No, I do not think that Americans realize how many government programs they utilize. American citizens look down on those who truly need and utilize government assistance without realizing that they themselves are also being assisted by the United States government in different ways. Financial Aid for college is government assistance but is not looked down upon.
The bigger issue is the public at large. Conservatives worked so hard to repeal Obamacare over the past few years because once the taxpayer-provided subsidies started to flow, millions would embrace the entitlement and repeal would be very tough.The country has crossed the entitlement tipping point. The only hope is to try to transition some of these programs, primarily Social Security but also Medicare, into personal retirement accounts. They would, over time, be better funded, actually belong to the worker or retiree, and, perhaps most importantly, they would take millions of Americans off the government benefits roll.
It always amazes me that people who claim to be the most against Obama because he "gives people a free ride" are stating their opinions from their own free ride train. Republican policies are the ones holding people down, and the people criticizing Obama live in some the poorest states in the country.
I think unless they work for the government, no American realizes how the government works or how much they are dependent on it. The government isn't just Obama, he's just the face of it. The government is a behemoth made out of office workers, with no say in the rules, spread across this nation.