The L.A. Times reported a survey attempting to determine how many Americans derive a benefit from government programs. A new study finds that 71% of Americans live in a household in which at least one member has benefited from one of the federal government’s major entitlement programs. The new data shows the wide reach of the spending programs that make up a big part share of the federal budget.
More than half of Americans (55%) have personally benefited from one of the government’s six best-known entitlement programs including benefits from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, food stamps or welfare. Rural residents disproportionately benefit, with 62% who live in rural areas having received entitlement payments of some variety, compared with 54% of urban or suburban residents. If veterans benefits and federally subsidized college loans and grants are included, the share of Americans who have personally benefited rises to 70%, and the households that include at least one beneficiary rise to 86%, the survey found.