Thursday, February 16, 2012

Entitlement Society

Republican candidates for the presidency claim we are becoming an "Entitlement Society." Mitt Romney wrote in a recent op-ed piece that in a few years “we will have created a society that contains a sizable contingent of long-term jobless, dependent on government benefits for survival.” Romney also wrote that, “Government dependency can only foster passivity and sloth.” Rick Santorum makes the similar claim that we are “systematically destroying the work ethic.”

So who are these passive sloths lacking in the work ethic that are collecting entitlement (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) benefits? Well, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 90% of benefits go to elderly, disabled, or those in working households. Real slackers alright.

Distribution of Entitlement Benefits

Once again Republicans are engaged in the creation of phony bogeymen as laid out in SOP for GOP and are employing the 'Straw Man' logical fallacy to mischaracterize and demonize recipients of entitlements. They conflate social insurance programs that recipients have paid into with welfare, apparently hoping their supporters' negative views of the latter will rub off onto entitlements.

Romney and Santorum talk about lazy jobless sloths when, in fact, nine-tenths of entitlement benefits go to recipients that are either in working households (18%), or are disabled (20%), or are elderly (53%) and have earned the benefits they receive. Republicans' false claims are pure pandering to low-information conservative voters.
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