Are Many Americans Too Dependent on Government?

Recently in a thread about one of Romney’s recent gaffes, a certain Omg a Black Conservative posted about a CNBC Poll, which asks the question:

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a fundraising event earlier this year that “there are 47 percent who are with him (Obama), who are dependent upon the government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them.”

Do you agree with Romney’s statement?

Omg A Black Conservative noted that it was an unscientific, Internet poll, but added:

When people noted it was not a particularly instructive poll because, hello Internet poll on a website that caters to business interests, he followed this with:

So, let’s see how the same polling question turns out on a different website. Namely, here.

I agree that too many people are forced to take government programs for the lack of a better alternative but not that they are all parasites and/or moochers (or anything more than a small minority for that matter). Thus I agree to the question presented in the thread title but not with the poll question.

Both were direcrlty taken from the CNBC poll Omg a Black Conservative thought was so significant.

In which case the poll’s questions as presented on the title page and on the poll itself are contradictory,. That said considering NBC’s viewer demographics, I don’t think its just because of CNBC-perhaps somebody on a conservative website linked the poll for example.

This nonscientific internet poll is meaningless. If I ever purported to use it as proof of anything, it would reveal more about my character than anything else. It would imply that my disposition is so sensitive that I’m reduced to straw-grasping. Total waste of electrons. An embarrassment.

Knorf doesn’t pretend to use it as proof of anything and I respect that.

No, I don’t agree with Romney that nearly half of Americans are irredeemable welfare leeches.

But yes, I think too many people are dependent on the government for assistance. And I think that’s largely the fault of Republicans and the way private businesses are quick to exploit government assistance toward their ends.

No. If anything they aren’t dependent enough. Instead they depend on the whim of their employer or luck.

Note that unless you go into the wilderness and live on your own using only tools you made from raw materials and invented without instruction, genuine independence isn’t an option. You are dependent on others. Humans are social creatures for a reason.

I’m not aware of the existence of any Americans who are not dependent on government. Even the Mitt Romneys of the world can’t finance their own military defense forces, or build their own roads or ports, or regulate their own food and medicine supplies.

I couldn’t give an answer, because it would be, “yes, but the people who are dependent on the government are precisely the approximately five to ten percent of Americans who, like Romney, depend on corporate welfare and white-collar government handouts for so much of their ‘achievements’ and well-being.”

Everyone is focusing only on the “dependent on government” part and totally ignoring the “who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them” part. And the part about them being with Obama.

So no, I don’t agree with Romney.

Ideally, no one would be “dependent” on government in the sense Romney meant (ie, could not survive without cash assistance), so it’s always going to be true that “too many” are. But that’s not all he said.

So your answer sounds like, “no, I do not agree with Romney’s statement.”

I disagree with OMG’s politics, but I think you missed the point of his posts in that thread (I’m not sure he was making this point, but it’s what I got out of it; YMMV).

IMO it’s silly to argue for or against the validity of any particular internet poll; the meta-argument is that internet polling is at best a cherry-picking exercise where evidence is championed/disregarded solely on the basis of one’s personal opinion. The CNBC poll favors a conservative argument, but that also proves that the poll is biased toward conservatives.

Think of it this way: If this SDMB poll shows a majority of “yes” votes, will you take that result as proof a majority of Dopers agree with Romney, or will you chalk it up to conservative voters gaming the poll? I don’t want to be accused of threadshitting, but I suspect it’s more of the latter.

True. I was just responding to the paraphrase of it which appeared in the title of this thread.

I will vote now, “no”.

Oh, I said that?

Oops, I answered yes to the subject before I read the whole question. Yes, I believe Many Americans are Too Dependent on Government. I don’t believe it is because they are freeloaders, victims or moochers. It is because the governement has entruded into American’s lives so far that we can’t avoid depending on the government. I pay a lot of money to the government and I depend on them (it?) to provide me with services, services that I have been forced to paid for.

It’s heartenng to know that Gov Romney doesn’t depend on the government for anything. What an individual.

It was debunked on last night’s news. 47% of people don’t pay taxes is correct. 40% of the 47% are retired senior citizens. Another 30% are working poor who don’t hit the tax threshold. Another 3% are the very wealthy who shelter their income. So about 35% of the people who don’t pay taxes have legitimate reasons for not doing so and are NOT welfare leeches or slackers. Romney is full of shit.

That’s how I originally read the thread title and it made me waffle. Of course there are too many Americans who are dependent on government and feel entitled. One is too many and there have to be many thousands out of the millions in America who feel this way. But it’s not true that there are many Americans who are too dependent on government and feel entitled and are diehard Obama supporters.

No. We are the government. We’re taking care of ourselves.

I agree it is the second part that is much more troubling. The statement that 47% of people get more direct benefits from govenrment than they pay into government is a valid point.

Pffft, socialist.

Why did you post it and make snarky comments when people responded appropriately?

Ah, respect. How I missed you.

All I can say is, the poll proves that, among the readers of the SDMB who happened to respond to the poll, nearly 90% disagree with Romney’s statement. I’m gonna hop over to the Free Republic and tell them what lazy, mooching, socialist, marxist takers and self-described victims the SDMB is.

Oh, wait, they probably already think that (if they notice us over here at all; I sort of hope they don’t.)

But, yeah, making a generalization about society at large on the basis of internet polling isn’t really what you might call brilliant. This poll is merely meant to be fun.

Note: my threat to post at the ironically named Free Republic is an idle one. They’ve probably already banned every IP address I’ve ever touched or might touch in my lifetime.