Will Voters Bite?
If the wisdom contained in the old adage "a dog won't bite the hand that feeds it" is true, does it also follow that a voter, dependent on the government, will not vote against an incumbent big-government president?
The Heritage Foundation's recently released "2012 Index of Dependence on Government" reveals that one in five Americans receives some type of government assistance, a record-breaking 67.3 million people. And none of the figures include those who indirectly benefit from government programs (such as tax breaks, contracts, grants, guarantees, subsidies, favored industry incentives, etc.).
In addition, 49.5% of the population (151.7 million) paid no income tax in 2009, and according to Heritage, "most of that same population receives generous federal benefits."
According to 2010 census reports, the federal government employed over 3 million people, and state and local governments employed an additional 20 million.
Add to those figures the compounding impact of those with family members who rely directly or indirectly on the government, work for the government, belong to unions, or pay no income tax.
Keep those statistics in mind while recalling that Obama won the 2008 election with 69.5 million popular votes.
Have we reached the tipping point of no return?
Conservative pundits assure us that the bad economy will hurt Obama's reelection prospects -- and that "winning arguments" are those that explain and expose the realities of his failed economic policies. All while these same commentators marvel that instead of implementing programs that actually might turn our economy around, Obama seems only to dig in his heels and do just the reverse.
The reality is, the worse the economy gets, the more likely government-dependent voters are to lick that hand, as they fearfully eye the dwindling scraps left for their neighbors who work in the private sector and must remit taxes, pay their own mortgages and medical insurance premiums, and fund their children's college education -- neighbors who also lack the security of employment contracts or government-funded pensions.
American Thinker's Rick Moran noted that the dependency index went up 23 percentage points during Obama's first two years in office. According to Moran:
Instead of calling Obama "The Food Stamp President," it might be more accurate to call him "The Dependency President." An increase in food stamps is a given during an economic downturn. But the housing subsidies and Medicaid changes that are making middle class people more dependent on government is what we should be worried about.
Some have argued that Obama intentionally promotes class warfare with his "fairness" rhetoric and income redistribution schemes. But is this warfare based on wealth, or rather the kind rooted in the idea of government dependency versus independence? Such a struggle, especially one infested with a growing entitlement mentality and rampant cronyism, crosses all income levels. The battle Obama stokes is not one between the haves and have-nots -- it is one that separates those who believe in and rely on big-government control from those who value liberty and freedom more than they do the opportunity to line their own pockets.
Although polls show a decline in Obama's popularity, most polling data focuses on trends among party lines. More revealing would be a survey that documented voting patterns among those who pay taxes and those who don't, as well as between those who work in the private versus the public sector and further, those who receive direct or indirect employment, benefits, or subsidies through the government. But really, who needs fancy polls to show what our common sense already tells us?
Liberals don't mind spending us into an oblivion that ends in an economic shutdown in 2027. They're simply buying votes for the next four-year term.
At the time of our nation's founding, only property owners were given the right to vote. Less than 100 years later, that requirement was eliminated. While we can recognize the need for that change, at the time, taxes were minimal, and government-funded social programs were unheard of. Today, tax law has grown into a 10,000-page "body of social policy" that authorizes the hand of government to grab a large percentage of the income and wealth of half of the country and redistribute it into chosen pockets.
Voting requires no skin in the game. Or proper identification at the polls or the ability to speak English. Apparently even dead people may vote. And while ACORN was at least a little more transparent in its schemes to entice voters, even imaginary ones -- big government, with all of its policies and programs, continually trains voters to keep the big dogs in power.
Do Republicans really believe that a "smaller government" message, no matter how economically sound, will persuade those in the majority who rely on big government -- people like Sharon Jasper -- to vote a GOP ticket? As pundits argue that GOP candidates should stay away from discussion of social issues, they fail to admit that most of those social issues are being subsidized by the government and are the root cause of our economic woes. According to the same series of charts published by Heritage, 70% of federal spending goes to such programs -- the programs that make up the Dependency Index.
How many voters did the 1,000-plus-page stimulus package buy? How many voters do the promises of ObamaCare and other spending programs lure? I would wager far more voters than the number who understand the disastrous impact of such measures on the economy.
Obama knows exactly what he's doing. He and his Democrat trainers are passing out treats, with leashes attached. And the majority of Americans have learned to heel.