The Perpetual Growth of Welfare in the Land of Opportunity and Prosperity

Even though the term “welfare state” may make the left cringe, it is becoming an unfortunate reality, and the number 1 trillion doesn’t lie.

The Heritage Foundation has produced this graph showing the growth in welfare spending from 1950 to 2012.  In 2011, welfare spending reached nearly $1 trillion a year.  Though liberals would have you believe otherwise, conservatives more than any other group of people want everyone to have the opportunity to succeed.  Not only that, but we want a society that encourages hard work and gives people an incentive to get out of the trenches of welfare and make something of themselves instead of demonizing success.

The decisions that the government makes, the types of laws the government passes, and the programs the government creates all directly affect the type of country America has become.  Since the “War on Poverty” began in 1964, the cost of federal and state means-tested welfare programs has multiplied 16 times.

This is a tragedy.

About 100 million people, or one third of the entire population, receive from one of the 80 means-tested programs each month.  What should break your heart (or make you want to scream) even more is that liberals seemingly don’t want people to get out of the welfare rut, or else they would not have gutted the 1996 welfare reform of its successful work requirement, which resulted in a 50 percent drop in welfare recipients!

If the graphic above doesn’t make this clear, think about this (explanation complements of Jim Bohannon via Heritage’s Ed Feulner):

“ Take a single human hair…  A million of them laid side by side would stretch the length of an entire football field, end zone included.

A billion human hairs? They’d stretch 63 miles. And a trillion? 63,000 miles. That’s more than twice the circumference of the entire earth. It’s 21 trips from New York City to Los Angeles. In short, it’s a huge number.”

Now think about our $16 trillion debt and about our government’s reckless spending, including the now $1 trillion dollars per year on welfare.  Think of how much dependence on government that this spending implies.  The time for us to wake up from this liberal nightmare is way overdue.

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