The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.
And they rediculed Mitt "The Glove" Romney for his 47% quote. I recall the Wall Street Journal running an oped piece predicting this election being the first in US history to be won on the basis of government handouts.
Among the anticipated crises is the worry of global economic collapse, fighting among nations that don't adapt rapidly enough and the possible spillover of instability in the Mideast and South Asia to the rest of the world.
History tends to show that the danger of regional conflicts is fairly low when there is a single hegemonic power like the US. A single global arbiter of force will tend to keep most conflicts fairly localized as the ambitions of any strong regional players will be kept in check by the greater force. The danger lies in the loss of will, real or apparent, of the United States or an appreciable decrease in our military power. With the budget sequestration goes into effect defense, among other things, is going to take a large cut in funding. The way that Obama's foreign policy alienated allies (Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Philippenes/Taiwan/Japan) and infuriated Russia and China (in Syria, Iran, and other places) they are likely going to be looking for some payback. With our scheduled retreat from Afghanistan, defense budget cuts, and increasing focus on the worsening economic crisis at home, our Will will be seen as weakened (and will likely be weakened) and our military power visibly enfeebled, expect various local/regional problems to be expanded by Chinese/Russian interference. Without the calming influence of US military force, watch as the Ankara-Tel Aviv-Riyadh Axis faces off against the Tehran-Moscow-Peking Axis to fight over the remains of Syria/Iraq. Europe's energy supplies will be gravely threatened but they will be powerless to respond and any EU consensus would likely be broken by aggressive pipeline politics by both sides. Any number of locations along the periphery of East Asia would likely be threatened by China and may be resisted by various combinations of our Pacific allies... but just like in the late 50's, in the absence of American power east Asian nations will be isolated one by one and come to various accomadations with China until the vital sea lanes of the east are dominated by a power hostile to freedom of the seas.
All this will just further deteriorate our economy and the global order as the mutually-beneficial trade order we've built over the past 60 years with a core of strategic allies will fall apart. As long as we can preserve the peace, the structure of the economic order will remain in place until more economically adept political leadership can be elected/selected. Both Rome and Britain suffered through various economic problems, but as long as they held the far frontier, the system righted itself and continued to benefit the most.