The Honesty of Romney
I'll say this much for Mitt Romney, the following quote is the most honest thing he has said since he started running for President.
“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."
I hope Mr. Romney will take into account that two thirds of that 47 percent do pay payroll taxes which mean they are employed but just do not make enough to pay federal taxes and includes military personnel abroad, most of whom consider themselves hardworking taxpayers who are not dependent on the government nor believe they are “victims.”
As a 53 percenter, I do believe the government does have responsibilities. For example, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect police to provide a certain amount of safety on our streets even though many of us don't carry weapons. Nor do I find it unreasonable that they and firefighters should be appropriately compensated for risking their lives.
And most of us find it reasonable to depend on the government to protect us from a hostile foreign invasion,which does not include the people who harvest our crops and wash the dirty dishes at our favorite restaurants. Nor do many of us believe it is necessary to invade other countries in order to be safe.
I am among those who believe everyone has a right to an education even if they can't afford private schools. We don't think it is asking too much to help those who are bright and ambitious to further their education at a college or University. If we really want to be the best, we'll need to be the brightest and most innovative.
As a taxpayer, I don't believe that I am “entitled” to free health care, but I do believe that “affordable” health care is a right and not a commodity that only the wealthy can afford. Excuse me, I mean the “Job Creators.”
If only the world were as black and white as Mr. Romney and his followers suggest. From what they say, one would think that almost half the country lives for free and doesn't work because the government supports and practically supplies them with drugs and alcohol.
Unfortunately, most of the people who need help are children, the elderly, and the sick, including many veterans, not to mention the unemployed who were formally hard workers before the Great Recession.
Yes, there will always be slackers who leech off the system. Are they any worse, have they cost us any more, than greedy Wall Street money managers who crashed the economy in order to enrich themselves?
Rather than dismiss almost half the country as lazy victims, maybe we should re-evaluate how our tax dollars are spent. Does the military really need a trillion dollars? Do oil companies earning billions of dollars in profit need billions more in subsidies and tax breaks? Are the jobs they create the ones that clean up their toxic spills?
I just hope that whoever is the next President will still worry about almost half the voters who didn't vote for him, not to mention the rest who did not vote at all.
And I hope that all those elected will honor one pledge – not the one to Grover Norquist to never raise taxes, but the one to our Country that ends “with liberty and justice for all.”
Jim Black is a community blogger and is not a part of the Walworth County Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of Walworth County Today staff or management.