Among the survey's most striking findings is that about 80 percent of conservatives agree that "poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything." Meanwhile, over half of conservatives believe that an individual's poverty is based on "lack of effort on his or her part," rather than circumstances beyond their control:
Pew's findings likely come as no surprise to those following the ongoing Capitol Hill debate over the merits of the social safety net.
The belief that such assistance breeds overreliance on government is a key component of Republican arguments against programs like food stamps, with lawmakers condemning what they call the "culture of permanent dependency" and holding up individuals like Fox News' "food stamp surfer" as examples of typical beneficiaries. Conservatives make similar arguments in favor of slashing unemployment benefits -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argued last year that extending unemployment insurance past 26 weeks would be a "disservice" to jobless workers.
source: huffingtonpost.com By Mollie Reilly