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20% of Americans Dependent on Federal Government Aid

February 09, 2012

One-in-five Americans, 67.3 million people, receive federal government aid. The level of government dependence is the highest in our nation’s history, and is rapidly rising under the Obama Administration.

The Heritage Foundation reports that 70% of federal government spending goes to individual assistance programs, such as aid for housing, food, income, student aid, retirement benefits or other assistance.

70 cents of each dollar the federal government spends is redistributed to individuals in the form of government assistance.

The remaining 30% of federal spending is what’s left to fund national defense, transportation infrastructure, NASA, national parks, and basically run a government of 307 million people.

We have a national debt of $15 trillion – equal to our total national GDP – because government has become too big. St. Paul may have strived to be ‘all things to all men’ but government simply cannot.

AFP-Nebraska believes strongly in the free market because a robust government with ample spending on welfare programs is not the solution. The best way to provide economic opportunity to all people is through a robust economy with great paying jobs and opportunities for advancement.

This debate has been raging for decades. While Obama’s policies of massive government spending on health care and special interests via the stimulus program have exacerbated the problem, this debate is not new.

Consider this video where renowned Free Market economist Milton Friedman puts forth a simple question: ‘Name a system that has a better track record of providing economic opportunity for more people than the free enterprise system?’


It simply cannot be done. We support free markets because individuals make better economic choices than government bureaucrats can make for us. Greater government spending on individual aid will not solve the problem of poverty. Less government spending, lower taxes and strengthening the free market system is the best, and only proven solution.

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