Poll: 74% think Americans rely too much on the government

The United States government has grown dramatically in just the past decade alone. It seems the federal and state governments have attempted to intervene themselves into everyday issues and become the crusaders of justice for all Americans. This is why Americans are starting to think their fellow citizens rely too much on Uncle Sam and the taxpayers’ pocketbook.

Fox News published a new poll Wednesday that showed nearly three-quarters (74 percent) think Americans depend too much on the government and don’t take enough personal responsibility or rely on themselves. It isn’t just libertarians thinking this, but all sides of the aisle: 87 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents and 58 percent of Democrats.

Upon further analysis, it seems Americans are blaming the government for the dependence. More than half (53 percent) of respondents said it’s the government’s fault for the growing number of Americans on food stamps because it’s too easy – in fact, Americans are less likely (40 percent) to blame the government for the Great Recession.

A majority of respondents said many food stamps recipients are taking advantage of the system, while a little more than one-third (36 percent) actually believe users are in dire need of assistance. Furthermore, half say they think people could get back to leading a productive life if they relied on friends and family than the government, while the same number said they’d prefer to financially assist a friend or relative who lost their job than for them to become a recipient of welfare.

Voters are split when it comes to helping family. Most Democrats say it’s better for families to depend on the government for help, but a strong majority of Republicans and Independents argue it’s better for families to depend on each other – a near majority of Democrats also say they’d rather have a family member use food stamps than ask them for money.

In its reportage of the poll, Fox News profiled a California surfer who depends on the government.

“It’s not that I don’t want a job, I don’t want a boss. I don’t want someone telling me what to do.  I’m gonna live my own life,” Jason Greenslate told the national news organization. “This is the way I want to live. And I don’t really see anything changing. I got the card. It’s $200. That’s it.”

Would you prefer to help your friend or family member or have someone else do it?

The telephone poll was conducted with 1,007 registered voters. It contains a margin of error of +/- three percentage points.

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