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Mitt Romney video fact check: Is 47 percent of US 'dependent' on government?

In a secret video of a May fundraiser, Mitt Romney says 47 percent of Americans 'are dependent upon government.' One analysis suggests he might have gotten his numbers crossed.

Monitor correspondent Liz Marlantes documents recent gaffes by politicians on the campaign trail.
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Do almost half of Americans get some form of government entitlement?

That is one of the questions that has been raised after Mother Jones magazine on Tuesday released a video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser May 17.

“There are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” Mr. Romney says in the video. 

Is that true?

The short answer is, probably not.

According to one analysis, only the very broadest definition of Americans "who are dependent upon government" yields a number approaching 47 percent.

If Romney is including anyone who receives Social Security and Medicare – both considered an earned entitlement since Americans pay for them – the percentage of Americans receiving money from the government hits 37 percent.


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