Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: How the entitlement society makes America weaker

Talking Points 11/20


By Bill O'Reilly

I am flashing back to my school teaching days. Last night I told you the committed left is furious, furious that people like me are telling Americans the truth, that the USA is becoming an entitlement society and that helped President Obama win re-election. If you missed my "Talking Points" from last night, you can access it on the Fox News Web site.

Now, why should you care about that? Well, one big reason, the entitlement culture weakens the country. First the facts, a little more than 20 years ago in 1991 the federal government spent nine percent of the budget on means tested entitlements; things like food stamps, housing and welfare.

Now the number is 16 percent, almost double. In '91, individuals in 41 million American households were receiving some kind of entitlement outside of Medicare and Social Security. Now the number is an astounding 107 million Americans, an increase of 161 percent. Can you believe it? Even though the population has increased just 24 percent; 20 years ago, 23 million people received food stamps. Now 45 million people do... a record. In '92, about three and a half million Americans were receiving federal disability payments. This month, nearly nine million Americans are getting federal payments.

So you can see, anybody can see that the entitlement society is exploding in American. There is no question about it. Yet liberals will deny its happening or say it's all because of the bad economy which is flat-out false.

In 1992 the black unemployment rate was 14.3 percent. In 2012, this year, the black unemployment rate is 14.3 percent, exactly the same. In Hispanic precinct, the situation is similar.

So this is about a dramatic change that is overwhelming the United States of America. Not economic malaise. When you have more than 100 million Americans living in a home receiving stuff from the government... again, outside of Medicare and Social Security, we're not counting that -- then you have a large dependence on the federal government.

And what does that do? Well, it saps motivation. Why bust your tail when the feds will give you enough to get by?

America became great because of individual self reliance, hard working people took chances, suffered, created things that helped the country. Every day Americans empowered this nation, not the federal and state governments. They're in place to protect us and to see that social order is kept, not to provide cradle to grave security. The founding fathers did not want that.

The Democratic Party wants a western European model. They want voters dependent on the government. The result, $16 trillion in debt, an awful economy and a growing population that lacks ambition. This is a road to disaster.

Perhaps President Obama will change. Surely he has to know that if he and his party continue to build up a massive nanny state, America will eventually collapse economically. And that's the truth.

And that's "The Memo."