Normally I try to avoid politics in this blog, its just too divisive whereas I am all about finding common ground. But today I have to say something about Mitt Romney's speech that was reported Monday night in the media, because this is attacking me where I live and work.
What Mr Romney was heard saying is in part, as follows: "There are 47% who will vote for the president no matter what. All right there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing,to you name it. That it is an entitlement. And the government should give it to them...These are the people who pay no income tax, Its not my job to worry about these people. I will never convince them to take personal responsibility for their lives."
Now I have to admit that I wouldn't be voting Republican this year anyway. The only Republican I ever voted for was George H W Bush in 1988, a good and honorable man who couldn't get the Republican nomination today (and neither could any other Republican president back to Eisenhower, but that's another story). This year a variety of civil rights and social justice issues guarantees that I will be voting democrat.But coming off a bruising 2011 when public sector union members were blamed for virtually every ill of modern society, hearing that the 47% of Americans who do not pay income taxes are essentially freeloaders was too personal an insult to let pass.
First of all most of us have money withheld from our paychecks and given to the federal government, we just get it back as tax return. The goverment still profits though, in the form if a tax free loan all year from us, before we get that money back. The tax credits that allow us to get most of our taxes back are mainly a product of the last Republican administration. Most of us use that money to stimulate the economy in a number of areas
.Also although we may get most of our federal taxes back, Mitt cant say the same about our local and state income taxes, our social security and medicare taxes, our property and our sales taxes. We are hardly free loading here. What is most offensive though is the assumptions in place. All poor people must support Mr Obama. All rich people must be attracted to Mr Romney. The president's chiefest support must come from the states that benefit most from these tax policies. People will chose their president on the basis of who will leave them paying fewer taxes.
To those assumptions let me point out that 9 of the 10 states that pay the least income tax are Red states. Most blue states pay more in taxes than they receive back in services. One of the largest groups of people who pay little or no federal taxes are soldiers. Another is college students. Another is the working poor, that's why they call it the EARNED income credit.We haven't done anything wrong. We are just a little slower climbing the ladder. Sometimes folks higher up break a few rungs, just to make it harder to get to that higher level.And yes people are entitled to some level of food and housing and healthcare. The result if it doen't exist will eventually be anarchy. The greatest country in the world can not be a country of haves and have nots and still be the greatest country in the world. Our Constitution says that one of the purposes of a government is to promote the general welfare.
I think Hubert Humphrey said it best: "The moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. "
We are the 47%.