According to government stats, we're getting very close to being a nation mostly dependent on the government for financial help.
New statistics show the number of Americans needing some sort of check from Uncle Sam has been on the rise since the early 80's.
Harold and Dottie Groves are just 2 of the millions of Americans who depend on Social Security to make ends meet.
"Medicine, things like that are all going up in price but our Social Security check has not increased any," Groves said.
It's a reality many their age face.
As far as people getting financial help from the government, they're clearly not alone.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Census data shows nearly half of Americans lived in a household that received some sort of government benefit in the first quarter of 2010.
Means-tested programs like Food Stamps, Welfare and Medicaid account for 34.2% of that.
A chart shows the dependency number has been on the rise for years.
Harold and Dottie say the number is frightening, but if Americans deserve the help, they should get it.
"If they don't deserve it, they shouldn't be asking for it, they should leave the benefits for someone else that needs it," Groves said.
Jay Oliver, a financial advisor with Adams Financial Group in Tyler tells KETK, the U.S. has to decide which direction it's heading.
"We really have to look at really what we want at whether an expanding government with more benefits which would probably result in higher taxes, or whether we should be more self reliant or maybe provide for our own futures to an extent," Oliver said.
Representative Louie Gohmert says the figures are disconcerting...and they should be a wake up call for Americans.
He says he wishes President Obama was serious about everyone paying their fair share.
"The best Welfare...the best kind of benefit that we could possibly give to people is...for working age people, a good job! You gain self-respect, self-esteem, you can take care of your families, people who are living on the little bit of penance that Social Security has become, they're struggling, they're barely making it," Gohmert said.
He also says a 12-13% flat tax and corporate tax would help bring those jobs in, people would pay less and the economy would do better.
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