America: A dependent nation

By:  Sen. Jim Inhofe
Perry Daily Journal

Perry Daily Journal

America: A dependent nation

By: U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As shocking as it may seem, the statistics say the American dream is fading.

A recent report by the Washington-based think tank, The Heritage Foundation, revealed a daunting reality check on America’s growing dependence on the federal government. The results aren’t good. Currently, 67.3 million – nearly 1 in 5 Americans – depend on federal assistance. 

Under the leadership of President Obama, more people now depend on government assistance than ever before in the history of the United States. According to the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. witnessed a 23 percent increase in government dependency during the first two years of Obama’s presidency.  President Obama’s 2008 campaign theme of hope and change has resulted in nothing more than despair and addiction to government assistance.  

Dependence has escalated to the point that American households now receive more money from the federal government than they pay in taxes. No wonder Obama’s government is running up trillions in deficit spending and our children are now strapped with more than $15 trillion in federal debt. 

With the retirement of Baby Boomers, increased demand for food stamps, and soaring Social Security disability claims, our overly-dependent reliance on the government is not expected to improve anytime soon. This would pose a significant problem alone.  Considering the fact that half of the U.S. population does not pay any federal income tax, the problem is further exasperated.  

This isn’t a challenging math equation or even an insurmountable public policy issue. Frankly, spending more money than what the government receives is a recipe for financial disaster.  

It’s clear that business as usual in Washington is not working.  Our goal should be to empower Americans so that fewer are dependent upon the federal government – not entrap increasing numbers in the chains of federal dependency.  Lifting people out of their addiction to federal assistance will only make America and our economy stronger.   

In order to avert yet another financial crisis by the hands of President Obama, the solution requires leadership and difficult decision making that trims our nation’s budget. A domino effect: a more sound economy will get Americans back to work and reduce the dependence to government aid.  

However, with the recent release of President Obama’s latest budget, I have little hope in his leadership or willingness to reduce our nation’s deficit or American’s reliance on the government. Filled with the usual Washington gimmicks, his budget neglects what our economy needs.  For the fourth consecutive year, he is expected to contribute more than $1 trillion in spending to the national deficit. 

Even with his eloquent words to the contrary, the fact remains – his budget is not an economically sound approach to improving our nation’s economy or reducing the dependency roles.  

Let’s face it. President Obama has repeatedly shown the American people that his number one priority is to fund his liberal agenda – no matter the cost.  His stimulus, ObamaCare, and other burdensome regulations have resulted in fewer jobs and increased dependence on the government. 

The President’s policies have made dependency and our economy worse. The American promise is fading, and the time to rescue it is now.  

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is a leading fiscal conservative in the U.S. Senate. 

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