Six in seven households have received some sort of government benefit, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. Here are some highlights from the report, plus some extra bits of context. These graphs focus on government spending, as opposed to tax benefits -- such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the lower rate on investment income -- which can also be considered forms of "government assistance," since a dollar not taxed can perform a similar role to a dollar spent.
1. The big picture is bigger than 'the 47%.' Fully 55% of all Americans -- including a majority of those self-identifying as Democrats, Republicans, liberals, moderates, and conservatives -- have received benefits from one of these six federal programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare (TANF), unemployment benefits, and food stamps (SNAP).
2. ... Actually, it's more than the 70%. If you broaden to households rather than individuals: "71% of adults are part of a household that has benefited" from at least one of those six programs.
3. In fact, it's the 86%. After you add veteran benefits and college assistance, 70% of individuals -- and 86% of households -- receive a government benefit of some kind. Put differently, one in seven households doesn't receive assistance from the federal government.
4. The demographic breakdown. Federal assistance is more likely to go to women than men (61% vs. 49%); to blacks than whites or Hispanics (64% vs. 56% vs. 50%); and to rural residents than urban or suburban (62% vs. 54% vs. 53%).
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