You know, I used to have some respect for Jack Cafferty even though I knew back then that we were on primarily opposite ends of the political spectrum because he spoke out against the Bush administration when that wasn't necessarily the most popular
March 10, 2011

You know, I used to have some respect for Jack Cafferty even though I knew back then that we were on primarily opposite ends of the political spectrum because he spoke out against the Bush administration when that wasn't necessarily the most popular thing for a conservative to be doing, but he just lost me completely here. Calling Social Security a "welfare program" is just shameless.

The widows and orphans who receive those benefits do so after a spouse or a parent paid into the system and seniors receive the benefit after paying into it for their entire lives. And unemployment insurance is just that, insurance. It's not welfare. And does Jack really think we should just leave our elderly, the disabled and young mothers and children with no help to pay their medical bills at all? What cost does he think it would be to our society to just leave those people to rot on the streets?

Painting people who receive these benefits as "welfare" recipients paints a picture of a bunch of lazy unemployed people who don't want to work, and just want to sit on their duffs and collect government benefits. Does he think that most of the people receiving these benefits now haven't worked for a living most of their lives and paid into the system? At a time when we've got record unemployment and underemployment and a lot of good, decent, hard working Americans who would like to find jobs and can't, asking a question with this frame is doing nothing but trying to pit one middle or lower class individual in the United States against another and get them to resent each other. It's divide and conquer bulls**t to distract from us from those who have caused our economic problems and they are NOT the elderly, the poor, the unemployed, widows, orphans and young mothers and their children who don't have any health insurance. Shame on you Jack.

Here's his post at The Cafferty File. Thankfully a lot of the answers if you go read his entire comments section were a whole lot better than his question, but sadly a lot of the comments there were from individuals who've bought into the kind of resentment that Cafferty is peddling here.

What does it mean if social welfare benefits make up 1/3 of wages, salaries in U.S.?:

Americans have become alarmingly dependent on handouts from Uncle Sam, according to a new report.

Government social welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance made up 35% of all public and private wages and salaries last year. That's more than one-third of all the money Americans earned.

These findings are contained in a study of government data done by TrimTabs Investment Research. In 2000, 21% of all wages and salaries in the United States came from social welfare programs. In 1960, it was just 10%.

One of the economists at TrimTabs says we're in for some difficult times ahead unless this country can get back to at least the 26% ratio it had before the recession started. And she says there are only two ways to do that: Either increase private sector wages and salaries by 35% or cut social welfare benefits by nearly a quarter. Neither of those things is likely to happen.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the so-called entitlement programs, make up more than 60% of federal spending each year. As the baby boomers get older, retire and need more medical care, the costs for those programs will only go up.

While the squabbling over budget cuts continues on Capitol Hill, you can be sure no one is touching these programs. The $60 billion measure passed by the House last month didn't touch one dime of those three programs.

As the evidence continues to mount that our country is hurtling toward an economic disaster, our government refuses to respond in any meaningful way.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if social welfare benefits make up more than 1/3 of all wages and salaries paid in the U.S.?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mike in Brooklyn:
It means that we're in a bad Recession. One so bad that it's really a Depression. What is shocking to me about how you phrase your question, Jack, is that you fail to include all the handouts to businesses (especially the large corporations), trade associations, and "development" commissions, among other entities, that get subsidies.

Sylvia in San Diego:
It means that we are a welfare nation and in order to recover from this economic disaster, it will be very painful for many.

Larry in Springfield, Ohio:
Jack, it means that those jobs that Americans refuse to do need to be done by Americans that refuse to do them. If they are able otherwise, we need to stop paying people not to work.

Welcome to reality. The middle class used to make money and pay taxes. Now the rich make the money and don't pay taxes; the poor don't make money and receive poverty credits to keep them from attacking the system with pitchforks.

Jack, I'm certainly no authority but how can Social Security be classified as a "handout" when people who draw on it are the same people who used some of their salary to pay into it? It is money earned but saved. The Government should never have borrowed on it in the first place, and technically were not supposed to. If left alone to earn interest, most likely there would be more money now.

Nancy in Tennessee:
The answer does lie in increasing wages and salaries in the private sector by 35%. It all boils down to jobs. This country needs more jobs that will provide a living wage. Americans are hurting individually and that translates into a hurting American economy.

It means that we are a socialist country, whether we like it or not. And while people may not like the label, just try taking away all that income!

It means I'm in the wrong job!

Can you help us out?

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