Posted by: conservativecritic | February 2, 2013

Are we a “nation of takers”?

During the last presidential election debates, some information filtered out of one of Governor Mitt Romney’s press conferences that begs reviewing.  Romney said that about 47 percent of American’s rely on some type of government financial assistance, implying that those 47 percent tend to respond more readily to President Obama’s promises to maintain or increase this government largesse—and would likely vote for Obama for that reason…namely to continue or increase such government support.

Obama flatly denies such a statistic.  Now, either Obama has been smoking  some really bad stuff or he simply doesn’t understand how government works financially or how much Americans rely on the government for some type of support, regardless of their age, race, sex, political persuasion or income bracket.

Now, during this recent presidential inauguration address, we see a continuance of this ignorance on the part of the President…now promising to expand his “income distribution” not only to the middle class but also to the poor.  This basically amounts to Obama sending an envelope of cash every month to each and every poor family, derived once again from taxation increases on the larger income earners and job creators.

Can you find a better definition of Socialism?

Few nonseniors receive

government benefits.

Because of means testing, welfare

transfers help only the truly needy.

The number of families receiving

government benefits has been

largely stable over time.

Democrats are the party of

entitlements. Republicans have

tried to pare down spending.

Transfers are just a small part of

what the government does.

Although almost all families with seniors use government

benefits, over a third of families without any seniors were

on at least one government benefit program—even before

the Great Recession.

Source: Nicholas Eberstadt, A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement

Epidemic (Templeton Press, 2012), 33.

In 2010, over 34 percent of American households received

means-tested benefits—households which included nearly

half of America’s children. Yet the poverty rate was only

15.1 percent.

Source: Eberstadt, 128; Census data.

In 1983, fewer than 30 percent of households received

one or more government benefits. By 2011, this number

had skyrocketed to 49 percent.

Source: Eberstadt, 31–32.

The growth in entitlement spending is a bipartisan phenomenon.

In fact, for the last half-century, entitlement spending has

grown faster under Republican presidents than under

Democratic presidents.

Source: Eberstadt, 23.

From 1940 to 1960, entitlement transfers accounted for under

a third of federal spending. Today over two-thirds of federal

spending goes to entitlements. In 2010 alone, governments

at all levels oversaw a transfer of $2.2 trillion—three times as

much as all military and defense spending that same year.

Source: Eberstadt, 10.

United States Government Entitlement Programs:
529 or Coverdell
Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
Hope or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
Student Loans
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
Earned Income Tax Credit
Social Security–Retirement & Survivors
Pell Grants
Unemployment Insurance
Veterans Benefits
G.I. Bill
Head Start
Social Security Disability
SSI–Supplemental Security Income
Welfare/Public Assistance
Government Subsidized Housing
Food Stamps

An academic paper written by Suzanne Mettler, professor of American Institutions at Cornell University, features a chart showing that half of American social program beneficiaries believe that they have not used a government social program.


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