As states weigh measures to reduce usage of Medicaid and food stamps, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more than 6 in 10 Americans say too many are dependent on the government. Americans also continue to believe welfare programs hurt more than they help.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds 61% of American adults think there are too many Americans dependent on the government, up from 55% in March 2017. The topline includes 63% of whites, 46% of blacks and 63% of other minorities.
That number has run in the mid- to high 60s over the previous four years. On Wednesday, another survey found 64% of Americans support childless, able-bodied adults being required to work as a condition for receiving Medicaid. That included a significant 58% of black Americans, whom Democrats claim to defend and represent.
Meanwhile, just 9% think there are not enough Americans dependent on the government, 18% think the level of dependency is about right and 12% are unsure. Forty-five percent (45%) say current government programs increase the level of poverty in America.
Only 19% feel these programs decrease poverty, while 20% say they have no impact and 16% are undecided.
Belief that these programs actually increase poverty has run as high as 52% in surveys since 2012, but confidence in their effectiveness has changed little.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 14-15, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.