. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    It means we have a health care system designed to vacuum every last penny out of your pockets before you die. It means we have made workers powerless to prevent being dumped out in the streets after decades of service. It means we have allowed the moneyed interests to disembowel the American middle class. Farewell to the vision of shared prosperity.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  97. Max S.

    It means that the democrats almost have their government dependant society plan all wrapped up. Good Job! Max S. in Utah

    August 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  98. BD70 Webster NY

    It means one in 6 are either hurting real bad or are scamming the system. Food stamps....so we should let people go hungry? Medicaid...if you are below poverty level you qualify. If unemployment is doing their job they should be catching those not looking for work. That is what they are paid for.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  99. d settle salisbury nc

    it means there will be a LOT of cold hungnry voters if the repupblicans take back congress..and continue thier policies of walfare for the rich and corperations and screw the "little" people..if they were important they would have been born rich and powerful.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  100. Blake

    Democrats for life. Democrats by design. When the ratio reaches 1 in 2, the Democrats will have reached their goal. Half work and pay taxes to provide the benefits for the parasites that vote Democratic.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  101. mactexas

    It means many things. Some people are refusing decent jobs and collecting unemployment because they want the same pay they had three years ago. Some have just recently learned of programs that are available to low income. Some have simply learned how to "work the system". Also, there are some who are capable of living on their
    own savings or investments but would rather keep that and let the government pay. I know a couple of people who do that (of course they have to lie about their investments) and both are Republicans!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  102. mokie

    Think it is more than that when you figure in social security and medicare, medicad and vetern – federal retiements

    August 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  103. Cary

    Remember only 50% pay taxes. Based on those numbers every three tax payers are supporting a fourth person. It's actually much worse because children wouldn't be considered tax payers so the numbers have to be closer to 2 to 1. That doesn't include all the other debt and all that is before we consider our services we are supposed to be getting for all that tax money. I don't think dead broke begins to express how bad off we are as a country. It may be about time to consider selling the country to China and move to Europe or at least Canada. Better to sell it now before they foreclose on us and just kick us out of our homes.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  104. Spencer

    I think it is time to return welfare and the well-being of people back to the religious organizations. I think they can do a much better cost effective program.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  105. Dean L. Gerdes

    All of this aid comes from the 50% of Americans who pay Federal taxes.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  106. RG

    It means "trickle down" is a complete failure.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  107. Sherry

    Jack, I'm dancing as fast as I can! I'm 63 years old, my husband was layed off 2 years ago. He is an engineer and you know what? No jobs, hundreds of applicants, but no WORK. he's offered to free lance, take a major cut in salary and nothing. What are we supposed to do? His unemployment runs out in November, we lost a major amount in our 401K plan, he has no insurance and I can't afford him on mine. We bailed the banks out and it looks like the Republicans would like to throw all of us under the bus. We earned our income by working hard and lost it by investing in Wall Street and now we'rel to be cut off programs that would help because we're costing too much. Our next step is a suicide pack, we can't afford the luxury of living.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  108. Jon

    It means somebodies taxes are going up

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  109. Tom from Houston Texas


    It means that those of us working will need a part time job to support the ones not willing or able to do likewise.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  110. Adam

    It means that 1 in 6 Americans are not voting with their brains, but with their bellies.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  111. jeff whitcomb

    It means that someone was not watching the cookie jar for a long time. Our perception that it is the current administration's fault is based on short sighted ignorance. The recession goes back a long way, to the time when Americans forgot that we each get compensated to produce something and not just service someone.
    The consensus is that it is a political issue but the reality is that all Americans need to look at what they have provided to make the economy strong in the last decade. We can blame everyone but ourselves. We all need to take a good look in the mirror and evaluate,
    "Its not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country." JFK. If we make money flipping houses or some other process that actually does not generate a product we do ourselves a disfavor. We need to get back to being producers.

    Winnsboro, TX

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  112. valwayne

    It means that our Government has totally failed on the issues of UNEMPLOYMENT and the Economy. It might be forgivable if Obama and the Democrats had done all they could, but they didn't. They decided to ramp up the size and cost of Goverment, pass the massive corrupt stimulous bill that was doomed to fail from the start, and then they just forgot about the UNEMPLOYED while they went about trying to shove their radical left wing agenda, starting with healthcare, down the throats of the American people. Obama and the Democrats fiddled whilethe economy burned. Now where are we? We need massive political change in Nov to balance our Goverment so we can get off this left wing "road to hell" and start to dig out!!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  113. Matt Brooks

    It means we're screwed Jack. The only ration worse than those taking government aid is that of those who can get off of it.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  114. Debbie

    Americans are suffering from arrested development and are lazy!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  115. Lamont in West Branch, Michigan

    One in six people taking government aid? I think it's less a reflection of the economic times than it is the ennui, lackluster attitude of the masses. The question is: "Why the hell should I work for minimums when I can get it for free!?" I've seen so many capable people in my own community of late taking welfare or disability because it's easier than working or relocating to find work...and the government makes it easy.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  116. Jarrod Rager, Greeley, Colorado

    When 1 in 6 receive government aid it means the value of money – and the value of everything else – in our country is in ruins. Shouldn't a person be able to work one full time job and keep up with the bills? There is a terrible beast behind the doors of our economy's house and until we slay the beast and drag it out into the open it will continue to devour us in closetted silence.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  117. Dave

    It means the current "stimulus" programs are not working. It means what many of us have known for years- simply giving people money usually does NOT work!

    Give REAL stimulus to the small businesses so they can expand and hire more workers, who will in turn pump money back into the economy.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  118. k

    There needs to be cuts

    Once people are on benefits it is almost impossible to get off

    How else will people get off

    There needs to be cuts to social services, it does nothing to help the economy

    If people want hand outs go to soup kitchens

    August 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  119. Jim Bradshaw

    We the American taxpayers DID pay, back when we had jobs. When your kid is hungry, you don't spend a lot of time worrying about the deficit.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  120. John

    Hummm, 1 in 6 takes government aid? Sounds low to me, we seem to be headed for a welfare state for a "while" then can lower our status to "3rd world country"....great country while it lasted.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  121. Bill Rochester MN

    That statistic is terrifying.

    It means that the economy is even weaker than we feared, and that the middle class is being ground to pieces. For too long, the trend has been toward relatively low-paying service jobs. As a result, those of us lucky enough to have jobs are becoming servants.

    The American Dream for the 21st Century is to get in, get yours, and get out before anybody notices.

    Wall Street needs to get behind the American worker, instead of investing against him.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  122. Charlie Everett WA.


    Interesting choice of verbs: "takes" vs. "needs." The verb "takes" implies recipients are fleecing taxpayers; while "needs" puts the blame on economic conditions beyond their control. Either way, these demands are unsustainable when talking about a "recovery" that may be five years in the future.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  123. Blake on Long Island


    I can honestly say that this is one of two rhetorical questions I have ever seen you ask.

    It simply means that folks are hurting, but dont be judgmental as many of these people paid into the system and are now unemployed.

    BTW the other rhetorical question was "Is Sarah Palin qualified to be the President (of the U.S).

    August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  124. Jeff in Michigan

    I'm not suprised by any of these numbers. After years of only concerning ourselves with what was good for Wall Street and investing in things like "junk bonds", and looking for a big easy payday, Americans have to pay the piper. Careless Tax payers paying for careless taxpayers, imagine that chickens really do come home to roost!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  125. Marcia

    I think it's time we put these people to work. If they have to clean streets or answer phones in Federal Offices...if you take unemployment you need to work for the Federal Government in return for that money. How can we go on supporting 1 our of every 6 people in this country and survive? It's also time to stop spending money every time Obama says we have to do it NOW!!! The only reason we have to do it NOW is because he isn't going to get another four years to run this country further into the ground!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  126. mjts993

    Let the economy heal itself. Government intervention only perpetuates the problem. They are stagnating growth with the threat of new taxes. The problem is the people who are "leading" this country have no clue what it takes to run a business.... at least not in the real world. The public sector should have to live by the same rules as the private sector.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  127. Rick

    Hey Jack
    Are you including all the individuals that benefit from farm subsidies, bank bailouts, pork project spending, etc. or just those that are down on their luck during this economic catastrophy?
    Columbus, Ohio

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  128. Frank

    It's time to restrict voting to property owners

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  129. Tina Tx

    And your point is? Gee Jack when you keep sending out good paying jobs and expect people to live on mininum wage this is what you get. Welfare takers. It is sad how our country was once great and now it is becoming Iraq. Go figure.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  130. Brad

    Build it and they will come. Extend unemployment, people hold off looking for work, give them food, they will take it. Give them medical, why pay? People are taking advantage.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  131. androloma

    What does it mean when 1 in 6 Americans takes government aid? The end of civilization as we knew it.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  132. GoldMember

    It has been like that for long time, why ask the question, just to start a topic? or get people screaming at each other?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  133. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    It means that govenment has been shortchanging its citizens in favor of special interests. While corporations such as BP can take tax deductions for its Gulf Coast neglience, programs such as Head Start go underfunded, decaying public schools beg for computers, families have to choose between medical care, food, or rent, and the spiraling cost of higher education perpetuates a blue collar economy most susceptible to recessions.
    It's no secret how we got into this predicament, the question is do we have the courage to get out.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  134. Aubrie

    That's an easy one.... It means we're catering to to many illegal aliens and providing them with benefits they are not entitled to. We should be caring for our own..... Not the residents of other countries.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  135. Mike

    Can't leave much of a comment, Jack. Millions are relying on me to work and pay their way.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  136. Mark

    It means that way too many people have grown addicted to the handouts and they now refuse to be repsonsible for their own supoport. That's how the the party in charge "buys" votes, passing ever more generous handout packages on the backs of the 50% or so of us that actually pay income taxes.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  137. Cameron SF, CA

    There are definitely people who need the assistance but I just the think we give too much for too long. My husband was laid off and he was surprised that his unemployment benefits were continually being extended. He honestly remarked at how easy it was just to remain unemployed and collect a check from the govt. He's extremely hardworking but once your given money for weeks and weeks, you don't really feel the pull to get your life back on track.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  138. Darkus

    Cafferty: President Obama's new health care law will add another 16 million people to the health care system. Experts say doctors are already indicating "that they're at their limit."

    Me: What the hell is that suppose to mean? Are you insinuating that doctors are unable to take care of 16 million Americans even if they have health insurance? My goodness Cafferty, your feeble attempts at rabble rousing are growing ever the more embarassing.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  139. Dan

    It means we're screwed Jack!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  140. Mary Ann

    Well – Jack – hope you included all representatives, senators and others in high places who live off the backs of the tax payer and do very little to deserve the benefits they receive (many for a lifetime)...only difference is their extravagant lifestyle...

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  141. Tracy - Oakland CA

    It means that the days of the "invisible hand" and "Laissez-faire" capitalism are over. We're in this mess because of deregulation, privatization, and putting the interests of corporations over people. Suddenly our entire economic system becomes linked to the whim and will of the privileged few, who prefer to keep their money and tax breaks for themselves. There is no greater indictment of Reaganomics, de-regulation, and tax-breaks for corporations and the wealthy – trickle down doesn't.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  142. Mike S., New Orleans

    I guess it means that five Americans must work to pay for one who can't. It is no secret that social safety nets are expensive in times of recession, but how much did we spend destroying and then rebuilding Iraq? And which expense makes more sense?

    August 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  143. Peter

    What does it say about the great invisible hand of capitalism that it can't keep 20% of the population above water.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  144. Kevin

    It means as you increase social give aways the less people work for them and the more hands you have to fill with hand outs. its a downward spiral to a lazy , soft, country. When my neighbor who has been collecting unemployment for a year is spending his days on his boat that says it all. Programs should be hand ups not hand outs.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  145. joseph folk

    One big inaccuracy in this story: "Americans are footing the bill." WRONG. No one is footing the bill–the deficit grows and grows until interest charges on our debt, now $500 billion/yr, bring down the house of cards.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  146. Dave --- Clinton

    What does it mean?? It started under Bush, but it has gotten even worse under Obama. It means the leadership we have now is worse than the leadership we had two years ago. Obama's policies are driving us at a higher rate of speed than Bush's - and the old saying goes "speed kills" Wake up America!!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  147. Peter in New York

    What does it say about the great invisible hand of capitalism that it can't keep 20% of the population above water. New York

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  148. Ken in NC

    If you are the 1 of 6, it means you need to learn to swim quickly because the other 5 are thinking less of helping others than they are themselves.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  149. Phil

    Not everyone can get a job on TV where they complain about everyone else.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  150. Lindsay

    Well i think the unemployment benefits should NOT be 99 weeks long. that is just asking people to NOT get a job. There is 4 places within 6 blocks of my home hiring!!
    1 gas station
    1 car wash
    1 ice cream place
    and Mcdonalds

    If people actually look there is jobs!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  151. Vic

    It means the economy is horrible. And those folks who are against government aid are against it until they get laid off, cant find a job, still have to pay bills and daily expenses and depleate their savings.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  152. Roni

    Are the collectors of the government aid all "Americans" or aliens here with or without government approval?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  153. Lee

    Let's face it, the country is headed to bankruptcy. The politicians will never be brave enough to tackle any kind of long term issue. Bush tried with SS, the Clintons tried with healthcare. Obama came close with obamacare dspite massive unpopularity. How can we continue being an imperialist policing the globe, giving out billions n foreign aid, paying for 1 in 6 americans.... We are going to end up in a crisis but I guess that is the only way it will be solved, because then long term will come due in the short term.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  154. Don in Silver Spring, MD

    You haven't figured in the number of people who receive government funds in the form of tax breaks and tax incentives. Every parent who deducts allowances for children, their education, etc. is a drain on taxpayer dollars for the rest of us. How about businesses which receive tax credits? How about those who tithe for their churches and call it a tax exemption. I wonder how much all this amounts to annually. To say nothing of those who avoid taxes through carefully engineered loopholes. It's not just the poor and unemployed who drink from the government's fountain. We all do it, so lets not suggest that it's the fault of welfare programs that we are where we are.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  155. Jennifer

    It means that there are people out here who can't feed their families because A) They have lost their job or B) Their spouse has lost their job and they can no longer afford such luxuries, such as food for three meals a day. I know all too well how this story goes because I have lived it. I worked 40 hours a week as a teacher's aide but still did not make enough money to feed my children. I had an upstanding job in the community, I paid my bills, and I paid taxes. I find it disturbing and yes, disgusting that people find it necessary to humiliate those who need assistance when they normally wouldn't ask for what they consider to be a "hand out" from anyone. But when you are hungry, and especially when you have children, you won't watch them go hungry. And you shouldn't.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  156. Jeffrey H Mason

    It means that many will continue to vote for the politicians that they depend on for their "benefits."

    August 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  157. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    it means you are living the results of poor economic and social policies from past decades that has not reduce inequalties, drop out rate and poverty, has not created a fair tax system in proportion of the revenues and has not promote fair competition for more people to reach the american dream! There is a major problem in policies when the richest only accounts for 1 or 2% of the population! Take care!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  158. Joe

    It means that 5 out of 6 haven't yet figured out what America's all about. There are pigs at the top, freeloaders at the bottom, and the 5 out of 6 in the middle paying all the bills. Either get rich or go broke, you don't want to be in the middle!

    Joe – Ashby, Massachusetts

    August 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  159. Dan

    As somebody who works in the Alaska State Unemployment Insurance – it raises taxes on businesses and on individuals the longer people are unemployed collecting the unemployment insurance. Alaska is one of three states that do not have a charge back against employers which helps alleviate some of the tax issue but the other forty seven states plus Guam and Puerto Rico are going to see their unemployment insurance skyrocket in the next few years. Unemployment is only part of the problem; as the percentage of those who fall into the poverty level increases the tax burden becomes greater on society which will reduce the purchasing power of all classes poor, middle, and rich, this will inturn reduce jobs, employment opportunities, investing opportunities, and any prospects of the America returning to a sustainable growing economy.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  160. Larry from NY

    Do deductible interest on mortgages and tax free health care benefits count as government aid?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  161. Janette Santana

    It means that more and more people have less choices therefore they have to rely on the goverment to get by and cover basic needs. Sad.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  162. James

    It means that we're helping each other through tough times. It means that we're recognizing our responsibility to our neighbor now more than ever. It means that we're becoming more effective at ensuring that the least of us, in their darkest times, have some support. Supporting the unemployed is the most cost effective way to deal with job-loss and a depressed economy.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  163. Steph

    How nice. My family can BARELY afford to take care of ourselves yet we are supporting 1 in 6 other Americans. I'm bitter.
    What does it mean when 1 in 6 Americans takes government aid? Well let me tell you a quick story. I went to the grocery store a couple days ago. The woman in front of me was nicely dressed, had a cart FULL of groceries and then whips out her food stamp card to pay for it. In the parking lot I see her packing all her delicous food in her giant SUV. Meanwhile, my family of 3 is struggling to make ends meet and we do not get any govt. assistance. If we can do it, so can you. More people need to suck it up. You can go without that big SUV especially if other people are paying for your food.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  164. Genevieve PRILLAMAN

    The number are stagering, but do they include the "millions" of tea partyers and so on, who are against the government growth ?
    How would they plan to feed themselves or to take care of their health then ? Is God supposed to do all that for them ?
    Geneviève from France.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  165. Tracy Pitt

    I think the welfare system needs a serious overhaul. There are far too many people allowed to access the system and little seems to be done to deter people from receiving welfare. I think that welfare needs to be more of a strict temporary solution, not an ongoing way of life.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  166. Dave Cherby

    I'll trade our bloated defense budget for foodstamps any day of the week.

    We need to examine other expensive programs our tax dollars pay for, such as billions in unnecessary military contracts and our "corporate welfare" system.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  167. Susan (Connecticut)

    It means we need jobs....I'm guessing that there are 10 million people that would rather have a regular job and not be getting unemployment insurance. When more people can work, more people can contribute.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  168. Dennis Small Business Owner Utah

    5 are having support 1.

    Now how many are more are Gov't Employees.

    When the boomers are retired that may increase significantly.

    This is exactly why I am not hiring any I can't afford what is coming.

    The Whitehouse doesn't get it, we can't do what Gov't does just keep borrowing. We have to pay it back. They will never pay off the debt that has been taken on the past two years. We are bankrupt.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  169. vinnie

    What does it mean when 1 in 6 Americans takes government aid?

    It would seem to indicate times are tough. Employers have contracted out about 8 – 10% of US jobs to increase the bottom line, hence we have 8 – 10% unemployment. When people don't work they require government assistance.This problem will only get worse until either the private sector or the government create more jobs.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  170. Ryan, IL

    The fact that somebody cannot work for almost 2 years and get a check is outrageous. The only way you are going to bring down the unemployment rate is if you give people an incentive to find a job. All Obama is doing is crimpling the american people for future generations. And don't even get me started on the deficit.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  171. tpalmer954

    One in six huh. Does this number include the Nationalized Bankster, BP subsidies, GM and Fiat TARP

    August 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  172. Mike in Overland Park

    It means we have many citizens in the country who over spent, didnt save, or properly insure themselves and when times got tough they needed help very quickly. The rest of the folks have always been on gov assistance and will remain on it until the program tubes or is taken away. It's sad and I don't have the answer.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  173. Ken

    How about having those that are receiving these benefits perform work before receiving any benefits and I bet you the number will go down!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  174. Greg


    It means that people may be afraid of the BIG BAD WORD "Socialism", but that certainly doesn't scare enough to hold them back from reaping similar government help by another name (and heck, Europeans get college, doctors and retirement thrown in ta boot!) Maybe we just need to learn a marketing lesson from Phillip Morris and AIG, just rename "Socialism" to something more palatable. Call it Americanism, slap a logo on it and bingo the masses will follow.


    August 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  175. Millie from Montague

    It means that we need to start looking at pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and putting ourselves back to work and stop depending on the Govt. as our sole means of support. It was done before, we can do it again. All those who howl so loudly now about how one side or the other is at fault realize this.....this country would really be in a world of hurt if all those support checks stopped! We need to stop looking to DC and start looking in the mirror! Just because you lost your job or receive some support like un-employment does not make you a loser, it's when we bite the hand that feeds us that it occurs!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  176. Ben D.

    One in six are on government assistance, and 47% don't pay federal income taxes! There is NO math yet conceived by the sinister minds of government spin meisters that can make these numbers work! Hopefully, the thin veil separating American citizens from our troubling realities will finally come down, revealing that we are utterly out of control!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  177. John in Dallas

    It means "Change you can believe in". Literally.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  178. E. L. DePaula

    It means the Country is in trouble! We all know that, don't we?

    We just came out of 8 years of mismanagement of our economy, where banks and financial institutions exploited the lax environment of the Bush administration.

    It is like steering a big cargo ship – we cannot turn on a dime... and we are about to collide with the San Francisco Bridge...

    Think long and hard the next time you vote for an educated, incompetent candidate, who could only offer us cliches and exploit our patriotism.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  179. Ken in Maryland

    Why shouldn't the government help those in economic trouble? It's the government that got us to where we are today. Lax regulations on the financial industry, cutting taxes on the rich while increasing spending, two wars (one of which was completely unnecessary), it all had to burst at some point. Now there are millions of Americans going through hard times due to poor decision-making by the government. It should be on the government to help the people that it hurt.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  180. Annie, Atlanta

    “Trickle Down Economics” was a failure on a massive and deadly scale. Yet half of us will continue to ignorantly vote GOP, especially now with the black guy in the White House, until all our bones are picked over and the rich take off for fresh picking grounds. Heck, they’ve already started. Wonder if they’ll take their enablers with them? Care to wager?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  181. Norm from Ohio

    It means the wars from the Bush administration with no way of funding them along with the tax cut to the very rich have sent this country into a downward spin and no way to recover.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  182. Will from colorado


    It means we’re not living in a third world country; it just seems that way! If the American people can’t have a way of supporting themselves then we may as well be in a third world country. Some major parts of the American economy have gone over seas and there are so many Americans that have anti-feelings about education it is no surprise that 1 out 6 Americans are receive aid from tax payers. Also, isn’t a government job paid for by tax payers?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  183. Dan

    Jack, it means people are hurting, jobless and desperate! We need to pull out all stops and put an end to the recession. We need programs such as the old WPA to create jobs and put people back to work. Obama has offered help for small businesses that could create jobs, but the party of no won't even let that happen. If they won't help they are just prolonging the misery for everyone. They need to lead, follow or just get the hell out of the way!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  184. Lisa

    It means our people are suffering and DESERVE a little help for a change. I'm sure a huge percentage of the numbers you cited were/are hard-working Americans who busted their tails all of their lives and paid into our system and did all the right things. Our people are homeless, jobless, and unhealthy, and penniless..Instead of refunding them a small portion of the money they paid into the Federal reserve, our leaders have the audacity to insult them by calling them lazy, welfare recipients while they fatten their own pockets and those of their corrupt friends! It's unforgiveable!!!

    Dale City, VA

    August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  185. Ben

    It means Georgie Bush should have never been elected. What a waste of 8 yrs of American history.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  186. Scott Stodden

    It Means That There Is No Jobs In This Country And Americans Can't Afford To Put Food On The Table And It Also Means The Federal Goverment Is Doing Nothing To Create Jobs And Get The Federal Deficit Under Control!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    August 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  187. Sherry

    And you people want SMALLER government - are you serious?!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  188. Samantha S.


    I want free schools!

    I want public healthcare!

    I want a pension!

    Guarantee that politicians will use my high taxes for the benefit of EVERYONE and not just their pet projects, and then I will have no problem paying up!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  189. Brian Swanson

    A complete snapshot of our situation should also include social security recipients since these payments are also being paid by taxpayers. According to the US Social Security Administration there are currently 58 million Social Security recipients. So the shocking statistic is that 1 in 3 Americans take government aid.

    So how does it feel America? For every three people in our American canoe only 2 are paddling... No wonder workers are out of breath...

    What's the meaning: The process of government has let us down. Our elected and responsible government officials over the past decades have brought us to this bad situation. We must realize the system is broken and there is no reason to believe that more of the same won't fix the problem. Reform in the operation of government is needed before things get even worse.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  190. The Mudshark in Oregon

    According to Glenn Beck, it must mean that 1 in 6 Americans are liberal, hate filled whiners who are too lazy to contribute to society. There is no possible way that ANY of these 1 in 6 people could possibly be republican or conservative. After all, republicans would never "take" gubmint handouts. SO, all you lazy, good for nuthin' liberal demcrats better get smart and vote for Sarah Palin before Obummer takes your guns. Or something like that.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  191. Ralph Spyer

    It not the one in six Americans we should attribute our defalt to but no bid contracts in Iraq, the cost of the war in Iraq , our bail out of wall street ; our bail of the big banks .we have spent millions on what??? Two immoral wars that were mistakes.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  192. J

    It means business isn't willing to pay a fair wage, and that the price we pay for not taxing the wealthy, and for not taxing corporations, is the creation of a permanent underclass. Capital has become so efficient that it no longer needs to exploit workers–it doesn't need them at all, except to buy things.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  193. Dave Watson

    Jack –

    Are you sure it is only 1 in 6? Anyone with a mortgage tax deduction is receiving Gov't Aid don't you think? I'll bet it is well over 1 in 2 when you factor that in.

    Cedaredge, CO

    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  194. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    In the real world the persons who take the greatest rewards pay very little of the cost:
    Namely they never serve in the military
    The employment they earn by birthright or whatever are rewarded by high salaries and endless bonuses
    these are just two of the condition that should be rectified, we need a government that truly cares about the common man.


    August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  195. Robert of New Jersey

    What it means is that the trickle down economics started by the Republicans in the 1980s has finally done it's job of transferring wealth from the poor and middle class to the very rich. The Gilded Age is here again. It's not the poor but the rich who have been getting most of the government handouts. That most people don't realize it shows the success of the right wing media propaganda machine.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  196. Samantha S.

    I'm sick of people complaining that we gave all of our jobs to Asia when it was us afterall that want everything for pennies cheap. WAKE UP!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  197. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    First off, it means that America is a great and caring country for having all these assistance programs.
    Secondly, it means that the USA is in the midst of a gruelling, debilitating jobs depression.
    Thirdly, the rising cost of these government programs can be easily handled by cutting obscene spending in another area. I'll give you a two word hint : USELESS WARS.
    If America continues to try and wage war plus be generous with social programs, it faces bankruptcy. If it chooses war over social assistance, it faces civic unrest. The wars have gotta go.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  198. Archie from Arkansas

    This is what happens when corporations decide to outsource jobs to China, Mexico, etc.. Whirlpool Corporation is an excellent example. Two huge plants here in Arkansas have been relocated to "new" facilities in Mexico. This kills the local, State and Federal economies as well as the associated tax base. It wasn't that these companies weren't making money . . . it was a matter of "how much money" they were making. Moving the manufacturing base out of the country allowed them to make "more money". At least that was the plan. The problem is that the consumer base is "here". Not overseas. Consumers can't afford the products that they used to manufacture. They have no jobs.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  199. Adam in Colorado

    It means that I'm a sucker. I will have payed into this "safety net" for 60 years until I retire, only to have payed full price for my groceries, higher premiums for my health insurance, full price for my education, and be forced to rely on my badly hit 401K because at my age, Medicare will be long gone by the time I retire. Besides the elderly and disabled, which any great country would care for, those sitting around waiting for the same job to come around that they got laid off from in this recession need to step it up and take what they can get. Americans that have lived within their means and made smart, fiscal decisions are now getting taken for a ride by those who didn't.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  200. Steven E. - TN

    2 questions: 1) Are government workers counted in this figure? since all their pay and benefits comes from tax payers thei would add to the roles. 2) Are non-citizens inclulded in the hadnouts – if they are (and I suspect they are) this should be a separate number so that we can see how many legal and illegal non-citizens we are supporting.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  201. Lindsay

    It's a recession, so while it is awful I don't find these numbers particularly surprising. I know that the deficit is out of control, but would you rather have more people starving and on the streets? I'm no bleeding heart, but these are hard times, so try to consider the alternative.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  202. Mari, Utah

    Correction, Jack, "Unemployment insurance" is something we, workers, pay for! The money is taken out of our pay checks. Unemployment benefits are tax payer funded by the workers of the U.S.A.!

    Thanks to the Bush Economic Disaster people are hurting.

    BTW poverty rose in the U.S. 8.3% during the Bush years.

    Anyone want to take away grandma and grandpa's Medicare or Social Security? Didn't think so.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  203. Peg from N.Y.

    It means incomes cannot keep up with inflation. People are losing their homes and their jobs. New, paying jobs are not forthcoming. I know too many people just above the line for help who would have a much easier time if only they could get Food Stamps. My spouse makes 1/3 of what he has made the last 25 years, during the last 3 years. He has taken on more work with far less pay, thanks, respect or care. Employers are as hard struck as employees. America needs good jobs, realistic wages, affordable healthcare and safety. Everything we Americans hold dear seesm to be at stake...and the politicians continue blathering, campaign negatively and offer us no real solutions. It is endlessly difficult.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  204. Carlos

    It means the Bush Administration and its policies were truely far more destructive to our nation than originally thought! This will take 5 more years before our economy recovers.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  205. Kevin

    Dear Jack,

    I believe they should enforce drug testing for welfare.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  206. Whitt

    It means we're in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Is there some part of this that isn't obvious???

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  207. James G

    It means 5 out of 6 Americans aren't getting government aid. what does the government do for them? Nothing

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  208. Linda E

    Don't forget that those receiving federal aid are also American tax payers.

    I'd love to see the same level of outrage over the military budget as we see with entitlement programs. Those receiving aid are like canaries in the mine, and I hope the rest of us are paying attention before the complete cave-in of our economy.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  209. LS

    It means that this administration hasn't got a clue on what's ailing the economy and how to revive it.
    Considering that 47% of the population pays no income taxes, the burden will fall on the rest of us in the form of tax hikes.
    Additional taxes result in less disposable income, thus less purchasing power which will further drive the economy down the dumper.
    We are well on the way to third world nation status unless the economy is quickly restored to health.
    I see us going back to hunting for our food.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  210. ben stockton, calif

    jack, if things continue as they are, there exists the possibility of a depression of some sort. i dont see thing improving soon. here in calif. candidate meg whitman [republican] claims she can fix the fiscal problems that we are mired in. as a democrat, im willing to vote for her to see if shae can deliver as promised.desperate times call for desperate measures. i dont think jerry brown has the political power , if elected, to pull it off. gov. arnold swartzenegger tried to get us on the right path but to no avail.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  211. SurRy

    Maybe we should have been trying to create jobs instead of war for 8 years.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  212. Pat

    Jack –
    It means that a lot more people need a lot more help than ever before. Isn't that obvious? But what is out alternative to helping out? Starvation? Familites roaming the streets, living in Hoovervilles in Central Park? Would that be an improvement? Children dying of preventable diseases outside of hospitals because their parents did not have health care? Is that accpetable? To whom?

    We have great need right now. How it happened and whether it should have happened is not the question. How do we help is the right question. For the most part, the answer is jobs. The government should hire people to fix our roads, teach in our schools, build our libraries, write our next generation of literature, paint our public buildings, take care of our national parks, etc.

    What we don't need to do is to keep paying people to sit around the house all day and be depressed.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  213. bayroad22

    well, Jack, maybe all this money the Repubs are getting from their wealthy contributors could be given to bail out the Government since they caused this big meltdown.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  214. Jay

    What does it mean?

    That means that Obama is doing a GREAT job as president.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  215. suzi

    It means that there isn't enough jobs available since the last Administration shipped many many jobs out of our Country.
    What are they suppose to do live on the street and eat out of garbage recepticals? There are also many people that are handicapped and can't help themselves.
    I hope the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdock and whomever is supporting the hate and lying going on this past year are right with the God that they say they believe in. From what I have studied that isn't the way to treat others.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  216. John

    When the recession came around, did it mean that the United States suddenly got 17% lazier? Did it mean that every person who applied for food stamps and other government support WANTED it that way? As long as we believe that people who need a (temporary) hand should get one, times like these will always exist, in a cycle. At the other end of that same cycle, we've seen the disparity between the "working class" and the uber-rich grow to unimaginable heights. So, the next time someone demonizes those who find themselves out of work for the first time in their lives, try and remember that the victims of the current downturn aren't those whose 401-k took a beating. It's the ones whose dignity is being lacerated by those who choose to throw them into the "lazy" and "soft" pile.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  217. Bill

    1 in 6 today, 1 in 7 tomorrow, 1 in 8 next week. What's it mean you ask? Higher taxes, failed policy, failed bail outs, we are just turning into a nanny state. Maybe it's all part of the socialist (demo gods) plan.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  218. Tom Erdmann

    If Bush or Boehner were in charge, we'd be 1 person in 1 that is on welfare.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  219. John Baldwin

    It means that the Republicans and Bankers screwed up the economy worst than we thought

    Hohn in South Bend

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  220. Chuck Wright, Georgia

    It tells me what it should have told the Government and Business Leaders(?) long ago. The distribution of weath in the US has no equity. These two groups make the distribution decisions. However, we all know that it takes a lot of money to start wars.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  221. Gina from West Virginia

    There are two sides to every story. It tells you we care for our own – on the other hand it serves as a great example for fraud. I really do feel the key issue here is responsibility – perfect example is healthcare. Who do you think pays when people show up at the ER without insurance? I do – you do – the one's with insurance. Everyone needs to be responsible and buy insurance. I am tired of paying their bill. And as far as doctors – they are not miffed at too many patients – they are miffed at not being able to gouge people – example – charge $200 for a 5 minute visit – for what????

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  222. Graeme

    Sorry to say this, but raising taxes is the only real solution!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  223. suncoaster

    it means 5 0f 6 don't

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  224. Claire, Melbourne FL

    It means, Jack, that the Republicans were very poor stewards of our economy to cause this horrific mess. I hope all those unemployed people have thanked George W and Cheney for out-sourcing all our American jobs to China, India, etc. . We the tax-payer even paid those companies to out-source.....isn't that special...!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  225. george, tn

    jack, do you remember that thing called NAFTA.started with a Bush, continued with Clinton. then came CAFTA, signed by guess who? yup another Busch. we have watched as jobs pour out this country like cheap liquor on a Saturday night. turn the bottle upright and let the jobs flow back to the USA. or stop supporting foreign Economies. just stop buying their junk

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  226. Anthony Holmes

    It means that people are going hungry and the American Dream is withering on the vine. I'm not for huge debt and deficits but we need to get the economy fixed and fixed now. Until we do yes we should continue to bankroll the least of us until we get out of this mess. Once we do we should all pay higher taxes to pay down the deficit.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  227. John Gill

    Things are bad no doubt. But if you think things are bad for the average American now, wait till after November. If the Republicans get power, they will cut programs to the most vulnerable. You will see the return of soup lines and massive numbers of suicides.
    What's been done so far has prevented a second great depression, but after the elections, all bets are off.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  228. James

    How many weeks does it take for Unemployment Insurance to became Welfare? The fees (taxes) every company pays for the insurance is used up after 3-4 months, then it falls on the government to cover the additional costs. Unemployment Insurance is a temporary bridge, at some point it is better to stop lying to ourselves and and transition the long term unemployed to welfare.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  229. Jay Morin

    You have to have a license to have a dog but not to have a kid!!!

    If people are not financially qualified they shouldn't be having babies!!!

    Are country is weak. Our government is too weak to make the right changes that make sense. Let's stop bailing out the banks and create green jobs that make sense all the way around. Let's put prisoners to work. Repeat offenders – mandatory hard labor! No more easy rides!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  230. Tommy from Santa Monica

    Those in the Democratic Party have been saying the "illegal aliens do the jobs Americans don't want to do." I bet if all government benefits were limited to only 90 days, those unwanted jobs would be filled by Americans. I've been in denial for a long time, and I'm really frightened that this country is headed into some form of Communism. If it's not that, we are headed for a huge Depression. Worse!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  231. Mike

    It means we need to get jobs back home instead of offshore. We need to make products, inovation, and come up with a plan to make America strong again. We need to get our education up so we can make the best products, offer the best services, and have the best innovation right here at home, not in India, not in China or anywhere else.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  232. gabe, san diego

    Jenna, both Democrats and Republicans have championed the global economy, the outsourcing of our jobs to foreign country....so did Obama Hussein,....so after having the Democrats in power for 4 years (last two under Bush plus current two under Hussein),..mauybe its time both parties share the "outsourcing" blame.....

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  233. Cathy in Alabama

    Jack, this is the goal of the Democrats. They want more and more people to be dependent on government so that every election they can tell people that the Republicans are going to take away their "entitlements". The elephant in the room is that a huge number of Hispanics are on welfare, and the Democrats want to legalize them all just to buy their votes with other people's money.
    Nearly half of Americans don't pay any federal income taxes at all, so I'm SICK of hearing the Democrats say that hard working people need to pay MORE so they can hand out freebies to the freeloaders. What's "fair" about that?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  234. John B. Krizan


    It means that a lot of people need help. When are we going to stop complaining about the cost of helping and start looking at the people being helped? They are people like you and me: hard working, honest and probably not very happy that they have to get government aid. Thank God its there. Without the government stepping in, most of these folks would have nothing. Churches and non-profits, good as they are, simply can't handle the volume. I have no problem with my tax dollars going towards helping these folks!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  235. John Abromavage/Ruggedcwby

    I'm a disabled veteran, I get VA compensation AND social security as I'm disabled AND legally blind. I am on a local news facebook comment page and I deal daily with these dimwits accusing me of taking THEIR taxpayers money even though I pay taxes also. It would be to your benefit and veterans benefits if you explained the difference for these knotheads.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  236. Edsel Chromie

    It means that the Republican idea to reduce the wages of the working class and destroy the unions makes them seek help from the government.


    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  237. Thomas Warden

    The fact that 1 in 6 Americans are receiving some form of public assistance clearly indicates that the so- called recovery is an illusion... However, to believe that a person requires 99 weeks of unemployment is unreasonable... If an individual is unemployed dot more than a year they need retraining or more education.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  238. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    Prior to this year I had never collected a cent in unemployment insurance in 40 years of working. I have paid over $2M in federal income taxes alone in my career and was working well past official retirement age. My retirement savings blew up as both a direct, and indirect, result of the recession.

    Now I collect Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment. I have no choice after losing a new job in a matter of months that I believed was a great opportunity, and gave up a secure position to take. In my field, and at my age, the odds are strongly against finding another job any time soon, even with a significant cut in compensation. And I have very strong career and educational credentials. And am willing to move anywhere.

    So if I am in this position I can imagine what it must be like for the millions who have it even worse. And yet we have a candidate running for the Senate in NV who says there a lots of jobs out there if one is willing to go after them. I would like to see some of these ill-informed hypocrites try it and show us lazy slackers how well they would do in this environment.

    Las Vegas NV

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  239. Linda in Arizona

    What does it "mean" when billions are wasted, just simply disappeared in the Iraq Debacle? And what do YOU mean, "takes" government aid, as if the poor and unemployed were ROBBING the taxpayers, not the banks, the corporate welfare system, and two unnecessary un-winnable wars? And what about the rich who won't pay their fair share of taxes because they can afford accountants and get all kinds of exemptions? What it "means" is that our country is in an economic mess and we can thank bush and the republican speculators and war profiteers for all of it.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  240. Kitty Burton


    Out of the two and a half million collecting Welfare,I would guess that only one million really need it,if that!!!
    There are also lazy bums that take advantage of Unemployment Insurance and will go out of the way when they can to keep from getting a job!!!

    U>S> citizen (living in Canada)

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  241. Brandon

    Last year I traded in a "clunker" from my driveway to purchase a 2010 Kia ($11,995 new). I received $4,000 from Cash for Clunkers, and was matched $4,000 by a local dealer. I paid $4,000 for a new car, then went to the local Hummer dealer and traded it in for $11,000 toward the purchase of a new H3. Does this transaction not count as government assistance?

    Where do these statistics come from?

    -Brandon in Alaska

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  242. Tom (Atlanta)

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson, governments purpose is to be frugal, let our industriousness flourish and protect us against our self. This does ot mean socialism which we know not to work We recognize people who need support, and in the past we extended benefits of the unemployed from 26 temporarily to 39 weeks, and it worked. But, if I told you "I'm sorry that you are out of work, but I continue to pay you for two years" would you be enabled? Or would you wait it out until things got better? History tells us this is not "letting industriousness flourish". Jack, we're a train wreck about to happen.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  243. Demetria

    I just got approved for food stamps and I'm a single mom with 2 kids and I work full time. What hurts is that my kids are on an indefinite waiting list for state health insurance here in AZ and I have an asthmatic child, but I (the parent) was approved. So to offset the medical bills I pay out of pocket because my employer doesn't offer health insurance, the food stamps will help.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  244. Tim in Texas

    Jack, your assumption is that aid is money that just disappears and then the tax payers have to pay for it. Actually, when people get food stamps the money pays for food – that money pays to keep the folks at your grocery store employed, they then have money to spend buying other goods, etc. The only things that decrease our GDP are savings and imports. These programs do have to end as jobs become available, but until then, they actually are the best stimulus to the economy we have.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |

    It means WE, THE PEOPLE, should not have stood still when the US Supreme Court put Two Oil Men,in the White House in 2000 ... One devoted to Halliburton, the other an Alcoholic with a personal grudge against Saddam Hussein ...

    August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  246. Anne Marie

    It means that within 50 years JFK's legacy has become "ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you". The government encourages dependency and we willingly oblige. ..definitely not the America I used to know.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  247. Jim

    What it means is, Corporate America is letting people down. The government has done and is doing everything it can to keep this country afloat. Corporations have the money now because we had to help them out. So let's put the blame where it deserves to be and that is directly on the heads of corporations.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  248. Tom - Missouri

    Remember the fable about the grashopper and the ant? We now have one grasshopper for every six ants and the ratio is only going to get worse.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  249. sbattag

    Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  250. Jack

    The comments are very interesting. Many do not know what exactly constitutes "government aid". Interesting. The politicians have managed to succeed in destroying our educational system to the point that 4 in 6 can not identify government entitlement programs. (sarcism). Expect more to feed at the government trough over the next years of the current Congress and administration's tenure.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  251. Ann Neale

    Of course there are more people receiving Medicaid, unemployment, food stamps. We're in a deep recession. Those programs are counter cyclical: they grow in hard times. And, yes, we as taxpayers pay for them because we are good people. We don't turn our backs on our friends and neighbors who are sick, hungry, without money to meet their basic needs.

    Shame on us if we repudiate these programs. We would "dishonor" America if we did so!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  252. Demetria

    So it means we all need some help sometimes, some more that others.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  253. Wayne in Leitchfield, KY

    Your question is framed as if those people "taking government aid" want to lay around all day. No, they want to work, but the jobs aren't there for them to work at. Those jobs are in Mexico and China. What did we think was going to happen to government programs when we sent those jobs out of the country in order to get better returns on our portfolios? Taxes are too high? We're spending money we don't have? Yes we are, but what do we do? Let them eat cake?

    Let's bring the Republicans back! Yeah, that's the ticket. Ha!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  254. Addeline - GA

    It means that more and more Americans are no longer embarassed to accept government handouts and many choose to do so instead of taking jobs. I know some of these people. It also means that taxpayers can't continue to fund these programs which means the government will run out of money and we'll all suffer more than we already are. Something has to be done and soon.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  255. Amy

    Why do people get gov help when they have assets?
    Sell your tv, microwave, dishwasher, and so on then cry poor!
    I take no welfare and I cant afford Doritos nor do I have tv yet people on FS buy Doritos and have tv's. I live within my means!

    People I know are getting FS, energy assistance, rent assistance and their cash is going for big screen tv's and 100 dollar shoes!
    What ever happen to second hand stores for low income?
    I only shop at second hand stores. Know way can I afford the 45 dollar jeans the welfare people buy!
    This country doesn't know what poor really is.

    The system is totally broken!!!!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  256. Tom From NY

    How many people are paying their mortgage with government aid? I'm not a homeowner, but I am employed. Part of my paycheck goes to people to pay their mortgage even though they are not employed. How's that fair? Maybe the taxpayers should move in to the houses they are paying for?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  257. john

    the gubments, federal and state and local, need to start doing some investigating into all the cheating of the system that is going on. i know for a fact that kids are getting free school lunches and their parents have plenty of money. i'm also for mandatory drug testing for anyone on foodstamps or unemployment.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  258. jeburciaga

    Jack, stop drinking the Tea. It's all about the economy and Obama's not to blame. This is welcome relief to those who need it. You're feeding the frenzy by insinuating that it's all about taxes. We are the lowest taxed industrial, developed nation. We have been doomed by interest rates, "fees," and other "charges," hence the real estate crisis, credit card debt, etc. Let's pull together, and when this is over all the right-wing rhetoric will dry up and blow away, as it did during FDR's time and other financial crises. Government is trying to alleviate the problems of the worst off and that will take time. But please stop baiting the nay-sayers.

    John in Massachusetts

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  259. Mary Sharum

    This topic distresses me to no end. When high paid people, like you Jack, start bellyaching about the less fortunate who need gov't assistance to survive, I think it's an outrage. You highly paid people need to trade places with those who cannot find a job and then see what you think about helping others who are less fortunate to survive. I am fed up with fat cats complaining about the needs of the majority of their Countrymen while our Nation is is dire economic straits. You come across as though money were the most important thing on the face of the earth. Get real!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  260. Tom

    Those out of work collecting NOW are the hard working ones for years who had been supporting the system before. Maybe you should be asking why job recruiters are now only taking applications from individuals WITH jobs and not the one without one! How a road program...rebuilding New Orleans...developing Solar or Wind Mill Farms...converting government and state vehicles to natural gas!

    I know people who are afraid to take a vacation or time off because they might lose their job-maybe the President should take the hint!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  261. GoldMember

    I bet you Glenn Beck thinks that this a phenomenon only seen and attributed to Liberals, Tea Baggers and Republicans will never go for anything like that. you know, since they are such a special kind.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  262. frank ,New york

    It means your job was sent overseas, Don't you think it would catch up to us some day, well it has

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  263. Peggy

    I am that 1 in 6 because my former employer finds it easier to move his corporate office overseas and could give a rats ass about my future. Day one employees who are 55 to 65 don't stand a chance at a good job with retirement in the good old USA anymore. It is cheaper to "separate" me from the company and pay unemployment than keep me with a 6 figure salary. My father was from that generation that you stay with a company for life and they take care of you! What a crock! More vacation time, insurance costs for surgeries we need as we get older, knees, hips, gallbladder, eyes, teeth, etc... MY EMPLOYER wants the government to take care of me.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  264. Delores

    I'm kind of stunned by the way you've phrased this question.
    Really sounds like "let them eat cake".

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  265. Pete Hudak

    Jack, it means that the tax cut policy that the wealthiest Americans have enjoyed has been a success! Gosh, I hope Congress doesn't end such a successful economic strategy.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  266. Steve

    It means we are in deep trouble and is a result of the eroded manufacturing base and collapsing middle class in this country. Poor governmental decisions over the past forty years have unfortunately, left us decimated.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  267. Steve D

    It means we haven't hit bottom yet. If I were some evil enemy of the greatest country of all time I would try to find a way to make them spend their way into non existence. I'd get them to borrow money endlessly and give it away to all the wrong people that will never pay or earn back what they have consumed. I'd get them to spend endless billions on 2 non winnable wars and I'd create one emergency after another to give them excuses to print and spend more money. Now I have only one question "who the hell is this enemy?"

    Steve D
    New Windsor MD

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  268. Robert

    Perhaps we are degrading into the old Soviet Union? Unemployment was 'low' because people were compensated to have a job involving 'no work'. If the government had you on the books as employed, it was good. No jobs to be had, but people were taken care of.
    We have unemployment benefits, little real job creation and a very large deficit bill at the end of the meal.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  269. ken Sikora

    What does it mean

    It means it's time to reduce the work week down from 40 hours per week

    To achieve a 1950 standard of living per capita the work week would be 11 hrs long for the employable.

    To achieve a 1980 standard of living avg. work week would be 20 hours per employed.

    Productivity/worker has skyrocketed. However those who have jobs are working harder then ever so who benefited from all the productivity.

    Those who wax poetic about the good old days don't seem to realize how good it could be if we all shared in the productivity while retaining 50's values.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  270. Carol - Chattanooga, Tn.

    I place theblame for the depth of this recession squarely on the shoulders of George W. Bush. A recession was inevitable. The country simply cannot spend trillions of borrowed dollars on two unfunded wars while giving billions in tax cuts to everyone (including the richest people in the country, who got the most from that tax cut) and pass Medicare Part D without paying for it and not eventually go off the cliff. I cannot blame Obama for this mess, but I can blame him for not having the good judgement to do the right thing now to get the ox out of the ditch. After all, his good judgement was how he won the presidency. So far, all he has done is try to compromise with Republicans – that is like compromising with a rattlesnake. Ain't gonna happen. He needs to be the leader we elected him to be. I don't have the answers, but then, I wasn't elected President, either.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  271. Greg in Cincinnati

    Really Jack. I know unemployment is bad, but when you think of this problem in the reverse, 10% unemployment really means that 90% of the people are employed. When you consider 90% of anything, not just employment, is still pretty good. Not for those unemployed, but for the whole country as a whole.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  272. Mark from Louisiana

    Jack, if you add in the illegals the numbers get worse.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  273. brendan havel

    I've been 1 on medicare & disability since may '88 due to authorities on the job picking me up falling asleep behind the wheel thrown my vehicle serious head injury. sorry I was not wearing a seat belt, then I could have saved a couple $100,000's now in medicare so on for a I know planet Earth here living we live on infinite consciousness.
    As I witness this futile history repeating itself, latest monetary advance well as combat retreat. I wonder what it will be after Dec 21 2012. how history books will write that chapter.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  274. Melissa

    Here's a shocker... it means that we recently had the worst economic crash since the Great Depression. Thats ALL it means.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  275. Mike

    Jack, do the math. This means 4.9 of 5 Americans are struggling to assist the 1 of 6 by paying into taxes. Taxes are the least return of economic prosperity.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  276. Barbara in Las Vegas

    Jack, it means that many people have no choice. Contrary to what many right-wing GOP bloggers have been posting, all of those on unemployment or public assistance are not merely sitting around waiting for their checks to come in every week. There are plenty of unemployed people with both the desire and experience to work, who are darn frustrated...my husband is among that number. He was laid off a year ago July from the healthcare industry and has spent literally every weekday, from 8-5 looking for work, with two 15 minute breaks and a half hour for lunch. After hundreds of applications and many interviews, he is still unemployed and at 52 years old with two chronic health conditions, is very worried, as am I his wife who works as a temp. That said, and to your comment about the tax payers bearing the brunt of all of the government programs currently at play, I ask you: who bore the brunt and bill for two wars this country did not need to get into under the Bush regime? Remember, economists say this "recession" officially began in 2007, not under President Obama's watch...every administration has to pick up the garbage of the last one and I am glad we have a President who cares as much about the everyday American as he does about the bottom line of big business.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  277. Dan Haggerty in Raleigh, NC

    Jack -

    One in six Americans accepting aid means that one in six Americans requires aid these days. If it weren't for the aid, they'd be hungry, they'd be homeless and they'd be ill. Sure, there are some, perhaps many, who are gaming the system; there always have been.

    Since we're funding these people anyhow, and since the private sector hasn't yet been able to generate the jobs they'd rather have... why not put them to work?!?!? Let's build roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, communications infrastructure, wind farms, local farms in inner city vacant lots, etc. Our country has the opportunity to rebuild its infrastructure at a price lower than it would have been just a few years ago... there's an available labor force and raw materials prices are low. It's win-win-win all around from what I can see.


    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  278. Dan in Nevada

    It means there is going to be less competition for my hard working son when he gets into the workforce.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  279. mark anderson

    it means that Reaganomics has failed us. since Reagan more or less all economic benefits have gone to the wealthy and corporations. what has it gotten us? 1 in 6. deregulation has caused us all kinds of problems, what has it gotten us? 1 in 6. republicans are still running on tax cuts for wealthy people and corporations, no regulation etc....what's it going to get us? 1 in 4 if we dont wise up.

    mark anderson
    san diego

    August 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  280. Craig Shearer

    Wonder who is going to pay for it? Because I will resort to ANYTHING to make sure I don't.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  281. sbattag

    Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  282. Matt

    NEEDS, Jack. NEEDS, not takes.

    It's 30 years of deregulation, corporate takeover of the government, the destruction of our manufacturing base, the rise of a belief that government is evil, the continued election and re-elections of people who should never have been in political office, with those politicians putting their own interests ahead of the nation as a whole, and a voting public that ignored the boiling pot that we are now in for too long. The ferryman is now demanding his payment for the foolishness that this nation has been traveling on, and we are all paying for it, regardless of our own individual participation or not – as we are now incapable of paying that fare.

    Saint Augustine, Fl.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  283. Jim Blevins

    Certainly, this means that we are having economic problems. But there are a couple of underlying problems. First is the developing nature of the developing world. American workers really can't compete with foreign workers that make much less money. This will correct itself as foreign workers demand better pay. This will take years and and will be very traumatic for us unless something is done in the interim. The other is that technology is making workers far more productive - so productive that we can't consume as much as we can produce. Until we find other uses for this increased productivity, the result may be a lot of unemployed people.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  284. Robert DLC

    Robert DLC from San Jose, CA

    Jack – I would rather be working right now and earning my keep than have to depend on Unemployment insurance. But here in Silicon Valley things are a little slow for my profession. I've been working since I was 15 years old – I've paid my taxes and put into the unemployment program. Why would someone else call me lazy or unwilling to work? I want a fair paying job that rewards my experience and what I know how to do. If times are tough – then I will continue to get help from the government. But I rather be making money through work – U.I. is just a temporary need until I can work again. Too bad Pres. George W. Bush blew the government surplus Pres. Bill Clinton had built up – maybe we wouldn't be in such dire straits now....

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  285. Greg

    Those numbers may or may not be accurate and individuals receiving those benefits may over lap. Additionally, the Medicare numbers may be because individuals are choosing retirement vs. unemployment. We are in unfortunate times right now.

    Unfortunately, while I'm a well educated person with a MBA, I now find myself collecting unemployment insurance for the past six months. Without it, I would be in serious trouble. I've applied for hundred of jobs with our receiving one phone call. With out the help of the federal government, we would know be in a depression instead of 'The Great Recession'.

    Yet, I understand this recovery is going to take a long, long time. We must not act with fear. We must understand how we got here. The Iraq and Afgan war increases our expenses by over 30 billion per day. The TARP Funds under the Bush administration increased our debt. Mind you you both parties were in agreement with this and it was a necessary evil to prevent a full blown depression. Health Care also added to the debt, however this is a case of good debt and while costing more upfront will save money in the end. (Kind of like buying an energy efficient refrigerator; more upfront costs to save later down the line.) Our country has been seriously wounded, our income reduced and we face a lot of uncertainty. We must though continue to move forward and not backwards like horses that run back into a burning barn because that is where they feel safe.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  286. Terry from N. Dakota

    It's time for the US to become a little more protectionist. Instead of relying on extremely cheap labor from other countries to manufacture/produce the goods we buy and use, maybe it's time to build back up the country's structure to produce these goods ourselves. I don't mean thirty dollar an hour union jobs but somewhere between minimum and that amount so that you can still pay your bills and once again create the United States economy that was the envy of the world. We wouldn't have any problems with faulty products coming from other countries, etc like we've had in the last 3-4 years if it was produced here at home and it would sure get people back to work and when these people are working, producing these goods, the higher paying jobs will follow. For too many years, we have taken every other country's products whether they be vehicles or other goods without enforcing some sort of policy that they take more of ours. Example: Toyota was allowed to ship in millions of their vehicles for years but Japan, in return, were extremely limiting the amount of vehicles they took from our major three. Now Toyota is on our soil and Honda also, so I guess that part of it is a little late to re-negotiate.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  287. Jason from Columbus, OH

    As an underemployed marketing consultant, I resent being labeled as "lazy." I am volunteering for some non-profits and have been able to get some freelance consulting work. However, I have been actively job searching for over a year. I have had several interviews but no offers, otherwise I would be working full-time. Unemployment benefits help, but they certainly don't pay all my expenses.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  288. mms,illinois

    it means we need jobs.What a silly question jack.the question you should be asking is why the gop refuses to help the american people.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  289. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, It depends on which side of the spectrum you're on. Conservatives will tell you that 1 in 6 people in America are lazy, no-good bums. They will tell you that if we would cut these benefits, these people would get out and find work and save the American taxpayer billions of dollars. Liberals will tell you that the conservative economic policies this country has been following for the past 30 years have finally caught up with us. Policies that heavily favor the rich at the expense of the middle and working classes. As an American male who has been unemployed for the past 2 1/2 years, but has finally found work, I tend to favor the latter theory.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  290. Steve from Illinois

    Dear Jack,

    It means that 4 out of every 6 voters ...voted for Obama....the wrong man!

    It also means that 1 out of every 6 Presidents should never have been President!

    Its time to vote for the person.and their honor..not the party!

    Time to Restore Honor in this United States....the tough part will be to find someone Honorable since they are all politicians...

    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  291. Joan Dittrich

    Gee, Jack! It means that 5 out of 6 don't need government aid...that is good, isn't it?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  292. howard

    it means that the government needs to understand that this country needs to manufacture as much as we can here. this will create jobs, these people are unemployed because so many jobs have been sent overseas eliminating jobs here. yet the cost of living here keeps going up. lets not forget over 5 million people have lost unemployment benefits because there is no work in the U.S.. if out sourcing continues to be the way of U.S companies unemployment will continue to grow. Greed has caused this situation and no one is being held accountable

    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  293. Greg

    "Government aid?" We've been conditioned to think of that term very selectively and only in a negative sense.
    But how many former members of Congress are drawing pensions at taxpayer expense - some for only one term in office?
    Is it also bad for corporations to draw tax breaks or incentives from government? Isn't that corporate welfare?
    Seems like everyone's against goverment aid...except when it aids them!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  294. lolo

    It is all a sham. I am from the south and most of the people down here are uneducated and poor. And to think that most of the republican whiners are from the south. Tell them to look for a job, like they tell everyone else. Stop living off of the government hand outs. Your poll has got to be off. Try again.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  295. Steve

    When you subsidize something, you get more of it. So why are we surprised that when we subsidize poverty, we get more poverty?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  296. Gail

    Between all the various federal and state programs I really don't see any reason for me to go back to work. My health care is free and better than it was when I worked, and the amount of income hasn't really gone down much seeing I'm getting free food and close to free housing.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  297. D.Kelly Kentucky

    1 in 6? What does it all mean? Does it mean they will stop making movies? Does it mean that some rich celebrities will give to their local communities and provide soup kitchens? No. Do you think there might be a problem with fraud, greed, corruption, drug trafficking, and the typical selfish celebrity? Yes.
    It means the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.
    No one gives a hoot Jack, until it happens to them.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  298. David

    Jack, there is one word that got America into this situation 'GREED", and there is one word will get us out of it, "HUMILITY"

    August 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  299. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Our government needs to change the IRS year end reporting to every six months which may help in determining if all those receiving government aid are eligible.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  300. Kitty Burton

    Jack I have often wondered if our government would be better off if every eligible voter had to answer five simple questions b4 voting..

    The first one beingWho is the president of the United Statea!!!!!

    Gosh darn,if they don't know that one,NO VOTE... These are the same people who think Sarah Palin is an honest,sincere person!!
    Hee hee


    August 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  301. GOP hate america

    they are probably the same tea-baggers that complain about welfare

    August 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  302. John Schilling, Chambersburg, PA

    It means that more and more people are dependent on the Federal Government. Exactly what the Democrats want. And the Chinese are funding a large part of it. I can't wait for the elections. America needs to wake up and quickly.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |