As I was standing in line, with an assortment of items on my "back to school" shopping list, there was a Hispanic gentleman in front of me with two shopping carts full of groceries and other items. The cashier deftly handled the scanning and quoted the final price to the gentleman who reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. What caught my attention was that his wallet was literally about to explode from the amount of cash that was stuffed into it. My first thought was "Wow, this guy is doing alright for himself." However, my moment of admiration quickly turned to admonishment as instead of using some of his hoard of cash - he whipped out his supplemental nutrition assistance card. I literally watched in amazement as the cashier rang up the purchase, handed him the receipt and thanked him for his patronage. Really? This guy just loaded up on groceries using my tax dollars and he gets thanked for "his" patronage. He should be turning around and thanking me instead.
"Lawrence Lindsey, president and chief executive officer of The Lindsey Group, estimates that if the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was before the recession began, the unemployment rate would be 11.2 percent, rather than 7.3 percent.One reason for this continuing trend is the panoply of government benefits, including unemployment insurance, now available up to 73 weeks, depending on the state. On average, unemployed Americans can receive 53 weeks of unemployment insurance, up from 26 weeks before the recession.Over 8.9 million adults received disability insurance from the Social Security Administration in July 2013, the latest data available. The number of people receiving benefits is 23 percent higher compared to five years earlier and 55 percent higher than 2003. Benefits are higher, too. Recipients get an average of $1,129 monthly, 12 percent more than in 2008 and 35 percent more than in 2003.Over 47 million Americans receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), Other elements of the federal safety net include mortgage relief, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The provision of subsidized health care for those earning below 400 percent of the poverty line under the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, will exacerbate this.These programs have expanded in two ways. Eligibility has increased, and the programs have become more generous."
"The shrinkage of the labor force has profound implications for future economic performance. Reduced economic growth will lead to steadily higher tax burdens on existing workers, which will in turn discourage labor force participation. This race to the bottom needs to be stopped."