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Paul Ryan in 2011 Clip: '70% of Americans Want the American Dream' & '30% Want the Welfare State

"Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers."

Just when the furor over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about the so-called 47-percent is simmering, vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan's speech at a 2011 dinner is raising some liberal eyebrows.

During his remarks last November at The American Spectator's 2011 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner, Ryan said that 30 percent of Americans want a welfare state. The congressman also warned that the U.S. could be on its way to becoming a nation of "takers, not makers."

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

It is this first point that Ryan said would pose as a moral tipping point for America. The politician admitted that the nation is already at a fiscal tipping point, but if government continues to run amok, the entitlement issue could become a massive ethical conundrum.

While The Huffington Post notes that it's difficult to tell if Ryan said "the welfare state" or "their welfare state" in the aforementioned statement, the comment was stated in regards to government programs. Of course, the spin here is that Ryan is speaking out negatively about the poor and those who are dependent upon government assistance.

"Both [Romney and Ryan] believe that many of their fellow citizens are dependent on government and have no motivation to improve their lives -- but they disagree over the precise number," HuffPo writes.

However, the outlet goes on to distinguish Ryan's speech from Romney's, writing:

One difference between the two, at least, is that Ryan said he believes that half the people who get more from the government than they pay in would prefer not to be in that situation.

"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 the 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."

He said that many of those individuals in need (those who get more benefits from the federal government than they pay back) are looking to better themselves and to aim for a more fruitful future. Ryan also explained that many of these individuals are "down on their luck, out of their job, back at school" and that they "want their kids to be better off."

Watch these portions of Ryan's speech, below:

Here's the entire address:

(H/T: Huffington Post)

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