By Bill O'Reilly
Under President Obama, the USA has greatly increased social welfare programs. The President will tell you that's because it's a bad recession. But we've gone through bad recessions before. Never, never had the amount of dependence on the federal government that we have now.
According to stats compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee, more than 100 million Americans are currently receiving some kind of federal welfare and that doesn't count Social Security or Medicare, which are really not welfare programs because we, the people, have paid directly into them.
Medical assistance, Medicaid, the most used welfare program. In the year 2000, 34 million Americans were on Medicaid. Now the number is 54 million. Food stamps second -- in 2000, 17 million of us received food stamps. Today that number is an astronomical 45 million Americans. Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach nearly a $1 trillion over the next decade.
So what does it say about the country? Well, some Americans need help, no question about it. But what President Obama does not want to articulate is that there is a shift in how many Americans see themselves. It used to be self-reliance ruled.
My parents would never under any circumstances take government welfare payments. My father would have driven a cab, painted houses, worked in a fast food place before he did that. Come to think of it that's what his son, me did in my early adulthood.
But now many of us feel we are entitled to free stuff because it's not really our fault if we're not prospering. It's the country's fault. So the country has to make it up to us by sending us money. That's what's going on. There's a tremendous sense of entitlement among some younger Americans and some older citizens who simply have not succeeded.
President Obama is encouraging that mind set by putting out a narrative that says wealthy Americans and business people are not paying their fair share to the feds. All the stats show affluent Americans pay the vast majority of federal taxes and about half the population pay no income tax at all.
In France, the new socialist president there wants to tax the affluent at a rate of 75 percent. Three quarters of their stuff he wants. He wants to do that so he can dole the money out to French citizens who don't have very much thereby ensuring their permanent support. Do you see a difference between the French socialist strategy and what the Democratic Party wants in the USA? I don't. It's just a matter of percentage points.
And that's "The Memo."