Imagine if all the taxes paid into supporting not people that need help, but those who abuse the system, was given back to the tax payer. That would cause a huge economic boom by people ether spending or saving their money. Safety nets don't help the unemployed because they just take money away from employers that create jobs.
Government safety nets are not the problem with high unemployment. Individuals are not finding work because businesses are not hiring; many businesses are sending their work overseas. In addition, many people who take advantage of government safety nets are underemployed or not able to feed their families on minimum wage work.
The notion that half of the country is leaving off of the government is false. The real reason why unemployment is high is because large businesses and corporations are not hiring. Their lack of hiring, however, has nothing to do with safety nets or availability of work, and everything to do with taxes. If large corporations don't hire for a 12 month period, the unemployment rate gets higher. If it goes up, that means conservatives can attack the current economic plan, with the solution being cutting taxes and removing restrictions on businesses. This makes businesses happy as they can now cut corners while achieving record profits (insert any oil company here), so they agree to hire people at that point, lowering the unemployment rate and giving the perception that cutting taxes created jobs.
Government safety nets do not increase unemployment. Slow economic growth and previously poor economic policy (see the low minimum wage) have fueled the spike in unemployment. People who are taking advantage of these programs are frequently not even unemployed they are under employed, meaning that they are not being paid a wage that allows them to take care of the basic needs of themselves and their families. If the government required employers to pay a living wage, and provided healthcare benefits for everyone you would see a lot fewer people needing these types of assistance.
As a sociologist I hear people talk all the time about how individuals are using the government to drive their 'brand new cars' and pay for their 'iPhone'. Are there people who use the system? Sure. Do most people use the system and want to be unemployed? No.
Research, from the government and private groups, has shown consistently that the reason we 'hear' about people using the government is because of folklore as most people that have some sort of government assistance will not let others know because they are ashamed and are attempting to get off their assistance as soon as possible.