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.
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.
That number is from a study of 2010 census data by Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He did a computer search of people receiving unemployment insurance, Supplemental Security Income (for the aged and disabled), workman’s compensation, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and food stamps. Including veterans in the list added about 1 percent.