More than one-third of Americans are now receiving means-tested federal benefits, and Heritage Foundation analyst Rachel Sheffield says the Obama administration is planning to vastly increase spending on welfare and now measures the success of public assistance programs by the number of people signed up for benefits.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released statistics showing nearly 110 million Americans lived in households receiving benefits from one or more welfare programs at the end of 2012. That amounts to roughly 35.4 percent of the population. The data show the programs with the most beneficiaries include Medicaid (nearly 83 million people), food stamps (more than 51 million) and the Women, Infants and Children program (22.5 million).
Sheffield said while the 2012 numbers do not represent a huge leap from recent reports, they do confirm the sheer size of U.S. public assistance expenditures.