Nothing seems to threaten the civil government in this country more than the possibility that we won’t feel that we need it. The premise of modern government is not that we need to prevent criminals from victimizing us and punish them in an orderly way, but that we are incapable of taking care of ourselves and are constantly at the edge of extinction unless the armed, taxing might of the civil government protects us from the hardships of life.
Any philosophy like that can only encourage more and more dependency on the part of the people. It can never stop and reduce the number who are living on the basis of government debt.
Thus, CNS News reports,
According to the 2014 version of a report that the Department of Health and Human Services is required by law to issue annually, the percentage of Americans on welfare in 2011 was the highest yet calculated. The data for 2011 is the most recent in the report.
HHS has calculated the percentage of all persons in the United States who live in families that receive “welfare” going back to fiscal 1993. It has not calculated a percentage for years prior to that.
As defined in the report (“Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors”), a welfare recipient is any person living in a family where someone received benefits from any of just three programs—Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (formerly Aid to Families With Dependent Children), Supplemental Security Income, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or food stamps).
By this measure, according to the report, 23.1 percent of Americans were recipients of welfare in 2011. Since 1993, the earliest year covered by the report, that is the highest percentage of Americans reported to be receiving welfare.
The sheer numbers are only half the disaster. The other part of the disaster is that there are plenty of people, making good money in government, who see this kind of data and think, “It’s a good start.”
Making people dependent on government means detaching them from the social relationships they would form if they were going to take care of themselves. Thus, with the rise in welfare recipients comes the decline of families:
The HHS report identifies the birth of children to unmarried mothers as a “risk factor” contributing to the welfare rolls. Only 14.6 percent of married families were on welfare, while 55.0 percent of female-headed families were.
“Data on nonmarital births is provided since the lower family incomes of single parent families affects the need for and use of welfare programs,” says the report. “Historically a high percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients first became parents outside of marriage. In 1940, 3.8 percent of births were to unmarried women. Beginning in 1960, this percentage began to increase, reaching 32.6 percent by 1992. It remained steady for a few years, before rising to 40.7 percent in 2011.”
It was also 40.7 percent in 2012, according to the CDC. That made 2012 the fifth year in a row in which 40 percent or more of American babies were born to unmarried mothers.
Conservatives are hated for opposing the welfare state, as if they hate poor people by doing so. Nothing could be further from the truth. The welfare state is the embodiment of hatred for the poor.