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The Entitled States of America: Is There Now a ‘Gen Welfare’?

Number of kids living in households in which one or more members receive gov't assistance has steadily increased over the past two decades

Image Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The majority of America’s children live in households that receive means-tested assistance, according to the most recent data gathered in a joint effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.

The number of children living in households in which one or more members receive welfare has steadily increased over the past two decades. Today, the rate stands at 52.1 percent. Twenty years ago, the rate was about 37 percent. Ten years ago, it broke 40 percent. And five years ago, it broke 50 percent, as CNS News’ Terrence P. Jeffrey explained.

Run for America founder David Burnstein and political analyst Doug Schoen joined guest host Jason Chaffetz on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday night to discuss what these alarming data may mean for America’s youngest generation.

“Are we breeding a new generation of dependency on government?” asked Chaffetz.

Burnstein said that underlying the worrisome figures are “fundamental problems in our economy and the way that it’s working for people.” He decried the current state of the American economy — charging that it offers less than “tremendous opportunity” for young people.

“We haven’t created a fair economy for people,” he added.

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“What we need to do is to encourage a culture of independence, not dependence,” declared Schoen, who advised the Clinton administration, during which work requirements and time limits were put in place for welfare programs.

“As a society, we need to encourage work,” Schoen emphasized.

“We’re making a lot of progress, but there’s obviously more to do,” he added, noting the historically low rates of unemployment among African-American and Hispanic populations right now.

“We want people in the workforce, period,” Schoen continued.

In the United States, 52.1 percent of the more than 73.5 million kids under age 18 live in households where at least one person receives a form of means-tested government assistance, as reported by the Media Research Center’s CNS News, based on the data referenced above.

Examples of means-tested government assistance include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps); Medicaid; public housing: Supplemental Security Income; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; and the National School Lunch Program, the outlet explained.

Among age groups, children were the most likely to live in a household where at least one member receives means-tested assistance, while seniors were least likely. Fewer than one in five people aged 75 and older lived in welfare-receiving homes — whereas more than one in two people under age 18 did likewise.

The data revealed that 81.8 percent of children under age six living in female-headed, single-parent homes were in households on some form of means-tested government aid.

The overall national rate is 35.9 percent — meaning, if you randomly plucked out a stratified sample of 100 Americans, about 36 of them would raise their hands if asked if they or anyone in their household received a form of means-tested government assistance.

Related: Law Has Long Said Deadbeats Not Welcome, Citizenship Chief Says

The census data confirmed what most people instinctively guess: Young children living in single-parent households are particularly vulnerable economically. The extent of that vulnerability, however, is a bit shocking.

The data revealed that 81.8 percent of children under age six living in female-headed, single-parent homes were in households on some form of means-tested government aid.

Check out the discussion on “The Ingraham Angle” about this topic in the video below:

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.

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