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Romney's 47% Victims More Like 96% Benefiting From Government

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Image uploaded from a quicklink When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said at a May fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans depend on the federal government for assistance, he was understating his case. It's closer to 100 percent.

Ninety-six percent of Americans have benefited from government help at some time, including from breaks in the tax code, according to Suzanne Mettler, a professor of government at Cornell University and John Sides, an associate political science professor at George Washington University.

The remaining 4 percent? Most are young adults who don't qualify for most government programs, they say.

"You might get to a point in midlife where you think, "I'm one of the earners, not one of the takers,'" Mettler said in an interview. "In fact, your life has long been affected by the social policies you were able to use early in life, such as a Pell grant."

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