America Has Become an Entitlement Society

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 03:53 PM

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When Mother Jones leaked a video of Mitt Romney at a May 2012 fundraiser explaining that he won’t be able to reach some voters “who are dependent on government” and “who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it,” they threw gasoline onto the liberal media machine that has been working diligently to characterize Romney as a cold-hearted profiteer.

Seizing the opportunity, the Obama campaign converted the Romney tape into a political ad, reinforcing the Republican candidate’s negative image in the press.

Delivery aside, Romney’s basic point was right — America has become an entitlement society, and those on the receiving end of government support will vote for Obama.

During a Florida 2008 campaign rally, an Obama campaign supporter declared, “I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car. ‘I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help him, he’s going to help me.’”

More recently, a woman in the Cleveland, Ohio area was excited to support Obama because she credited the president for giving out cell phones to individuals on government programs.

Responding to a question about her phone, she said, “Yes! Everybody in Cleveland, low [income] minorities, got Obama phone. Keep Obama in president, you know? He gave us a phone!” Not surprisingly, she had a negative opinion of Mitt Romney, saying, “Romney, he sucks! Bad!”

With unemployment currently at 7.8 percent and above 8 percent for over 40 consecutive months during President Obama’s term and a record number of Americans seeking government assistance, Obama supporters know the government safety net has been transformed into a guaranteed lifestyle of dependency.

In my book, "Blacklash," I describe how President Obama, progressive politicians and advocacy groups are creating an entitlement society.

The president’s failed economic and energy policies are driving more Americans to government dependency. His policies cost taxpayers more money, they do not improve the lives of those most in need, and worst of all, they effectively entrench the poor to endure a stagnant and substandard lifestyle.

Times were tough before President Obama arrived in the Oval Office. But his failed stimulus plan has widespread negative consequences on the day-to-day lives of the poor.

Even more troubling are Obama’s efforts to expand the welfare state. Reliance on food stamps in America increased significantly under President Obama when, in April 2009, he suspended a separate rule under the 1996 welfare reform law that put a time limit on eligibility for food stamps that encouraged able-bodied adults with no dependents to work.

Based on a Congressional Research Service report, adults receiving food stamps doubled from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010.

Today, there are more than 46 million Americans receiving food stamps. To put this is in perspective, California, the most populous state, has a population of over 37 million.

Government dependency in America is the highest it’s been in history. The Heritage Foundation reports that 70 percent of federal spending is for entitlement programs “to pay for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance, with recipients ranging from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries.”

Unfortunately, progressive politicians promote failed big government programs in order to maintain power and control, regardless of the consequences.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., recently expressed to reporters that there are two “stimulative” things that can be done by the government — one is to provide food stamps and provide unemployment insurance.

Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, while sharing the stage with Jesse Jackson during his weekly Rainbow Push Coalition program that President Obama should embrace the “food stamp president” title and both agreed this title was a “badge of honor.”

Even more outrageous were the radio advertisements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture targeting the working poor, the unemployed, Hispanics, and suggesting that the elderly hold “food stamp parties” to entice other elderly individuals to participate. It’s estimated that the USDA spent $2.5 million to $3 million on this radio campaign.

Then there is Obama’s failed energy policy. Our hard-earned tax dollars were wasted on Obama’s renewal energy “science projects.” His regulatory war on coal is driving Americans to the unemployment line and towards the government plantation.

Before his presidency, Obama wanted electricity prices to “skyrocket” and to bankrupt utilities that used coal. Due to harsh EPA regulations, Obama is delivering on his campaign promises and thousands of hardworking Americans are losing their jobs in the coal mining industry as a result.

Alpha Natural Resources recently announced the closure of eight mines, resulting in 1,200 job losses.

Romney made great strides in challenging President Obama’s failed policies during the first presidential debate by calling for tax reform to stimulate the economy, openly supporting the coal industry and embarrassing the president for spending $90 million on ineffective green energy programs.

That’s a great start. But going forward, Romney can’t shy away from challenging Obama’s responsibility for expanding the welfare state and making the entitlement lifestyle go mainstream.

To win, Romney must remind the electorate of the proper role of government, where individuals are responsible for their own wants and needs, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

Deneen Borelli is the author of “Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation,” and is Director of Outreach with FreedomWorks, a grassroots organization that educates, trains and mobilizes volunteer activists to fight for limited government. Read more reports from Deneen Borelli — Click Here Now.

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