The Real Reason Obama Got Elected

by Gerri Willis

Here’s an interesting plot twister; Republicans made the assumption, incorrectly as it turns out, that voters in states with high-unemployment would kick the bums out. That is, that they’d vote Obama out of office and try to find someone who could solve the jobs problem in this country.


Turns out, the opposite has happened. Voters in high-unemployment states actually like the president, and the reason is obvious; the Federal Government is paying the jobless, extending unemployment benefits, food stamps, and even underwriting disability payments from Social Security.


Think we’re different from the Europeans? Think again. The proportion of Greek men in their 30’s that are working is higher than the proportion of men who work in the United States. That’s what this election was all about. People voted for free stuff, free money, and free benefits. A chicken and health care in every pot.    


It’s not just the people who lost money in the recession who are hooked on government money. The total number of people getting government money are rising. In fact, most of what you suspect about entitlements may be wrong. If you think the proportion of people getting government benefits has been stable over time, think again. In 1983, less than 30% of us got help. Today, it’s 49%.


If you think Democrats alone are responsible for entitlement spending, you’d be mistaken. In the last half- century, entitlement spending has grown faster under Republican presidents than Democratic ones.


Think transfers are a small part of the Federal Government’s budget? Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Until 1960, government transfers were less than a third of the budget. Today, it’s two-thirds of federal spending. That leaves just one out of every three dollars for things like defense spending.   


So here’s where we are; nearly 200 years after Francis Scott Key penned the national anthem and immortalized the phrase, “Land of the Free.” We’ve become just that, but not in the way we quite expected.


We’re the land of the free because an increasing number of us are getting a free ride. That, my friends, is not the American way.