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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Receives 'the Disproportionate Share of Government Spending'?

David Brooks:

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.

But ask them if they deserve the benefits they receive, even those who pay no taxes. They'll say they do, especially the elderly who paid taxes their entire working lives. Many of them will not recognize that they are, in fact, among the 47 percent (or nearly so), or that if they pay taxes, they still receive more than they ever gave. It's those other people, the ones who voted for Obama, they're the problem.

The worry, based upon a misunderstanding of who the beneficiaries of government spending actually are, is that Obama supporters will use their voting power to divert their hard-earned taxes to other people -- the moochers -- denying them of what they deserve. This group won't find Romney's remarks frightening at all, at least not until they begin to feel a Romney presidency puts their benefits in danger. It's the (false) fear of not getting what they deserve that drives this group -- they paid their dues and want into the club with the benefits they were promised. Romney's problem, I think, or one of them anyway, is that many of them thought they were in Romney's secret club, that Romney would protect them from "the others" no matter what he might actually say on the campaign trail. In doing so -- by Romney denying the moochers -- they'd be protected. But they are starting to realize that they may not be in the club -- the one with $50,000 plates -- after all.

    Posted by on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 04:34 PM in Economics, Politics, Social Insurance | Permalink  Comments (28)

          


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