I know this article from CNS News has been highlighted on the Drudge Report today, and mentioned on a number of blogs, but I think it's worth mentioning it here too. It demonstrates, clearly, concisely and in irrefutable arithmetical fact, precisely why our economy - and our politics - are neck-deep in the dwang. What's more, they're going to stay there until our feckless politicians stop making promises they can't afford to keep, and start living within the nation's means. I don't foresee that happening with any of the current crop in Washington.
Here are a couple of key quotes from the article.
86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers
. . .
The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.)
At first glance, 86,429,000 might seem like a healthy population of full-time private-sector workers. But then you need to look at what they are up against.
The Census Bureau also estimates the size of the benefit-receiving population.
. . .
There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on "one or more means-tested program."
Those 108,592,000 outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private-sector workers who inhabited the United States in 2012 by almost 1.3 to 1.
. . .
There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation.
And there were also, 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance.
All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who "received benefits from one or more programs" in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.
The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.
How much more can the 86,429,000 endure?
As more baby boomers retire, and as Obamacare comes fully online — with its expanded Medicaid rolls and federally subsidized health insurance for anyone earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level — the number of takers will inevitably expand. And the number of full-time private-sector workers might also contract.
Eventually, there will be too few carrying too many, and America will break.
There's more at the link. You really should read the whole thing.
Those of us who understand reality had better be preparing now for what will happen when it bites us all in the ass - because it will. Mathematics is an exact, precise science. The figures cited above are mathematical reality. So is their inevitable consequence, no matter how much our politicians might like to ignore reality and pretend it'll never happen.