No Demagoguery Needed

At the end of last week, conservative news media reported on Census Bureau data showing that there were more people on welfare in the United States than there were people with full time jobs at the end of 2011. This is alarming news, but there is also a temptation to make it even more alarming by twisting the numbers to exaggerate the extent that Americans (which in the Census includes non-citizens who simply live in the U.S.) are dependent on government largesse. Terence P. Jeffrey, writing for CNS News, let the facts speak for themselves. He properly cited the Census definition of "means tested benefits" which equate with the popular understanding of welfare programs that transfer goods, services and income to the poor. According to the Census data cited by Jeffrey, "in the fourth quarter of 2011 were 82,457,000 people in households receiving Medicaid, 49,073,000 beneficiaries of food stamps, 20,223,000 on Supplemental Security Income, 23,228,000 in the Women, Infants and Children...(Read Full Article)