Why is it those who are often the most vocal about shrinking the size of government and reducing taxes are also often the biggest beneficiaries of government largesse?
The human capacity for "Do as I say, not as I do" is quite remarkable. Take the case of Ki Gulbranson, a Minnesota shopowner that makes $39,000 a year. According to a story in the New York Times today, he says he doesn't need any government help and he's a staunch supporter of the Tea Party movement but he seems to ignore everything he gets from American taxpayers.
Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice.
Similarly senior citizens that benefit hugely from social security and medicare might want to consider the abject poverty that their elder forebears lived before complaining that taxes and entitlements are too high.
The states Alaska, Alabama, Mississippi and more that are most likely to hate the federal government also tend to be same ones that receive more in federal spending for roads, bridges, medicaid, education and more than they pay in taxes. They seem to ignore the fact that if the federal government collected as little in taxes and provided as little spending as they do at the state level, poverty levels would be far worse than they already are.
I certainly agree that there is a lot of waste in government and much of it goes to the military and subsidies to huge businesses like the oil, agriculture and finance industries. We need a restructuring of the payroll tax system to shift the burden from lower income Americans up the wealth scale. But if we simply slash the way Tea party supporters want, they are actually the ones most likely to be hurt by it.
Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It
The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits.
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