President Obama says we don't need to reform entitlement programs - at least not now. Critics say Paul Ryan's budget proposal - which essentially privatizes Medicare - goes too far.
But if there was ever proof of the need for such reforms- a new report from USA Today is it. More than 18% of Americans' income was payment from a government program such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, veterans programs, unemployment benefits, etc, etc, etc.
That's the highest percentage ever, and the percentage of income coming from actual wages is also at record levels at only 51%.
The 18% is a huge spike from 2000. The end of the 20th century saw government aid kept constant around 12.5%.
So, why the sharp increase? For one— Obamacare. There are also the government's stimulus programs and other benefits, as well as an aging population putting record pressure on Social Security and Medicare.
So who gets what? The average American got more than $7,400 in benefits last year. That's up from under $4,800 in 2000, and under $3,700 in1990.
New York is also getting the bulk of the money, with the average New Yorker taking home nearly $9,500 dollars a year - thanks mostly to the state's Medicaid program!
According to the paper, the Empire State spent more than $2,900 per person through Medicaid last year - that's a third more than any other state—mainly because of the population of lower income people and immigrants in the city.
Comparing New York to the rest of the nation, federal entitlements for the average Americans totaled just $1,300.
Nevada spent the least on Medicaid last year at only $666 per person. Adding in all the entitlements, West Virginia is right up there with more than a quarter of residents' income coming from the government.
But Colorado is putting the least strain on government ledgers, with only 13% of incomes coming from social programs, which is still a relatively high number - but considerably lower than the 18% national average.
This administration prides itself on "looking out for the little guy" and not having the government turn its back on any American in need. But the abundance of handouts and ridiculous spending is putting this country in need - and that could have disastrous consequences for us all.
Gerri Willis joined Fox Business Network (FBN) in March of 2010. She is the host of "The Willis Report" (6 & 9PM/ET), a primetime program that covers the leading financial and political stories of the day and their impact on consumers.