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.