While this has been an eventuality for some time, I've been hopeful it would be avoided at least until after the 2012 election cycle. My fingers are crossed, because if we conservatives can't get this nation back from the socialists, and this oligarchy in control, there is little hope it will ever return to what it was founded on.
Number Of Americans Receiving Federal Aid Now Larger Than Number Of Americans Paying Federal Income Taxes
Rob Port • October 9, 2011
There’s an apocryphal quote, often erroneously attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville and his excellent writings on American democracy, which states that “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury.”
Wherever those words originate, there’s truth in them. And given that truth, this is a worrisome trend.
Nearly half, 48.5%, of the population lived in a household that received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2010, according to Census data. Those numbers have risen since the middle of the recession when 44.4% lived households receiving benefits in the third quarter of 2008. …
High unemployment and increased reliance on government programs has also shrunk the nation’s share of taxpayers. Some 46.4% of households will pay no federal income tax this year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. That’s up from 39.9% in 2007, the year the recession began.To be fair, this number is inflated a bit by Social Security and Medicare recipients. Those programs are obligatory, meaning Americans must participate in them whether they want to or not, and they are not means-tested meaning that a lot of the people who receive benefits from the programs have no need of them. And on the tax side of the equation, every working American pays the payroll taxes into Medicare and Social Security.
The number of Americans who pay no federal taxes at all – payroll, income tax, etc. – is still 18.1%, nearly 1/5th of the population.
If we cut non-means-tested benefits out of the equation, we’re still left with over a third of Americans, 34.2% to be specific, living in households receiving means-tested benefits. Which means benefits given to them because they qualify under federal guidelines for neediness, poverty, etc.
That is a huge amount of dependence, supported by a shrinking number of taxpayers.
Beyond the obvious tax burden issues that represents, consider the political implications. If the number of people benefiting from government outnumber the people paying for government, then those getting the benefits will continue to vote for more benefits at the expense of those paying for it.
We should all have skin in the game when it comes to paying for government. Everybody should pay some tax, and when government gets bigger everyone’s taxes should go up. The politicians like to play a different game, pitting one group of taxpayers (the “middle class” in modern political parlance) against another (“the rich,”) and while that may make for sound politics it doesn’t make for sound policy.