Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nice Graphic showing the change in beneficiaries for various Federal benefits. The Social Safety Net in action.

Here is a nice resource when teaching US Fiscal Policy and discussing the difference between "Means-Tested" (Gold print) and "Non-Means Tested" (Blue print) programs.  The former (means tested) takes into consideration a recipients income and assets when deciding to grant benefits and the latter (non-means tested) does not.

The data show the change in participation in various government programs from the end of 2008 to 2011.

As you can see the largest percentage increases (gold lines) are in Medicaid, the Federal health insurance program for low income people, "SNAP" which is the food assistance program for low income people, and "SSI" which is a program that covers disabilities of many sorts (physical and/or intellectual).

What you see here is the Social Safety Net in action.  Increases in cash/non-cash benefits as the economy falters and "built in stabilizers" take effect to provide a floor of support for those adversely affected.

Normally, as the economy recovers the demand for these benefits should decrease. This remains to be seen.

Click on image to make larger of go HERE for it at the US Census.
More American Households Rely on Government Benefit Programs infographic image

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau] 
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