Proud to Be Part of the 47%

A defense of the 47% attacked by Mitt Romney

As we all know now, Mitt Romney thinks that 47% of the population will be voting for President Obama because they are dependent on the Government, because they believe they are entitled to more and more benefits provided by the Government.  Because they are moochers.  As stated by him, that 47% is also apparently the same 47% that doesn’t pay income taxes. 

 Here are Mitt Romney’s own words: 

 “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

 In other words, Mitt Romney and his defenders on the right believe that the only people voting for President Obama are those who pay no income taxes, who are dependent on government, who believe they are victims, and believe they are entitled to handouts from the government.  For the record, the 47% of the population that doesn’t pay income taxes includes:

1)      Employed individuals who pay payroll taxes, but because of their income level (low) and various deductions and credits have no net income tax obligation.  (The number of these individuals represents approximately 55% of the 47%.)

2)      Senior citizens and the disabled.  Most senior citizens earned their benefits through decades of work and payment into Social Security and Medicare.  (The number of these individuals represent a little more than a fifth of the 47%.)

3)      The working poor – people who earn less than $20,000 per year.  (The number of these individuals represents about 15% of the 47%.)

So, those 47% of the people who don’t pay income taxes?  More than 90% represent people who work but as a result of deductions and credits have no net income tax, are too old or disabled to work but receive benefits they earned, or are the working poor with incomes below the taxable rate.  These are the people Mitt Romney believes are the sole support for President Obama.  These are the people, the entire group of them, every single one of them, he believes are dependent on government, believe they are victims, and believe they are entitled to handouts.  These are people, again the entire group of them, who do not believe in personal responsibility.

I’d like to introduce Mitt Romney to a couple of individuals who are in the 47% and explain why I am proud to be a part of the much larger group offended by his comments and why that larger group will be voting for his opponent in November.

My father served for more than 20 years in the military, retiring in the early 70’s.  With benefits earned via his service and provided by the G.I. Bill he attended public universities, eventually earning a Master’s Degree.  He then spent the next fifteen years or so working for the State in a mid-level position, earning a small additional retirement benefit as a result.  My mother was a stay at home mom.  They raised four kids, sending them to public universities at a time when the cost was affordable for middle class families.  Because we were so close in age, there was a moment when all four of us were in college at the same time.  My parents were able to pay for our undergraduate education without borrowing a dime.

My parents now live in the same middle class way they always have, based on pensions and retirement benefits they earned through their service and hard work.  My parents will be proud to cast their votes for President Obama this November, just as they did four years ago.  Not because they are moochers but because they earned every thing they have now and believe that others should have the same opportunities they have had.  My father, by the way, was a registered Republican for decades.

I am a product of my parents.  I have never taken a penny in unemployment, having worked since November of my Freshman year of college.  I have never received a government benefit  other than my salary, which I earn through the work I do for the people of the State of California.  I have paid income taxes every year for thirty years now.  One wonders if Mitt Romney can say the same thing.  I was able to go to a public university at a time when the cost was ridiculously affordable and then went to a private law school, the loans for which I am still paying.  I believe one of the greatest gifts we can provide to each generation is an affordable and quality public education because it is through education that we grow and build the economy of the future.  I don’t believe in an inexpensive public education because it is an entitlement.  I believe in it because of the value it provides to all of us.

Yes, I am a government employee, which to some of you means I’m just another lazy, useless individual.  But, let me tell you what my state agency is responsible for.  We issue the bonds that finance the infrastructure needs of our state. The roads, schools, prisons, water projects, and other critical facilities that make a modern economy possible.  We finance waste projects, charter schools, nonprofit hospitals, nonprofit colleges and universities, provide grants to children’s hospitals, and assist alternative energy projects, and each year we provide loan guarantees for hundreds of small businesses who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access financing to grow their businesses.  Without the functions my agency performs, the infrastructure needed to make our economy work, to help small businesses grow, to educate our workforce, and to meet the needs of our growing and diversifying population and economy, would not exist because they are functions that private industry would not perform at the cost that government can.

I believe not that health care is an entitlement that government must pay for and provide to every individual, but instead that every individual has the personal responsibility to bear the costs of their health care expenses and the best way to ensure that happens is through the program popularly known as Obamacare. 

I believe the middle class in America was built over the last 65 years by such things as the G.I. Bill, cheap but quality public education, a social safety net that afforded people the opportunity to take chances and provide for their families knowing that there would be a helping hand if they needed it.  In other words, government programs that afforded the middle class the opportunity to blossom and grow and could not be provided by private enterprise.  As well, for several decades after World War II, corporations and large employers compensated and provided benefits to their employees that also allowed them to envision a secure future. 

I believe the middle class in America is slowly withering away because of rising health care costs, rising education costs, rising uncertainty brought about by failed pension plans and employers who now focus more on the bottom line than providing compensation and benefits that provide for their employees, and the gradual destruction of the social safety net and the nation’s infrastructure as conservative policies bleed our nation of the programs and values that built the middle class.  I believe that the eventual destruction of the middle class, if it is allowed to continue, will result in the destruction of this country as corporations and small businesses no longer have the vast consumer power of a comfortable and growing middle class to buy their goods and services.

I also believe that the policies of the current Republican Party are built on a foundation of selfishness and ignorance.  I believe they are based on the concept of survival of the fittest.  If you can get it, you get it and keep it and have no responsibility to lend a hand to your brother or sister.  I believe that the Republican Party’s policies would, in fact, lead to the continuing decline of the middle class and America.

Those are the things I believe and I am damn proud to be a part of Romney’s 47%, which is actually much larger than that.  I will be proud to vote for a President who believes in serving all of America rather than a candidate who is running to serve a fraction of America.   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark Paxson September 24, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Over-educated? You mean like Mitt Romney with his J.D. and MBA from Harvard? Or Paul Ryan with his double degree in politics and economics?
Bwood September 24, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Joe, I just love it when you tell us what Romney really meant…. and you would know, how?
Joe Knows September 24, 2012 at 03:09 PM
No Mark, I am referring to people that have obtained more knowledge than their intellect can handle. Over-educated idiots use a lot of words to say nothing.
TheRealBigCouchPotato September 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I'm curious about your statement, "We now have learned that the video has been edited or incomplete, so we don't know the true content..." I hadn't heard the tape had been edited, except to enhance Romney's voice. As far as the tape being incomplete, from what I heard, the person who taped the luncheon missed about two minutes of Romney's comments due to the tape running out before he/she noticed it. I listened to the entire first of two tapes on Mother Jones and part of the second tape on Mother Jones. Everything seemed pretty accurate.
TheRealBigCouchPotato September 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I want to know how many of the 47% are part of the 99% and how many of the 47% are part of the 1% I'll bet no one can answer that question.


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