That calculation is consistent with a recent survey of income and program participation (SIPP) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that shows that well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government. And that figure does not even include Social Security and Medicare.
The implications for the U.S. economy should be obvious. Government benefits for the unemployed merely provide enough for families to get by and cover basic living expenses. They leave no room for the type of discretionary spending that keeps businesses thriving in America. The amount of citizens out of work, not contributing revenue and receiving benefits, combined with billions in defense and war spending, bank bailouts, tax breaks for huge corporations that outsource jobs, etc., is simply unsustainable.
The only solution to the economic downturn in the U.S. is to bring back or create well-paying jobs in the U.S. Even though seasonal retail jobs that pay less than $10 per hour make good headlines in reports, they are not the solution.