Ted Nugent, Romney's 47 Percent, Makers And Takers, Gilman Paradox, And Why Obama Won Despite Moochers

Ted Nugent Is Wrong, Romney’s 47 Percent, Makers And Takers, Gilman Paradox, And Welfare Moochers

Commentary | Ted Nugent and Rush supporting the 47 percent comment have made it popular to attach blame to the welfare-receiving poor as the primary reason for why Obama won re-election. More recently, it has been suggested that, by looking at a state-level aggregation of the data, Republican-leaning states are taking more than they are making.

I will look at these claims individually, but first let me get one thing out of the way: Ted Nugent is wrong. Rush Limbaugh is wrong. When considering the data for why Romney lost, the one fact that jumps out at me is that Republicans simply were not voting. According to Rasmussen Reports, 37.6 percent of the US population considered themselves Republican while 33.3 percent were Democrat. Yet six percent Democrats more than Republicans voted. So, quite frankly, the only people Republicans have to blame are themselves.

The theme of Republican-leaning states being moochers apparently began with Paul Krugman at the New York Times. First, I have to say that, based upon personal experience, the true party-hardy moocher does not care enough to vote. But that party lifestyle does not characterize all welfare recipients. Not exactly hard data, so we will look at what some have termed the “Gelman paradox,” which finds its roots in Andrew Gelman’s book Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do.

Gelman shows that, while rich states lean Democratic, rich people generally vote Republican. The further paradox is that while poor states lean Republican, poor people generally vote Democratic. Gelman found this trend goes to even the county level. If you aggregate the data at the state level, this leads to charts that purportedly “prove” that Republicans are the poor voting against what would benefit them. I’ll point you to Kim’s article for that chart.

The next data point is to consider the individual voter, which the 2004 to 2007 Maxwell Poll has already done for us. We see that 60 to 80 percent of welfare recipients are Democrats, while full time workers are evenly divided between parties. Republicans were less than 25 percent of welfare recipients when it comes to government subsidized housing (12 percent), Medicaid (16 percent), food stamps (20 percent), unemployment compensation (21 percent), welfare (22 percent), and disability benefits (25 percent).