Residents Relying More on Gov’t Programs, Which is Growing Debt

A New York Times reporter recently visited Chisago County, where residents said they are increasingly relying on government programs-even those who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class.

Many residents-including critics of a government safety net-are increasingly relying on government programs, which in turn is substantially growing government debt.

New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum traveled to Minnesota and visited with Chisago County residents in November.

During the visit, residents in the county-located northeast of Minneapolis-shared personal accounts about their increasing reliance on government programs. The New York Times reported that even those who oppose government aid are drawing more from the government with each passing year.

According to the newspaper, 20 percent of Chisago county residents' total income comes from government programs, including Medicare and social security. Many of those same residents are reportedly not paying enough in taxes.

According to Appelbaum's report, the area's residents are paying $1 in Medicare taxes for $3 in health benefits, which has resulted in a government deficit and slow economic recovery.

“However, fewer people are willing to embrace the two solutions-higher taxes or less benefits,” Appelbaum says in his report.

To watch a New York Times video about Appelbaum's visit and what he learned from Chisago County residents, click here. To read a story about it, click here.