As President Barack Obama negotiates with Republicans in Congress over federal entitlement spending, a new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that a majority of Americans (55%) have received government benefits from at least one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs.
The survey also finds that most Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program at some point in their lives. So have nearly equal shares of self-identifying conservatives (57%), liberals (53%) and moderates (53%).
The issue of entitlements moved to center stage during the 2012 presidential campaign. The survey finds that among those who voted for President Obama last month, 59% say they’ve benefited from a major entitlement program. It also finds that 53% of those who supported Mitt Romney have benefited from a major entitlement program. ...Pew Research, 12/18/12
A closer look at who and how much shows that:
Some 55% said they personally had received benefits from at least one of those programs, including a third (32%) who said they had received help from two or more. An additional 16% said they themselves had not received any benefits but said that a member of their household had—meaning that 71% of adults are part of a household that has benefited from at least one of these programs. ...Pew Research, 12/18/12
How many of us think the government should help the needy? Most of us do. Some refused to answer and for the rest, it's 57% to 37%. I hope I don't have to deal with a member of that 37%. They may wear horns or have cloven feet, probably, but nothing would surprise me now in America.
By the way, I live in an area where -- particularly during the current drought -- the government hand out substantial benefits to cattle ranchers. I'm willing to bet they, like my neighbor who's one of them, would deny he's getting a government handout. His oldest son is at a state university where the tuition hardly begins to cover the costs. Guess who pays the remainder... Guess who pays the property taxes for the church that rancher attends...