A mega firestorm has ensued over Mitt Romney’s remarks regarding the character of our nation’s near majority.
I follow people, not politics, but it has been hard to avoid the impact of this secretly recorded dialogue.
Pauline Gaines wrote a fabulous pieceabout three people she encountered in one day who it could be said are some of the constituents Romney believes do not take personal responsibility for their lives.
Big Little Wolf over at Daily Plate of Crazytalks about the days she—a hardworking, newly-divorced mother—had to swallow her pride and step into the pool of people who found they needed a helping hand.
I would like to believe that Mitt’s comments were merely ill-planned and that he doesn’t really believe that a whopping 47% of our population is ineptand sits around with hands held out, expecting others to take care of them.
And in fact-checking the quote, I did discover that there was more to the statement than what I’d originally read, which were only excerpts from what he said.
“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.”
His intent was more about the campaign and where he can best direct his efforts, as he feels there is an audience whose votes he will not be able to acquire, no matter what.
His mistake—and a grave one at that—was in stereotyping all those who don’t pay income tax, lumping the lot of us into one categorical heap of indolence.
Unfortunately, the sad truth of the matter is that in parts of our country—especially those like California and New York, where welfare rates are some of the highest—Mitt’s 47 might not be too drastically off the mark.
In my own little corner of the earth, our school district identifies more than sixty-percent of its population as living at or below the poverty level.
Jaded as this may seem, I see many who breed solely for one purpose.
A welfare check and community handouts.
Free medical care.
And, their children often follow in their parents’ footsteps.
When a fifteen-year-old talks about getting braces to correct one crooked tooth, in an otherwise flawless mouth, saying, “It doesn’t matter to me how much it costs ‘cause I have a Benefit Card,” you know there’s a problem.
But, Mr. Romney, let me assure you that we are not all created equal, your 47, those who don’t pay income tax.
Not all who will vote for Obama have the mentality What can my county, my country do for me?
Not all who are outraged by your comment feel they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
Though many are grateful for a system that was designed to help members of our society who stumble upon catastrophic times.
Those who have been faced with thousands of dollars debt in hospital, funeral, and burial charges after the unexpected deaths of their children.
Those who encounter hundreds of thousands of dollars debt after being stricken with cancer or…or…you-name-it…
The millions who are faced with the absurdity that this country does not have affordablehealth care for its hardworking citizens.
Those hardworking members of society who are filing bankruptcy due to medical bills they cannot keep up with.
Those of us who are frustrated and rightfully enraged by those who do not work—will not work—and are provided with the absolute best medical, dental, and optical care that money can buy.
And that money is coming, in part, from the other caste of your 47 who don’t pay income taxes.
Those of us who work one, two or three jobs.
Those of us who use our hard-earned dollars to pay sales, property, school and numerous other taxes that help run our governments.
Those like my husband and me who save our tax returns to help cover staggering ten-thousand-dollars, out-of-pocket fees spent on trying to uncover the cause of our daughter’s headaches and migraines. The ones she’s suffered her entire life.
Those of us who volunteer in our schools and soup kitchens.
Those of us who ask the question What can I do for my neighbors, for my nation?
I might be going out on a limb, but maybe if our country had a health care system that worked, one that was affordable for its citizens, ObamaCare might not be so popular.
Personally, I don’t think that Big Government is the answer.
Government run schools, insurance, and you-name-it, aren’t issues our Presidents and officials should be focusing on.
My Canadian friends attest to the shambles of and dissatisfaction with their own country-run health care system.
So what is the answer?
There is a well-accepted theology that when people have an investment in something, they are more likely to be engaged and often have more pride in their involvement.
If health insurance were provided on a sliding scale, where everyone had to contribute something, then possibly there would be less abuse, which in turn would be less taxing on the structure as a whole.
Maybe if everyone had to make co-payments, which could also be income-based, we would see less misuse of our financial aid system.
An aid structure that was initially developed to lend a helping hand to those who have fallen on hard times, not one meant to provide an unlimited lifetime of services.
The constituents who comprise those two mentalities are as different as those who make up the political entities Left and Right.
But regardless of which side of the United States’ flag you sit, there is no denying that our great nation is suffering a crisis of proportions not seen in many generations.
And as Anthony Mirhaydair writes, that’s ultimately why Romney’s 47% matters so much.