Depressing news, but not exactly a shock:
The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.
The conservative think tank's annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."
[. . .]
The report also found that spending on "dependence programs" accounts for more than 70% of the federal budget. That, too, is up dramatically. In 1990, for example, the figure stood at 48.5%, and in 1962 just over a quarter of federal spending went to dependence programs.
At the same time, fewer Americans pay income taxes, the report notes. Almost half (49.5%) didn't pay income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which the researchers have data. Back in the late 1960s, only 12% of Americans escaped the income tax burden.
When more than 70 percent of the federal budget is spent on "dependence programs," i.e. the redistribiution of wealth, and almost half the population doesn't pay income taxes, how can any sane person still argue that "income inequality" is the major problem facing the country?
And props to Ron and Bill: The Dependency Index has dipped only seven times in the past 49 years, three times under President Reagan and twice under President Clinton.