News headlines in recent days have included a video released that shows Mitt Romney talking to a group of supporters at some private function. His words which have become controversal are the statements he made accusing
100% of us depend on the security government provides
100% of us drive on roads maintained by the government
100% of us may need to call 911 at anytime
100% of us, regardless of how hard we work, may fall ill or lose a job where we may require assistance to help pick us back up.
100% of us depend on or profit from technological innovations that was developed in full or in part by the government.
100% of us depend on society’s infrastructure
100% of us have either been educated in public schools or depend on others (such as employees) who have be educated in public schools.
100% of us may get stuck in a flood, fire, or earthquake. Is this the best time to search through the Yellow Pages looking for the best company to come help you? “Will you be using Visa or Mastercard to purchase this rescue?”
Now I know Mitt was thinking of and referring to programs such as food stamps, welfare and unemployment insurance. But his 47% figure includes those who receive Social Security and Medicare which all workers have paid for, regardless if they pay federal income tax or not. (More on this argument in my book Social Capitalism). However, these aren’t the only things we spend money on. In 2010 we spent about 720 billion dollars on the military which we all depend on. Another 400 billion was spent in 2010 on other government functions, infrastructure and R&D, not including entitlements.
I have never been on food stamps, collected welfare or unemployment. I’m lucky enough that I’ve never needed to. But I am still glad that these systems are in place if I were to ever have a spur of bad luck. So, while I’m not part of Mitt’s 47% who he believes is dependent on government, I am part of Social Capitalism’s 100% that is dependent on government for a long list of other services.
Can you recognize yourself as part of the 100% that is dependent on government?