Posts Tagged ‘Census Bureau’

U.S. Companies Feel the Pinch as Tariff Costs Start to Mount

December 7, 2018
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American companies that import products are paying record amounts in customs duties as more tariffs imposed by the Trump administration take effect.

Tariff collections topped $5 billion in October, according to data from the Treasury Department and from Census Bureau data analyzed and released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a lobbying coalition of manufacturing, farming and technology groups.

President Trump campaigned on an aggressive trade agenda, and from early this year has imposed or considered tariffs on thousands of products from dishwashers to semiconductors. U.S. revenue from tariffs has begun to build rapidly only in the last few months, as more of the levies have taken effect.

The amount of tariffs being paid by U.S. importers has doubled since May, including an increase of more than 30% from August to October, according to the data. The sum has risen through the year as steel and aluminum tariffs were applied to imports from a growing group of countries, then surged in October, which was the first full month in which U.S. tariffs were in place on a full $250 billion of imports from China.

Trade, Tech and Tweets: Stock Markets May Get Even Bumpier in 2019
U.S. stock markets have gyrated this week with seemingly positive news on trade followed by President Trump tweeting he is still a “Tariff Man.” U.S.-China tensions, plus worries about economic growth and the tech sector, spell more volatility ahead for investors. Photo Composite: Crystal Tai

China and the U.S. struck a trade truce Dec. 1, agreeing not to add or increase tariffs for now. But the tariff rates in place in October will remain in effect, meaning collections are likely to remain high in November and December.

President Trump has touted the surge in revenue his tariffs have brought in thus far. “We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Tariffs are assessed to the U.S. importer of record, meaning U.S. companies that import items from China and the rest of the world directly are the initial parties responsible for paying. The Census Bureau data are based off customs filings, while the Treasury data are based off actual payments.

While some importers will bear the cost of the tariffs themselves, others may be able to persuade their foreign suppliers to cut prices enough to offset the cost and others may pass the higher costs on to their customers.

“We are now seeing the raw data behind the stories of tariff pain that are coming in from every corner of the country,” said Charles Boustany, a former Republican congressman who is the spokesman for Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “American businesses, farmers, manufacturers and consumers are suffering under the weight of the current tariffs and are reeling from the continued uncertainty over whether they will be increased even further.”

Russell Tiejema, the chief financial officer of Masonite International Corp., a Tampa, Fla. manufacturer of doors, said at an investors’ conference this week that U.S. tariffs would hit about 10% of the $900 million worth of material his company acquires to build its products.

“About half of that, we would be the importer of record, which means that we would be the party liable for tariff remittance,” said Mr. Tiejema. “The other half we acquire from other suppliers who then acquire it upstream from China, but they stand as the importer of record. In both cases, we need to negotiate, wherever possible, price concessions.”

Many U.S. companies are also facing retaliatory tariffs from China—and from Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other countries hit by U.S. tariffs this year on steel and aluminum. Data from the research group the Trade Partnership, which works with Tariffs Hurt the Heartland to assess the impact of tariffs, estimate that more than $1 billion in tariffs were paid on U.S. exports in October, based on the volume of trade of affected goods.

John T.C. Lee, the president of Andover, Mass. MKS Instruments, which makes precision measuring instruments, said at a Nasdaq Investors Conference this week that his company was facing both U.S. tariffs and retaliatory tariffs from other countries. MKS faces $3 million in tariffs on its imports over a year, and $7 million in tariffs on its exports, he said.

“That is most likely going to be borne by the customers,” he said, noting that many had no other options for getting those products, a situation that gives his company more leverage to raise prices.

Even after the recent increase in revenue from tariffs, they account for a small share of government income. Tariffs were the primary source of federal revenue before World War I, but that share has dwindled with the introduction of the income tax and the liberalization of trade. In October, more than 2% of federal receipts came from tariffs, the most in at least two decades.

Write to Josh Zumbrun at Josh.Zumbrun@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-companies-feel-the-pinch-as-tariff-costs-start-to-mount-1544180471

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Trump wrong about illegal immigration costs

December 5, 2018

President Donald Trump is spreading misleading numbers about the cost of illegal immigration.

As he tries to pressure Democrats to fund his long-promised southern border wall, Trump is claiming the country loses $250 billion a year on illegal immigration. But it remained unclear Tuesday where Trump had found that number, which is dramatically higher than previous estimates.

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A look at his claim:

TRUMP: “Could somebody please explain to the Democrats (we need their votes) that our Country losses (sic) 250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the terrible drug flow. Top Border Security, including a Wall, is $25 Billion. Pays for itself in two months. Get it done!” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s numbers left even those sympathetic to the president’s position scratching their heads.

“I’m not sure where the president got his numbers,” said Dave Ray, a spokesman for the nonprofit group FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for lower immigration numbers.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to questions Tuesday about where the $250 billion estimate had come from.

The Heritage Foundation, for instance, estimated in 2013 that households headed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally impose a net fiscal burden of around $54.5 billion per year.

And even Trump himself has contradicted the figure. During his 2016 campaign, Trump claimed that illegal immigration cost the country more than $113 billion a year — less than half the number he tweeted Tuesday.

That estimate appeared based on a paper by FAIR, which released an updated report in 2017 that claimed taxpayers “shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens” at the federal, state and local levels, with “a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664.”

The $116 million figure included services like health care and education, as well as spending on agencies like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, minus the $19 billon the group concluded those who are living in the country illegally pay in taxes. But it also included costs associated with the children of those immigrants in its tally, even when they are U.S. citizens. The estimate was criticized for making broad generalizations and other major methodological flaws.

Michelle Mittelstadt of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute said that advocacy groups’ numbers on both sides of the issue are notoriously flawed because “they don’t look at the other side of the ledger.”

“Doing a rigorous analysis that fully captures costs and economic contributions to come up with a net fiscal impact is quite complicated, because it is far easier to assess the cost side of the ledger, particularly uncompensated medical care and education, than it is to capture the full economic activity generated by unauthorized immigrants,” she said via email, pointing to “their roles not just as workers and taxpayers but also as consumers.”

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center also estimates there were 11.3 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally in 2016, the most recent data available — less than groups like FAIR project.

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U.S. — 63 percent of ‘non-citizens’ on welfare, 4.6 million households

December 3, 2018

A majority of “non-citizens,” including those with legal green card rights, are tapping into welfare programs set up to help poor and ailing Americans, a Census Bureau finding that bolsters President Trump’s concern about immigrants costing the nation.

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In a new analysis of the latest numbers, from 2014, 63 percent of non-citizens are using a welfare program, and it grows to 70 percent for those here 10 years or more, confirming another concern that once immigrants tap into welfare, they don’t get off it.

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The Center for Immigration Studies said in its report that the numbers give support for Trump’s plan to cut non-citizens off welfare from the “public charge” if they want a green card that allows them to legally work in the United States.

“The Trump administration has proposed new ‘public charge’ rules making it harder for prospective immigrants to qualify for lawful permanent residence — green cards — if they use or are likely to use U.S. welfare programs,” said CIS.

“Concern over immigrant welfare use is justified, as households headed by non-citizens use means-tested welfare at high rates. Non-citizens in the data include illegal immigrants, long-term temporary visitors like guest workers, and permanent residents who have not naturalized. While barriers to welfare use exist for these groups, it has not prevented them from making extensive use of the welfare system, often receiving benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children,” added the Washington-based immigration think tank.

The numbers are huge. The report said that there are 4,684,784 million non-citizen households receiving welfare.

And nearly all, 4,370,385, have at least one worker in the house..

In their report, Steven A. Camarota, the director of research, and Karen Zeigler, a demographer at the Center, said that in census data, about half of those are in the United States illegally.

Their key findings in the analysis:

  • In 2014, 63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.
  • Welfare use drops to 58 percent for non-citizen households and 30 percent for native households if cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit are not counted as welfare. EITC recipients pay no federal income tax. Like other welfare, the EITC is a means-tested, anti-poverty program, but unlike other programs one has to work to receive it.
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  • Compared to native households, non-citizen households have much higher use of food programs (45 percent vs. 21 percent for natives) and Medicaid (50 percent vs. 23 percent for natives).
  • Including the EITC, 31 percent of non-citizen-headed households receive cash welfare, compared to 19 percent of native households. If the EITC is not included, then cash receipt by non-citizen households is slightly lower than natives (6 percent vs. 8 percent).
  • While most new legal immigrants (green card holders) are barred from most welfare programs, as are illegal immigrants and temporary visitors, these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates because: 1) most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify; 2) the bar does not apply to all programs, nor does it always apply to non-citizen children; 3) some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; and, most importantly, 4) non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth.

U.S. New Immigrant Population at 51 Million in Eight Years — 82 percent of all population growth

April 23, 2015

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President wants to use executive powers to exempt some 5 million illegals from deportation

By Paul Bedard

Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures.

A report from the Center for Immigration Studies that analyzed the statistics said that by 2023, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant, rising to one in five by 2060 when the immigrant population totals 78 million.

The report was provided to Secrets and released Wednesday evening.

RELATED: The killer question of immigration reform

The surge in immigrant population, both legal and illegal, threatens to slam into the presidential campaign as GOP candidates move to figure out what their position is and the president tries to use executive powers to exempt some 5 million illegals from deportation.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker disrupted the debate this week when he said that legal immigration also needs to be reformed to make sure Americans don’t suffer by losing jobs to new citizens.

But even more, the CIS report said that the surge in mostly legal immigrants will have a huge impact on the nation and taxpayers.

RELATED: Poll: No, Obama didn’t have the authority to grant amnesty

“These numbers have important implications for workers, schools, infrastructure, congestion and the environment,” said Steven Camarota, the center’s director of research. “They also may have implications for our ability to successfully assimilate and integrate immigrants. Yet there has been almost no national debate about bringing in so many people legally each year, which is the primary factor driving these numbers.”

Those numbers are likely to shake up Washington’s political debate over the 12 million illegals in America, the expected 70,000 expected to pour over the border this year and the 4.4 million legal immigrants on a State Department waiting list who have relatives or jobs in the U.S.

A protest in California. AP Photo

A key senator steering the immigration debate, Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, has warned that higher numbers of immigrants will hurt the middle class. In a letter to the New York Times Saturday, he wrote, “It defies reason to argue that the record admission of new foreign workers has no negative effect on the wages of American workers, including the wages of past immigrants hoping to climb into the middle class. Why would many of the largest business groups in the United States spend millions lobbying for the admission of more foreign workers if such policies did not cut labor costs?”

RELATED: Obama is losing his greatest asset in immigration push

On Friday, key business leaders including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a group associated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plan to pitch for more immigration. Their schedule is below.

The numbers, as seen in the highlights below, will also raise concerns that Washington is giving the keys to the nation to new immigrants:

• The immigrant population will grow four times faster than the native born population, reaching 15.8 percent, or 57 million, of the nation’s population in 2030, 17.1 percent, or 65 million, in 2040, and 18.8 percent, or 78 million, in 2060.

• Net immigration this year will be 1.24 million; green cards about 1.1 million.

• Immigrants and their descendants “will account for the overwhelming share of population growth,” said the Center in projecting growth. They will account for 75.5 percent from 2010-2050 and 82 percent from 2010-2060.

• Census Bureau projects that in 2023 the nation’s immigrant population, legal and illegal, will reach 14.8 percent of the total U.S. population, the highest share ever recorded.

RELATED: Expert: Obama’s amnesty ‘profoundly unfair’ to 4 million legal immigrants, a new high

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/census-record-51-million-immigrants-in-8-years-will-account-for-82-of-u.s.-growth/article/2563463

“Black America is in crisis”: Urban League president

March 20, 2015

CBS News

Amid ongoing tensions over the deaths of unarmed black men and teenagers by police, the National Urban League released its 2015 State of Black America report Thursday.

“Black America is in crisis — a jobs crisis, an education crisis and a justice crisis,” the civil rights group’s president and CEO, Marc Morial, told CBS News.

Marc Morial. Photo credit Matthew Hinton, The Times-Picayune archive

In part, the report analyzes nationwide figures from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to create equality indexes.

The measurements compare blacks and Hispanics to whites in terms of economics, health, education, the justice system and civic engagement, with 100 percent signifying total equality.

According to the report’s executive summary, the overall index for black Americans is 72.2 percent, compared with a revised figure of 71.5 for 2014. The Hispanic index is 77.7 percent, an improvement from 75.8 percent a year ago.

For black Americans, the largest growth was in the area of social justice, which improved from from 56.9 percent in 2014 to 60.6 percent for 2015. The change was based on “fewer Blacks being victims of violent crimes and fewer Black high school students carrying weapons, while at the same time, the rates for white high school students increased,” according to the Urban League.

That improvement comes despite high-profile cases of police violence over the last year, including the August 2014 shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and a Justice Department investigation that found a pattern of racial bias by the city’s police and courts.

While the Ferguson case and others have increased awareness of racial disparities, Morial said the issues are nothing new.

“Ferguson raised it to a high-profile nature. Ferguson woke many up who may have been dozing or sleeping about the nature of these problems,” Morial said. “These problems are of a long-standing nature, they just didn’t pop up yesterday. Now, I think, we must muster the resolve to try to fix them.”

According to Morial, a wide-ranging discussion is needed “about police-community relations and police accountability and the criminal justice system.”

“Working to keep the peace in a neighborhood does not give license to disrespect, use excessive force or violate the rights of citizens of that community,” Morial told CBS News.

“You want good, strong law enforcement and you want policing that can police communities of color effectively,” Morial said. “But what you don’t want is a police department that becomes a de facto occupying force where many citizens in the community fear the police, distrust the police.”

Morial said he hoped the report prompts people to take action, both on the individual level and for broader policy improvements.

“Change does not come by serendipity. Change does not come automatically,” Morial said. “It comes because people work for it.”

Barack Obama (L) and Eric Holder (R) are long-time friends, but the pressure to cut loose his attorney general is mounting on the president - from both sides of the political aisle

Includes videos:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/black-america-is-in-crisis-national-urban-league-president-marc-morial-says/

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Just Prior To 2012 Election, Census Bureau Manipulated Unemployment Data To Help Obama

November 19, 2013

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

By John Crudele

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.

Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.

Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.

Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.

“It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told me.

Census, under contract from the Labor Department, conducts the household survey used to tabulate the unemployment rate.

Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.

Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.

By making up survey results — and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs — Buckmon’s actions could have lowered the jobless rate.

Buckmon said he filled out surveys for people he couldn’t reach by phone or who didn’t answer their doors.

But, Buckmon says, he was never told how to answer the questions about whether these nonexistent people were employed or not, looking for work, or have given up.

But people who know how the survey works say that simply by creating people and filling out surveys in their name would boost the number of folks reported as employed.

Census never publicly disclosed the falsification. Nor did it inform Labor that its data was tainted.

“Yes, absolutely they should have told us,” said a Labor spokesman. “It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection.”

Census appears to have looked into only a handful of instances of falsification by Buckmon, although more than a dozen instances were reported, according to internal documents.

In one document from the probe, Program Coordinator Joal Crosby was ask in 2010, “Why was the suspected … possible data falsification on all (underscored) other survey work for which data falsification was suspected not investigated by the region?”

On one document seen by The Post, Crosby hand-wrote the answer: “Unable to determine why an investigation was not done for CPS,” or the Current Population Survey — the official name for the unemployment report.

With regard to the Consumer Expenditure survey, only four instances of falsification were looked into, while 14 were reported.

I’ve been suspicious of the Census Bureau for a long time.

During the 2010 Census report — an enormous and costly survey of the entire country that goes on for a full year — I suspected (and wrote in a number of columns) that Census was inexplicably hiring and firing temporary workers.

I suspected that this turnover of employees was being done purposely to boost the number of new jobs being report each month. (The Labor Department does not use the Census Bureau for its other monthly survey of new jobs — commonly referred to as the Establishment Survey.)

Last week I offered to give all the information I have, including names, dates and charges to Labor’s inspector general.

I’m waiting to hear back from Labor.

I hope the next stop will be Congress, since manipulation of data like this not only gives voters the wrong impression of the economy but also leads lawmakers, the Federal Reserve and companies to make uninformed decisions.

To cite just one instance, the Fed is targeting the curtailment of its so-called quantitative easing money-printing/bond-buying fiasco to the unemployment rate for which Census provided the false information.

So falsifying this would, in essence, have dire consequences for the country.

Counting Poverty in America: New Census Bureau Measure Gives Lawmakers Better Understanding

November 7, 2013

By Carol Morello

The Washington Post

The number of poor people in the Washington area is likely much higher than official poverty statistics show, largely because of the high cost of housing, according to an alternate measure of poverty released by the Census Bureau Wednesday.

Under the new calculation, a family living around Washington could earn almost $10,000 a year above the federal poverty level of $23,550 for a family of four and still be poor.

The alternative measurement prepared by the Census Bureau is an attempt to offer a more nuanced picture of poverty by taking into account the value of government benefits and the cost of living expenses in different parts of the country .

Among the benefits that come to low-income households are programs that provide food stamps, school lunches and housing subsidies. Necessary expenses that eat up a chunk of income include housing, local taxes, child care and work expenses such as commuting.

None are accounted for in the official poverty measure, which is based solely on cash income and pegs the nation’s poverty rate at 15 percent. The alternative measure bumps it up to 16 percent.

But the difference between the two measurements is much larger at the state and local level. Poverty levels are significantly higher in states where housing is expensive, including California, New York, Massachusetts and around Washington D.C.

In the District, for example, the alternative measure pushes the poverty rate to almost 23 percent compared to just over 19 percent officially. In Maryland, the rate rises to 13 percent  instead of 10 percent. In Virginia,  the poverty rate also rises over 13 percent, up from 11 percent in the official count. All are roughly the same as they were a year ago.

The official federal poverty level  is used to determine eligibility for federal assistance.  Under the alternative measure, the line in the Washington area would be around $33,000 for a homeowner with a mortgage, about $26,000 for a homeowner with no mortgage, and $32,000 for a renter. The alternative measure has no impact on the amount of federal benefits received.

In other parts of the country, the threshold is even higher under the alternative. In the San Jose and San Francisco area, anyone earning less than $35,500 can be considered poor. But in other places where the cost of living is far less, the level is far lower. Outside of metropolitan areas in several states such as West Virginia, a family of four wouldn’t be considered poor unless their income was less than $18,000.

The Census Bureau attributed the regional differences to housing costs, which are not considered when calculating the official poverty rate.

Related:

*http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/03/michelle-obama.html

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Photo: Homeless people in Washington D.C.

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American Recipients of Welfare Out Number America’s Full Time Workers

October 26, 2013

(CNSNews.com) – Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.

They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.

That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit for every 1 person working full-time year round.

The Census Bureau counted as recipients of means-tested government programs “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.” Many of these people lived in households receiving more than one form of means-tested benefit at the same time.

Among the 108,592,000 people who fit the Census Bureau’s description of a means-tested benefit recipient in the fourth quarter of 2011 were 82,457,000 people in households receiving Medicaid, 49,073,000 beneficiaries of food stamps, 20,223,000 on Supplemental Security Income, 23,228,000 in the Women, Infants and Children program, 13,433,000 in public or subsidized rental housing, and 5,854,000 in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Also among the 108,592,000 means-tested benefit recipients counted by the Census Bureau were people getting free or reduced-price lunch or breakfast, state-administered supplemental security income and means-tested veterans pensions.

The 108,592,000 people who were recipients of means-tested government programs in the fourth quarter of 2011 does not include people who received benefits from non-means-tested government programs but not from means-tested ones. That would include, for example, people who received Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, or non-means-tested veterans compensation, but did not receive benefits from a means-tested program such as food stamps or public housing.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, there were 49,901,000 people who received Social Security benefits, 46,440,000 who received Medicare benefits, 5,098,000 on unemployment, and 3,178,000 who received non-means-tested veterans compensation.

When the people who received non-means-tested government benefits from programs such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and non-means-tested veterans compensation are added to those who received means-tested government programs such as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income and public housing, the total number of people receiving government benefits from one or more programs in the United States in 2011 climbs to 151,014,000, according to the Census Bureau.

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-bureau-means-tested-govt-benefit-recipients-outnumber-full#sthash.O3zSGq27.dpuf