From Fox News:

Mitt Romney was roundly skewered during the presidential campaign when he was  secretly recorded telling a group of donors about the “47 percent” of Americans  who are, “dependent upon government.”

Romney later said his remarks were “completely wrong.” But Ohio University  economist Richard Vedder believes they were right.

He says an expanding system of government benefits has helped create a  poverty rate of 14 percent.

“They’re actually creating a dependency on government, which is unhealthy  both for the individuals involved and their children, and also for the broader  society,”  he said.

Vedder said Department of Labor statistics show four programs in particular  contribute to  Americans’ increasing dependence on government.

  • Food stamps, or The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as it’s now  known. Nearly 30 million more Americans receive them than in the year 2000.
  • Social Security Disability: 3 million Americans  received payments in  1990 — today it’s 8.6 million.
  • Pell grants: 3.9 million students were awarded them in 2000. Today it’s 9.7  million, even though  nearly half of graduates work in jobs that  require no degree.
  • And extended unemployment benefits: 26 weeks had been the standard —  today it’s 52 weeks or more for many.

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