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Reminder: 44 Percent of Tea Partiers Are on Medicare

How will the Tea Party respond now that its favorite welfare programs are under the guillotine?

Medicare cuts are "on the radar" in the second phase of Congress' new debt deal. The agreement reached this week already includes the possibility of a two percent cut to Medicare reimbursements, but the "super-committee" that will convene to come up with $1.5 trillion in more cuts will probably be looking at least partially toward medical spending. This is in addition to the cuts that are set to befall Medicare reimbursement starting in a couple months. Many op-ed columnists are calling these attacks on entitlement spending a victory for Tea Partiers, whose beef with big government has shaped politics for several years now. What those columns fail to consider, however, is how many Tea Partiers rely on the very programs they've forced to the chopping block.

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Americans Have No Idea How Much Welfare They're Getting

Maybe American protesters denouncing government welfare programs wouldn't be so conservative if they actually knew how much welfare they got.


The rise of the anti-big government Tea Party movement in America has also seen a rise in the number of citizens publicly decrying both taxes and the social welfare programs for which those taxes provide. A recent study shows, however, that many Americans actually have no idea that they're on the dole, calling into question the validity of their attacks on government handouts.

The graphic above uses information from Suzanne Mettler's newest piece in Perspectives on Politics, and the data is simple: Those numbers are the percentages of people who benefit from the specified government program while also saying in a government survey that they "have not used a government social program." Besides these numbers, more than 25 percent of people on food stamps think they don't take government assistance, and nearly 30 percent of people getting Social Security disability benefits.

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Conservative Darling Ayn Rand Died Loving Government Handouts

A new book reveals that Ayn Rand, the late conservative author and opponent of the welfare state, actually relied quite heavily on welfare programs.


Of the welfare state, the conservative philosopher and author Ayn Rand once wrote, "Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull." As it turns out, however, toward the end of her life, Rand ended up relying quite heavily on its help.

According to the new book An Oral History of Ayn Rand, faced with lung cancer after a life spent smoking, and without the wealth needed to combat that cancer, Rand adopted an assumed name to seek government funds for her treatment.

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