The PJ Tatler

Romney Locks up the 64%?

Reports that Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded, and possibly deceptively edited, “47 percent” remarks will wreck his presidential campaign have been greatly exaggerated. A big majority agrees with him, according to the latest Rasmussen poll.

Americans strongly believe that there is too much government dependency in the country today. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of Adults think there are too many Americans dependent on the government for financial aid. Just 10% think not enough Americans are dependent on the government, while 16% say the level of dependency is about right.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

There are probably a couple of fundamental truths behind this finding. One, Americans are by nature not in favor of dependence on government. Even after nearly a century of the left building a massive welfare state and selling it as “compassion,” the basic American instinct is still to be skeptical of government and averse to depending on it except for the basics, such as national security. The government’s glaring failure over the course of decades to maintain security — most obviously in its refusal to secure the border — reinforces the point that depending on government is a loser’s game. Government spending far more than it takes in, year after year, reinforces the belief that our elected officials tend to be in politics for themselves, not for the good of the country.

Two, a majority of the Americans who are dependent on government probably don’t want to be. I’m not talking about military retirees and the like who get a pension earned through service, or about people who abuse the system to collect disability payments and the like, but about people who want to work but cannot find work. In a vibrant economy, these people would never think of going on any kind of government assistance. Obama’s economy is forcing their hand. They see their current status as a temporary bad thing, not a permanent state of life.

Mitt Romney’s comment is an opportunity to hammer away at the failing leviathan state and make the false god stagger. He should take it.