Most Americans Want More Government Help in Their Lives—Just a Small Percentage Want Less

OECD Green New Deal AOC
[Stock image] A majority of Americans want more government help to make them financially secure, according to an OECD report. The news comes amid a political clash over the Green New Deal stimulus package. iStock

A majority of Americans want more government help to keep them financially secure, according to data highlighted in a new report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD.) Just a small percentage want less government support in their lives.

The OECD's Society at a Glance 2019 report states that 57 percent of Americans want the government to do more to safeguard their economic and security. Just 23 percent said the government is currently providing enough assistance and only 9 percent wanted less.

Those figures are based on the OECD's 2018 survey data. Almost half of Americans, 48 percent, also reported they are struggling to meet daily expenses despite working, listing it as a top-three concern in their lives. And 71 percent list financial security in old age as a top concern.

The report comes amid a political clash over the "Green New Deal."

The Green New Deal is a stimulus package designed to tackle climate change and financial insecurity through massive government investment in technology and infrastructure, guaranteeing jobs with decent pay for all Americans, and regulating fossil fuels out of use.

Democratic proponents of the Green New Deal, spearheaded by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, argue this is a do-or-die proposal to save the planet and lift millions of ordinary Americans out of financial hardship.

Time to take action on the environment, they say, is fast running out. The Green New Deal has a timescale of 10 years, in line with United Nations warnings on when it is too late to reverse the worst effects of climate change.

But conservative opponents of the Green New Deal dismiss it as an expensive government power-grab that would limit the freedoms of Americans and do more harm than good to the economy.

Before a Senate vote on the Green New Deal, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who brought the motion hoping to force Democrats to go on record in support of or opposition to the deal, which thinks is unpopular among voters, released a statement decrying the package.

"I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on this radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy," McConnell said in his statement on Monday.

"[E]very American taxpayer will get to learn if their senators support saddling our nation with the astronomical cost of this socialist fantasy—tens and tens of trillions of dollars, a tax burden that would be certain to hurt not just wealthy Americans but the middle class as well."

But at the direction of the party leadership, Senate Democrats voted "present" to derail the motion, which failed to hit the 60 votes it needed to proceed, and avoid the political trap McConnell laid. Democrats are calling for a meaningful Senate debate on climate change.

In February, Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's eldest daughter and a White House adviser, criticized the Green New Deal by claiming Americans do not like handouts.

"I don't think most Americans in their heart want to be given something," Trump said during a Fox News interview with Steve Hilton.

"I've spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get. So I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want."

Ocasio-Cortez, who tabled a resolution in the House on the Green New Deal, which is yet to be voted on, hit back at Trump for her comments.

"As a person who actually worked for tips & hourly wages in my life, instead of having to learn about it 2nd-hand, I can tell you that most people want to be paid enough to live," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "A living wage isn't a gift, it's a right.

"Workers are often paid far less than the value they create."