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Paul Ryan’s Numbers: 30 Percent
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Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Vice Presidential running mate Paul Ryan share the same view of Americans. The two men believe that there are plenty of Americans who rely on the government and do not have any motivation to improve. Romney thinks that the number is 47 percent of the country. Ryan thinks it is 30 percent of the country.

“Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state,” Ryan said. “Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers.”

It was difficult to tell if Ryan said, “the welfare state” or “their welfare state.”


The comments issued by Ryan came during his keynote speech at The American Spectator’s 2011 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner. The speech occurred in November, which was months before Romney’s comments were secretly videotaped.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said during a fundraiser back in May. “All right — there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Romney described his remarks about the 47 percent as ‘inelegant’ but he still has yet to condemn the remarks. There is a difference between Romney and Ryan though as Ryan feels that half those who get more from the government than what they pay into it would rather be in a different situation.

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“Today, 70 percent of Americans get more benefits from the federal government in dollar value than they pay back in taxes,” Ryan said. “So you could argue that we’re already past that [moral] tipping point. The good news is survey after survey, poll after poll, still shows that we are a center-right 70-30 country. Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state. What that tells us is at least half of those people who are currently in that category are there not of their wish or their will.”

“My job is not to worry about those people,” Romney said during the fundraising event. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

A spokesperson for Ryan, Brendan Buck, said that the video of Ryan’s remarks were, “Only 30 percent want the welfare state.” Buck then said in an email to the Huffington Post, “Paul Ryan’s message at this open forum — just as it is every day on the campaign trail –- was one of upward mobility and opportunity for all Americans. The discussion was about the size of government and nothing more.”


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