February 6, 2014
Are we running out of the support for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D, Unemployment Insurance? These programs require mandatory contributions from a population of workers and employers of a number larger than the number receiving benefits. The Affordable Care Act is similarly based. We need large numbers of younger and healthier citizens to procure insurance in sufficient numbers sufficient to support the claims. The total numbers of workers are shrinking as a percentage of the population. The working population is shrinking because of; our recession, aging population, and the lower birth rate. The ratio of workers to non-workers is falling below the sustainable numbers of contributors. The ACA has been impacted by the lack of enrollees. But the Federal government is spending tax monies to advertise for enrollees into the ACA. At what cost? Do we think increase immigration will increase the number of contributors if there are no increases in employment?
The impact by the ACA is because working hours are being reduced. The resulting lower income will lower contributions. Are increased contributions an answer? Our governments, Federal and State, need to enact steps that improve private business employment, reduce the assaults on state budgets, and reduce dependency on government supports. Local governments pay into federal and state supported plans. Increased employment by businesses will overcome some of the short fall of the payroll and employer contributions. Increased government employment will increase our taxes.
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In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. "A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round)," said the Census Bureau. "For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall."
Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.
The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.)
At first glance, 86,429,000 might seem like a healthy population of full-time private-sector workers. But then you need to look at what they are up against.
The Census Bureau also estimates the size of the benefit-receiving population.