We Are the 96 Percent

When Mitt Romney told the guests at a fund-raiser in Florida in May that America is divided between people who pay no income taxes and depend on government and pretty much everyone else, he missed the deeper truth. … The reality he glossed over is that nearly all Americans have used government social policies at some point in their lives. …

Where Americans actually differ is in how they think about government’s role in their lives. A major driving factor here is ideology: conservatives were less likely than liberals to respond affirmatively when asked if they had ever used a “government social program,” even when both subsequently acknowledged using the same number of specific policies. [cont.]

Suzanne Mettler, Cornell, and John Sides, George Washington U. (NYT)