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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.

Brash Brazen September 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Walmart pays most of it's employees sub-standard wages without benefits & more of their working poor employees qualify for government assistance (food stamps,health care,financial aid) than any other employer in America ! By forcing the taxpayers to pick up the tab,they're able to offer the lowest prices while running their competitors who pay their employees a living wage out of business ! This has encouraged other companies to emulate them,lowering the standard of living for all Americans as they subsidize America's richest family ! Not only are they the biggest contributors to the 47% by forcing responsibility for their employees welfare on the government,they're also the biggest moochers of all time ! Ironically underpaid workers can't afford to shop anywhere else so they perpetuate this travesty on a daily basis,further enriching those stealing from the taxpayers ! Vote the Democratic ticket & don't subsidize Walmart's low prices with your hard earned money or the taxes you pay anymore !
Dan Mattingly September 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Thanks Brash. I would like to add: I just read many the Wal-Mart clan are in the top 10 billionaires in the country. As more of their family marry and have kids there will be al lot more Walton billionaires. The earned income credit is a big reason why the working poor and lower middle class pay no Federal taxes. Romney calls it a loophole as he does mortgage interest and a host of other deductions. Why are we even talking about abandoning the American system of fairness in taxation? A 13% tax on 200 million is chump change for a millionaire. A 13% tax on a family making it on $35K would be devastating. As President Clinton said: Republicans aren't very good at arithmetic.
M.Legison September 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Minimum wage should be abolished, and the job market should be a bid market. Those that produce and add value would come out much better as they become a desirable commodity. Those that don't will earn so little they will either pull out of their rut and learn or change occupations, or get a government job where your production doesn't usually matter.
Brash Brazen September 21, 2012 at 11:35 PM
How about making it easier for workers to unionize to insure their adequately compensated for their labor with a living wage,health care benefits & the ability to retire one day with a roof over their heads instead. Corporate union busting tactics have lowered the standard of living for all Americans,while compensation for Fortune 500 CEO's has risen from 44 times that of the average worker to 320 times in the last twenty years ! And you want to abolish the minimum wage ? You're stupidity is only exceeded by your pompous & condescending attitude toward those with whom you so vehementally disagree. Thank goodness Californians will never elect a candidate that represents your repugnant viewpoint,obviously most of us are brighter (and probably better looking) than you. Fortunately as the demographics continue to shift nationwide (did you know that caucasian children only make up 27% of California schoolchildren) the odious combination of the Plutocrats & Theocrats known as the GOP Party will continue to shrink until it implodes. Remember in 2010 California voters preferred Jerry Brown,Marijuana & Meg Whitman in that order & by 2020 Texas will be a Blue State. But your immediate problem is that Dan Lungren is no longer a competitive candidate in the newly drawn district meaning one less right-wing zealot in Congress next year & Romney will drag down the party. Until the GOP convention I thought Romney's name was MUTE because that's what it said on the TV everytime I'd seen him !
Robert Oliver September 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM
You are of course entitled to vote for a liar and a racist if you choose and count yourself as part of Barrack and Michelle's 100%. Keep your eyes closed and your mouth open while you argue against change, you argue for continued lack of american ideals. It would be easy to take anything out of context but I choose to look at the Man, not the political party. He started by accepting a Nobel Peace price for getting elected, then bullied his stimulus package which had more special interest paybacks in it then I can even believe and then bullied the supreme court. Your right he's quite a role model. between Obama and the Clinton housing bubble we will be screwed for at least another decade.. You can try all you might to put down Romney, Truth is anyone with common sense will have to vote for him since Obama already PROVED he has no integrity and will lie and cheat to make deals in the interest of his party rather than what's best for the people and what's honerable as the President.
M.Legison September 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
No company wants to pay more than they have to for human resources. No company wants to pay $10,000,000 for a CEO, but if other companies value his or her skillset at that level, given the perceived added value she brings to the table, then the market is set. The minimum wage caps a market as well as provides a floor. It's a very low floor and really only appropriate for teens. Raising the minimum wage simply means less employment for the lower band of workers. Eliminating it brings pure competition into the market, the same method used in management. Your skills and work habits dictate your value. Unions set an artificial market, and artificial markets never hold when the same job is bid for less. It's a temporary aberration in the labor pricing, but always normalizes , just like in any resource, human or otherwise. Good workers in any field make more money without unions because they provide more value. Poor workers either learn to be good workers, or give up and accept welfare or get work that no one else will take.
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Methinks you'd probably like to go back to the day when there were no child labor laws, no work hour laws, no mandatory lunches and breaks, and where employers didn't have to provide benefits to keep their employees secure. Methinks you'd be perfectly comfortable with living back in the late 19th century or early 20th. As for that last sentence ... you know what most people do with a broken record? They throw it out.
M.Legison September 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM
No, Mark, of course not and nothing like that was mentioned or implied. There are some strong arguments for abolishing minimim wage that would benefit most workers. They typically come from the Ron Paul or libertarian camps. There are some arguments against it as well, I understand. No one is suggesting setting a stage for The Grapes of Wrath, but simply bidding work like every other position above minimum wage is bid in the private sector.
Greg Coppes September 22, 2012 at 04:35 AM
This kinda tells it all lol.. http://mail.aol.com/37001-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/get-attachment.aspx?uid=29619960&folder=NewMail&partId=7
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 05:03 AM
But M. why stop at the minimum wage? Everything else represents conditions of the employer-employee arrangement that could be negotiated and bid on just like a worker's wages. If the free market can determine wages and things will be fine why can't it also determine everything else as well. By the way, I saw a great comment today ... you realize, of course, that business owners and investors actually aren't job creators. The only job creators there are in this country are consumers, without whom, you have no need for goods or services and, therefore, no jobs. Sadly, the wealthy, conservatives, and the Republican Party have lost sight of the need to ensure there is a consumer class that is strong enough and secure enough to purchase the goods and services the wealthy are so dependent on to fulfill their self-anointed role as "job creators".
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 05:07 AM
I'm curious, M., do you have any idea what level of bureaucracy the Mormon church has ... how many "cube-dwelling drones" they have in their bureaucracy. Or many of their employees were re-directed for political purposes ... for instance in the fight against Prop. 8. How much of the Mormon church's revenue goes to admin and bureaucracy rather than actually helping people? If you don't have that information, your comments, well, they're just another part of the broken record.
Summer Hemphill September 22, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Wait until November when the GOP goes down in flames & their clueless supporters really start foaming at the mouth,we may have to put some of them down ! The problem is that the President Obama they see is a figment of the right-wings imagination,promoted by Rush Limbaugh & FOX News,but nobody but them sees him that way ! That's why he'll win re-election handily & the Democrats will hold on to their majority in the Senate & depending on how badly Romney fares may take back the House as well !
M.Legison September 22, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Awkward economic summation, but if you're attempting to suggest that consumer demand is the impetus for small business development which in turn creates jobs, then I really could only respond with....duh? Who would not realize that, and why would the Republicans not want to embellish and grow our party mainstay--the middle class? This is precisely the essence of the Republican campaign, not green jobs or more regulation or punitive taxation or income redistribution, but clearing the path from those obstructions, largely created by not just the Democrats but specificially Obama's Democrats so that consumers will again spend. Spending will not reoccur until consumers feel secure in their jobs, their home, and their future. You see, it's a continuum, not a linear model. Demand stimulates job creation, but demand must first emanate from a sense of confidence and security which often comes from job security, which comes from enough demand which comes from......maybe now you get the picture?
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 02:15 PM
And your proposal for ensuring consumers feel secure in their jobs, their home and their future is to destroy the social safety net, to do nothing about the affordability of education or health care, and for employers, who used to provide for some of that long-term security, to not do so anymore even though their profits, as well as the incomes of the wealthy, are through the roof. Trust me, M., I get the picture. You think the cycle is fed by the magnanimity of the wealthy, corporations, and other employers no matter the evidence to the contrary. You believe that free markets will take care of everything no matter the evidence to the contrary. Why is that? Because you already have yours, you have your security. The vast majority don't, primarily because of policies you support. I don't know what exactly it is that you do for a living, but I'd love to know if you employ people and what kind of salaries and benefits you provide as an employer. I'm pretty sure that the last thirty years have demonstrated that when we rely on trickle down economics, that's all the middle and lower classes get ... is trickled on.
M.Legison September 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Typical response from one who spits on small businesses and risk takers while worshiping an inefficient and oppressive government. I don't think there's a fix or learning mechanism for you folks, but luckily for the rest of us, you still are a small minority.
Reginald Bronner September 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Let's try to keep it simple and focused. According to the news articles about the meeting in Boca Raton Mitt Romney dismissed nearly one half of the American people. He will now discover that without some of that population he cannot get elected. This was an incredibly stupid move. For the rest of it remember Jon Donne's mantra that (roughly) "no man is an island but a part of the main". We are individuals who contribute to and receive from our society at whatever level. That is commemorated in our national motto "e pluribus unun", out of many, one. Stupidity in a senior politician is just senior stupidity.
Ginger September 22, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Obama called those in small towns and the Midwest racists "clinging to their guns and religion." He called non-Democrats the enemy and had to apologize for that. Where's the outrage about that? But I understand...you know what he *really* meant, and so forgive him his inelegant phraseology. Until we can have real conversations about issues rather than "HA! Gotcha!" comments we are doomed.
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM
M. ... feel free to cite one single thing that I have said that constitutes spitting on small business owners and risk takers. One single thing. That shouldn't be too hard to do given the conclusions you reach about me. I'm waiting. Drumming my fingers on the table. Waiting. You won't find it and why is that? Because I have a huge amount of respect for people who take chances and start businesses with their dreams of big things. I have never, ever spit on small business owners or risk takers -- either literally or figuratively. This is your problem ... there is no learning mechanism in place for you to comprehend that everybody doesn't fit into the neat little boxes you have created to make your world make sense. You believe what you believe and anybody who doesn't, or who challenges your belief system, is stupid, ignorant, etc. As well, I don't worship oppressive government -- I want less government, just like you. I work in the belly of the beast and see the problems every day. I believe there is evidence of my desire for less government here on Patch. Problem is when convenient, when you can no longer respond with dignity because it's beyond your grasp, you pull crap like this. Once again ... I have a suggestion. You need a vacation.
M.Legison September 22, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Here is why his comment doesn't matter and why the tracking polls are even. 35% of the population are essentially freeloaders and of course they will vote for Obama. The remaining 12-15% are largely seniors, and no one hates freeloaders more than seniors. The comment, although technically inaccurate, is resonating well.
M.Legison September 22, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Anyone reading your last statement and a culmination of those over the past year could only draw the same conclusion. This week I have pointed out two distinct and clear quotes you have denied, and you continue to do so. There is no point is wasting my time or the readers' time any longer with challenges. As stated, it goes back to a void of personal honesty and integrity.
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Which two quotes did I deny? The only one I recall is about $200,000-250,000. With respect to that one, sadly for you, I never quoted Romney, which was your allegation -- that I misquoted him. Hard to misquote somebody when you're not actually quoting him. As for a second quote that I denied, I'm mystified. Enlighten me. Regarding the "culmination" ... in other words you've got nothing specific you can point to. As far as you're concerned, because I call myself a liberal, because I will proudly vote for Obama, because I don't back down from challenging your point of view, I must hate small business, I must favor more regulation, I must believe in ever bigger government. Sadly for you, none of those things are true and, again, you have nothing more than "a culmination" and your belief that anybody who is a proud liberal must be for all of those horrible things you find so disgusting. Again, provide me with something specific that shows I spit on small business or risk takers. The problem with wasting time is that there's no point wasting time trying to get you to pull your head of the box it's in and actually have a legitimate conversation because you are fundamentally incapable of getting past the labels you have for people. You're losing the argument so you just take a unsubstantiated swipte. Go back to that thread where we actually talked substance without name-calling -- tell me that dialogue justifies the labels you can't resist placing on me.
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Just found the other "quote." Maybe you need to go back to English class and learn what quoting somebody means.
Mark Paxson September 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I'll help you ... In Romney's view apparently, the electorate can be divided into three categories: Those who already support him, those who already support Obama (the 47%), and those he defines as the 5-10% who are independent and I guess he views as undecided. Leaving aside all of the gross inaccuracies in defining the electorate that simply, I can tell you this. I'm not in the portion that supports him. I'm not in the 5-10% who are independent and/or undecided. Therefore, using inference and logic, the conclusion is that he believes the only possibility is that, as a strong Obama supporter, I must be in the 47%. Did I quote him as saying that? Absolutely not. I deduced it from his words and reached a logical conclusion. Are there other logical conclusions that could be drawn? Maybe. But, I'm not going to admit to something you think I did, when I didn't do it. That I believe is integrity.
Bil Paul September 24, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Must be election season. Rip Van Winkle here. I just woke up after a three-year sleep and all I see are election posters nailed to all the trees, a guy excitedly yelling at the top of his lungs from the nearest stump, and a dude with a big fat wallet buying votes.
Joe Knows September 24, 2012 at 02:06 PM
What Romney really meant - 47% of Americans are either ignorant or over-educated idiots and they will be voting for Obama in November.
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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