Yesterday, liberal magazine Mother Jones released a video of Mitt Romney talking about the nearly 50% of Americans who are dependent on the federal government for at least some of their income. Romney also talked about the 47% of Americans who pay no non-payroll income taxes. His conclusion in the video – which Mother Jones took secretly at a fundraiser several months ago – was that he was never going to win the votes of those people, since his message is about low taxes and decreasing government dependence.

As is typical when a non-liberal talks about the truth of dependency on government, the media has become apoplectic. Never mind that, as Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin noted this morning, “this election poses a choice for voters: do you want a country dependent on government programs and handouts, or do you want a country with an economy that produces good jobs and returns America to a higher standard of living?”

This is indeed the major question of this election. Consider the following facts:

  • In 2010, the average household received $19,316 in federal government handouts, and according to The Heritage Foundation, in 2010 the average person dependent on government received $32,748 in financial and non-financial assistance.
  • Per person assistance since 1962 has gone from $7,314 to $32,748 in 2010, according to Heritage.
  • 47% of working Americans don’t pay non-payroll income taxes, meaning they are largely – if not entirely – getting a free ride from wealthy Americans on things like the military, federal education, and border control
  • According to the Tax Foundation in an October 2011 report,  “The top 5 percent earned 31.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.” Which means that when it comes to discussions of who is paying their “fair share,” upper earners are definitely not skimping even as they receive fewer benefits from their tax dollars as compared to lower-income earners.

The simple fact is that not-so-free government handouts were supposed to prevent the collapse of the economy. That failed. Then they were supposed to help us out of economic recession. That failed. Yet social programs continue to grow in cost and size – data calculated by Just Facts President Jim Agresti, show that 61% of federal spending was to social programs in 2010, and this has grown from approximately 22% of federal spending in 1959. As the cost of government health care continues to rise, especially as the President’s health care act begins to take full effect, this dependence on social programs will only grow.

As the nation approaches November, it has a stark choice: House, Senate, and other candidates who want to reform the tax code and unleash entrepreneurism through a smaller scope for the federal government, or candidates who want more confiscation of personal earnings and greater federal control of our lives. We at the Tea Party Patriots stand on the principles of constitutionally-limited government, free markets, and balanced budget; do you stand with us?