September 27, 2012

YEAH, BUT I EARNED IT, YOU DIDN'T:

We Are the 96 Percent (SUZANNE METTLER and JOHN SIDES, 9/24/12, NY Times)

We have unique data from a 2008 national survey by the Cornell Survey Research Institute that asked Americans whether they had ever taken advantage of any of 21 social policies provided by the federal government, from student loans to Medicare. These policies do not include government activity that benefits everyone -- national defense, the interstate highway system, food safety regulations -- but only tangible benefits that accrue to specific households.

The survey asked about people's policy usage throughout their lives, not just at a moment in time, and it included questions about social policies embedded in the tax code, which are usually overlooked.

What the data reveal is striking: nearly all Americans -- 96 percent -- have relied on the federal government to assist them. Young adults, who are not yet eligible for many policies, account for most of the remaining 4 percent.

Posted by at September 27, 2012 5:11 AM
  

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