Are Many Americans Too Dependent on Government?

Hello, I’m John Bredin and I’m dependent on the government. :eek:

I use the roads, sidewalks, and public transit, and I’ve flown on commercial airlines (public airports, air navigation system). Without government infrastructure, I’m fairly convinced I’d be stranded at home.

If something in my home catches fire and my fire extinguisher won’t suffice, I’m definitely counting on calling the fire department to keep the whole place – I live in a condo – from going up in flames. Yes, I’m trusting my home and those of my neighbors to unionized government workers.

Ditto if I fall and break something or (God forbid!) have some sort of attack – I plan to call (if I can still use a phone) the fire department for an ambulance, rather than driving myself to the hospital or knocking on the neighbor’s door for a ride. Yes, now I’m trusting my life and health to those same unionized government workers. :eek:

I don’t grow any of my food, and only rarely eat something that a friend or relative or neighbor grew. In other words, I eat restaurant and supermarket food. I also take medicine that I buy rather than making it myself.

Forgive me for [del]living in the 20th Century[/del] not having the rugged individualist spirit of our 18th Century forefathers.

Being ‘dependent on government’ in the US is considered socially unacceptable, so even people who are dependent on government are not self aware enough to know it a good deal of the time because nobody wants to admit to possessing traits that make them low status. A lot of Romney’s supporters who likely agree with his statement are elderly people who do not pay income taxes and who collect large amounts of subsidies via medicare and social security. I once heard Bill Maher say something like 40% of people on medicare don’t think they use a single government program. You can’t have a discussion when people lack basic self awareness because self awareness means accepting things people don’t like about themselves.

So you are asking a question where people’s emotions get in the way of an honest answer.

Besides, what are the alternatives? Dependent on corporations? Dependent on the goodwill of charities? Self reliance? It is a complex intermingling where you can’t draw the line somewhere. People may say ‘I’m self reliant because I have a job’. Yes you do have a job, because you got an education funded by the public sector and because a corporation chose to hire you or if you are self employed, because people choose to buy your services/goods. The average person who graduates from an instate college has collected about 100k in education subsided for K-12 & undergrad education. Plus you have all the private subsides to colleges. If your corporation chooses to fire you in the worst economy since the 1930s, then what? Where do you cleanly draw the line? You can’t.

Nicely put.

I’m pretty sure Romney is in that 3%, he pays capital gains taxes, not income taxes.

OP, this is all your fault, for framing your thread title in the form of a question.

It appears that there are a significant number of respondents using their poll vote to answer “Are Many Americans Too Dependent on Government?”, when the poll is actually “Do you agree with Romney’s statement?”

That statement being: “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.”

ETA: I’d sure like to see how the fifteen people who said they agree with that manage to find a reason to do so (fourteen, since shiftless has copped to the error of answering the wrong question).

Perhaps they’re anarchists. Abolish the military, allow syndications to form which democratically choose new workers and write contracts, get unemployment down to Norwegian levels, form Ghent systems of distributing unemployment benefits in solidarity with those unable to work.

Else they could be considering corporate personhood. Many corporations receive tax exemptions (and apparently, not paying taxes is evidence of turpitude and presidential candidates should be unconcerned with their fate). Many corporations are dependent on government grants or bailouts to survive, so perhaps those are the Americans the respondents have in mind.

I should mention that all US citizens, and almost everyone on earth is dependent on the US government.

This is just the response I expected to get!

Took both it and the poll questions directly from the site Omg linked to, as I mentioned above.

Government Is Us
We Are All Dependent On Government

Not paying income taxes because you don’t make enough money does NOT mean you are “Dependent on Government” as the Republicans are so fond of claiming.

I wonder how many of them would go on record as saying that farmers are dependent on government. A lot of them* would probably try to defend farm subsidies as “tax breaks” rather than giveaways. If the tax breaks are so large as to make them pay almost nothing in taxes (and I don’t know if that’s the case), then it would seem that farmers are dependent on government and feel entitled.

*I’m open to the idea that some republicans from non-subsidized farming states might be opposed to the mostly Corn Belt subsidies, but I haven’t heard anything one way or another about GOP positions on the issue in several years.