More Than 47% of Americans "Depend" on Government, Mr. Romney

Raise your hand if you went to a public college or university, work for government, borrow books from a public library, ride on government-run buses, subways, or light-rail, use or work for the post office, took a vacation in a national park... and on.
09/19/2012 08:13 am ET Updated Nov 19, 2012
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes comments on the killing of U.S. embassy offici
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes comments on the killing of U.S. embassy officials in Benghazi, Libya, while speaking in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Speaking to a group of like-minded conservatives, Mitt Romney disses the 47% of Americans who, he claims, "are dependent upon government, who believe that 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."

Raise your hand if you:

  • went to a public college or university

  • work for government (i.e., cops, teachers, firefighters, military, social workers, librarians, school janitors, judges, court reporters, bus drivers, etc),
  • borrow books from a public library,
  • work for or own stock in a defense contractor,
  • get your electricity or water from a government-owned utility,
  • went to, or send your kids to, public school,
  • ride on government-run buses, subways or light-rail,
  • use or work for the post office,
  • went to college on the GI Bill, Pell Grant, state financial aid program,
  • are retired and get Social Security payments,
  • ever used food stamps,
  • lived in public housing or had a Section 8 voucher,
  • used a wheelchair ramp mandated by the Americans for Disability Act,
  • get your health care from the Veterans Administration hospital,
  • go boating or fishing in a government-run lake,
  • have a job whose workplace is safer because of OSHA rules
  • work for a company or nonprofit organization that has a contract with the local, county, state or federal government
  • have a family member who depends on a government-subsidized home health care aide,
  • pay for your medicine and medical care with Medicaid,
  • got a tax subsidy for your mortgage interest and/or property taxes,
  • recycle your garbage through your city's sanitation department,
  • took a vacation in a national or state park,
  • own a family- or corporate-owned farm that is irrigated by a government-owned dam,
  • played baseball or soccer or used the see-saw or swings in a public park or playground,
  • got your polio and other vaccination shots at your public school,
  • traveled with a government-issued passport,
  • used an elevator inspected for safety by the local building department,
  • eat food inspected for safety by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
  • went to a restaurant inspected by the local Health Department,
  • were helped by a police officer, park ranger or firefighter,
  • have a savings account in a bank regulated by the Federal Deposit insurance Corporation
  • flew on an airplane inspected by the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Peter Dreier teaches politics at Occidental College and is author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, published in July by Nation Books