by Sean Hannity

The number of Americans who are dependent on some sort of government
assistance is growing at an alarming rate. Let’s be very clear about this: We
cannot sustain this, yet we currently do not have a plan in place to do
anything about it.

Last week I told you how 14 million Americans now collect a disability check
from the government every single month, costing the taxpayers $260 billion a
year. We spend more money on disability programs than food stamps and welfare
combined. There are a few alarming trends to note:

- There have been double digit increases in the percentage of Americans
collecting Social Security disability under Barack Obama.

- People collecting Social Security disability are not only not counted in
the labor force, but they are unlikely to re-enter the labor force! According
to the recent six-month investigation, “Less than 1% of people who went on
disability at the beginning of 2011 have returned to the workforce.” The
program has become a crutch for those who lack skills or education.

- The CBO estimates that ObamaCare will boost disability insurance rolls. In
other words, the costs for a program that will already run out of its reserve
money in 2016 is only expected to grow.

Then we get an astounding report from the Wall Street Journal: “Enrollment
in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the modern-day
food-stamp benefit is known, has soared 70% since 2008 to a record 47.8
million as of December 2012.” The Obama administration has enabled this to
happen. Between Obama’s failed recovery and his administration relaxing the
rules for means-testing, participating in food stamps has been encouraged.
Last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture spent $3 million on advertising,
encouraging people to sign up! So we are using taxpayer money to encourage
people to sign up for a program that consumes more taxpayer money. That makes
sense! The Wall Street Journal reports: “The government spent a record
$74.6 billion on SNAP benefits last year, roughly equivalent to the combined
budgets of the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and
the Department of the Interior.”

I am not saying that there isn’t a role for our government to help those who
are less fortunate. But welfare, food stamps, disability … it’s all been
warped into a lifestyle that is actively encouraged. Instead, it should act
as a hand up, helping people in times of need get on their feet and become
working, self-sustaining, productive members of society once again. But
that’s not the case, and I would argue it is no longer the goal in the eyes
of many. It makes it difficult to separate those who truly need the help from
those who are simply benefiting from a government that is now willing to
subsidize their lifestyle.