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The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
774
126
-government lovers. They are Republicans. - David Brooks

Oh wow, david brooks goes OFF on Romney, talk about a circular firing squad! What a great piece and it really highlights how far the GOP has fallen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/opinion/brooks-thurston-howell-romney.html?_r=1

In 1980, about 30 percent of Americans received some form of government benefits. Today, as Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute has pointed out, about 49 percent do.

Josh Haner/The New York Times
David Brooks
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Times Topic: United States Elections

In 1960, government transfers to individuals totaled $24 billion. By 2010, that total was 100 times as large. Even after adjusting for inflation, entitlement transfers to individuals have grown by more than 700 percent over the last 50 years. This spending surge, Eberstadt notes, has increased faster under Republican administrations than Democratic ones.

There are sensible conclusions to be drawn from these facts. You could say that the entitlement state is growing at an unsustainable rate and will bankrupt the country. You could also say that America is spending way too much on health care for the elderly and way too little on young families and investments in the future.

But these are not the sensible arguments that Mitt Romney made at a fund-raiser earlier this year. Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. Forty-seven percent of the country, he said, are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.

It says that Romney doesn’t know much about the political culture. Americans haven’t become childlike worshipers of big government. On the contrary, trust in government has declined. The number of people who think government spending promotes social mobility has fallen.

The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.


Romney’s comments also reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact. In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.

The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view — from the Reaganesque language of common citizenship to the libertarian language of makers and takers. There’s no way the country will trust the Republican Party to reform the welfare state if that party doesn’t have a basic commitment to provide a safety net for those who suffer for no fault of their own.

The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation. The formula he sketches is this: People who are forced to make it on their own have drive. People who receive benefits have dependency.

But, of course, no middle-class parent acts as if this is true. Middle-class parents don’t deprive their children of benefits so they can learn to struggle on their own. They shower benefits on their children to give them more opportunities — so they can play sports, go on foreign trips and develop more skills.

People are motivated when they feel competent. They are motivated when they have more opportunities. Ambition is fired by possibility, not by deprivation, as a tour through the world’s poorest regions makes clear.


Sure, there are some government programs that cultivate patterns of dependency in some people. I’d put federal disability payments and unemployment insurance in this category. But, as a description of America today, Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.

Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?

Frank Bruni is off today.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
5
0
Yet Obama continues to try to press class warfare.

Take from those that have and hand it to those that do not.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
21,097
880
126
In 1960, government transfers to individuals totaled $24 billion. By 2010, that total was 100 times as large. Even after adjusting for inflation, entitlement transfers to individuals have grown by more than 700 percent over the last 50 years. This spending surge, Eberstadt notes, has increased faster under Republican administrations than Democratic ones.

There are sensible conclusions to be drawn from these facts. You could say that the entitlement state is growing at an unsustainable rate and will bankrupt the country. You could also say that America is spending way too much on health care for the elderly and way too little on young families and investments in the future.
Hmm ok so the left's lie about the GOP wanting to cut welfare and other similar benefits really is a lie.

Cool.
 

Pens1566

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 2005
7,557
671
126
When you've lost David Brooks, you've lost the election. Nice knowing you Mitt.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
I would like to say that how we look at SS has changed. People do not consider SS to be government credit or a government entitlement. People consider SS to be an investment plan that they own because they paid into the plan their entire lives. This is why SS should be removed from the government altogether. It should be managed and administered by non-government workers in such a way as the budget office does not have access to the funds, and the Interest of available surplus can compound and grow.

Medicare is of course completely different. Medicare is the real problem because the medical side of protection for seniors keeps growing and becoming larger. Medicare is what we really need to get a grip on. In reality we cant just keep increasing the cost of medicare. It is mathematically not pheasable.

So this boils down to trying to control medical costs. Without a real discussion about controlling medical costs, we are wasting our time.
 
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Matt1970

Lifer
Mar 19, 2007
12,320
2
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The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees.
So they are republicans just because he says they are? He links to no proof whatsoever.

If you Liberals want to circle jerk around another opinion piece, knock yourselves out.
 

God Mode

Platinum Member
Jul 2, 2005
2,903
0
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People become entitled and spoiled when you repeatedly give them free things? No wai!
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
The real reason why so many white people have SS, is because they worked all their lives and have earned the right to receive it. It is the fruit of their labors. Lets be honest here.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,669
6
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Romney’s comments also reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact. In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.
How is that any different than liberals?

They believe you should be allowed to pop out bastard children, divorce because you are "unhappy", do drugs, drop out of school, etc, etc and have the government bail you out.

Social compact implies obligations in both directions.
 

Ldir

Platinum Member
Jul 23, 2003
2,184
0
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Hmm ok so the left's lie about the GOP wanting to cut welfare and other similar benefits really is a lie.

Cool.
Only in the sense that Romney is lying when he says he wants to. Ryan really does want to, but Romney will not let him.
 

Ldir

Platinum Member
Jul 23, 2003
2,184
0
0
People become entitled and spoiled when you repeatedly give them free things? No wai!
Social Security was never free. People work their whole lives paying into it. They feel entitled to get what they paid for.
 

lotus503

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2005
6,502
1
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This along with Crony Capitalism. I have been saying this the whole time yet on one listens to me because there too stupid
Crony capitolism is a mechnaism of corportate socialism. and fully supported by the republican and democrat parties. It is the welfare issue yet your concerned about the scraps handed down to poor people.
 

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