Sunday, February 12, 2012
who benefits from the "safety net"?
"The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement." (my emphasis)
Appelbaum and Gebeloff, from "Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It"
New York Times, February 11, 2012
This article, video, and related interactive graphic examine the growing reliance on federal programs among those Americans who may not consider themselves to be poor. Residents of a Minnesota town were interviewed by Appelbaum and Gebeloff to explore the contradiction between asserting that government assistance is wrong, while simultaneously receiving it. A related NY Times story by Kopicki, examining data from a poll conducted in December, 2011, notes most Americans say they expect to pay more in taxes than they will ever receive back in terms of personal benefits. Younger adults were particularly apt to report that Social Security and Medicare would not be around when they came of age to draw on them (see related poll graphics).