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The battles in Washington over whether to fund government programs such as unemployment benefits and healthcare --are a perennial tug of war between Republicans and Democrats.
In arguments against expanding the social safety net, the argument often goes that the country is better off with a small and limited government.
Benjamin Radcliff, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, tells Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti that countries which provide ample government benefits have happier citizens.
This segment aired on January 2, 2014.