Take a bow, Barack.
After three years of Obama, half of the US population lives in homes that have at least one member receiving government benefits.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
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49.1% : Percent of the population that lives in a household where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011.
Cutting government spending is no easy task, and it’s made more complicated by recent Census Bureau data showing that nearly half of the people in the U.S. live in a household that receives at least one government benefit, and many likely received more than one.
The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.
The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15% of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26% had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2% had a member receiving unemployment benefits. Families doubling up to save money or pool expenses also is likely leading to more multigenerational households. But even without the effects of the recession, there would be a larger reliance on government.
The Census data show that 16% of the population lives in a household where at least one member receives Social Security and 15% receive or live with someone who gets Medicare. There is likely a lot of overlap, since Social Security and Medicare tend to go hand in hand, but those percentages also are likely to increase as the Baby Boom generation ages.
In other economic news… One in three American homeowners are underwater.
Nearly a third of homeowners with a mortgage are underwater, according to a new report, owing more on their loans than their properties are worth.
“It’s been a very wrenching housing recession so it’s not something that in one time period we’re going to get past,” says economist Stan Humphries at the real estate firm Zillow.
Nearly 16 million homeowners across the country are underwater with their mortgages. And some cities are in much worse shape than others.
“If you look at markets like [Las] Vegas or Phoenix you’re seeing much higher levels of negative equity,” Humphries said.
In several cities, 50 percent of homeowners owe more than their properties are worth.
It’s just a good thing we have a president who says he’s a fiscal conservative or we might be in real trouble.