Let’s go through the math to see how I make that estimate.
The latest welfare statistics are from year-end 2012. Those figures show 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.
109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.
When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.
Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans’ benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans’ benefits.
The 153,323,000 total benefit-takers at the end of 2012, said the Census Bureau, equaled 49.5 percent of the population. The 150,026,000 taking benefits other than veterans’ benefits equaled about 48.5 percent of the population.
In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, there were 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers in the United States (including 16,606,000 full-time, year-round government workers). Thus, the welfare-takers outnumbered full-time year-round workers by 6,544,000.
Breakdown by Category
- 82,679,000 Medicaid
- 51,471,000 Food Stamps
- 22,526,000 Women, Infants and Children Program
- 20,355,000 Supplemental Security Income
- 13,267,000 Public Housing or Housing Subsidies
- 5,442,000 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
- 4,517,000 Other Forms of Federal Cash Assistance
Breakdown by State (2013 estimates)
- California 38,332,521
- Texas 26,448,193
- New York 19,651,127
- Florida 19,552,860
Those four states alone total 103,984,701, a mere 5,646,299 short of the 2012 total.
It’s safe to say what direction this is headed.
Full Time Employment
BLS figures show 115.735 million “usually” working full time at the end of 2012. There are currently 118.489 million “usually” working full time.
Obamacare Welfare Expansion
Inquiring minds may be asking “How did Obamacare effect welfare numbers?”
Let’s take a look.
Anyone making up to 400% of the federal poverty minimum is eligible for some assistance. That’s about 17 million according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Also note that 28 states expanded Medicaid under Obamacare: AZ, AR, CA, CO, DE, DC, HI, IL, IA, KY, MD, MA, MN, MA, NH, NV, NJ, UT, NM, NY, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, WV.
On June 4, the US Department of Health and Human Services reported Medicaid Enrollment Shows Continued Growth in April.
“As of the end of April, 6 million more individuals were enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as compared to the period before the initial open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act started.“
In addition to regular expansion of welfare, it’s safe to conclude Obamacare expanded the welfare rolls by at least 23 million.
More will come.
Welfare vs. Full-Time Employment
Let’s take the 2012 welfare total of 109,631,000 and add the 6 million Obamacare Medicaid expansion and the 17 million who get Obamacare subsidies and you have a minimum of 126 million receiving some sore of means-tested welfare vs. 118.5 million who “usually” work full time.
Welfare vs. Population
The 2013 US Population Estimate is 316 million.
Using 316 million as a rough estimate of the 2014 population (it would likely be higher) and 126 million on welfare (that number is also higher, perhaps way higher), about 40% of the country is on some form of means-tested welfare, up from 35.4% at the end of 2012.
Over 50% of the country gets welfare or some other form of non-means-tested assistance. I estimate about 56% or so.
Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Mish also writes on economics in the world at Global Economic Analysis. He currently does fundraising to benefit ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) research, which claimed the life of his wife of 27 years, JoAnne, in May of 2012. When not writing about stocks or the economy Mish spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. He has over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at MichaelShedlock.com.
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