The government reports about 13 million unemployed. You can add back those who aren’t collecting unemployment insurance anymore but still lack jobs to get past 15 million and if you throw in folks working part time who need full time work, you’re likely at some 23 million or more. Food stamps last I looked, were going to about 47 million people.
The government has held off riots by extending unemployment benefits, providing food stamps and welfare and more recently, apparently by relaxing scrutiny of disability applications. Disability Spending has boomed, and now exceeds food stamps and welfare combined. The Social Security Disability program is a mess, it’s deficit being only one of its problems. Some are accusing the government of using it now as de facto unemployment benefits since those are running out.
President Obama’s new budget is said to feature cuts to, among others, Social Security, along with more tax hikes. We’ll see. It may be a signal that the gravy train is approaching its inevitable end…or not. It may be a political ploy to push the taxes; Liberals are already complaining about it.
Whether now or shortly, the gravy will stop flowing, if only because the government has no money to continue funding it and the Left’s tax increases are a search for transfusions from the fabled turnips. Even Keynesian economists admit that withdrawing money from the private sector limits its productivity. Boosting taxes on the wealthy resembles throwing one life preserver to twenty drowning swimmers. You don’t create wealth by chopping down the wealthy.
All this raises a disturbing question for some of us: What will all those depending on Uncle Sugar do when the gravy starts to slow? Followed by: To whom will they do that?