I've long suspected that many of the people that rail the most against "big government" are often those that are most dependent upon that same government for benefits. This past weekend there was an excellent piece in the NY Times that highlights the regions of the country most dependent on the government for benefits. A Cornell study also highlights the confusion that many people have when it comes to government benefits.
It's worth clicking through to see where the highest ratio of federal dependents live and then visualize that map relative to the current breakdown of red vs. blue in the US.
You can see the full map and the detailed breakdown of each government program here.
"Finally, Cornell University’s Suzanne Mettler points out that many beneficiaries of government programs seem confused about their own place in the system. She tells us that 44 percent of Social Security recipients, 43 percent of those receiving unemployment benefits, and 40 percent of those on Medicare say that they “have not used a government program.”
"The truth, of course, is that the vast bulk of entitlement spending goes to the elderly, the disabled, and working families, so any significant cuts would have to fall largely on people who believe that they don’t use any government program."