Sunday, September 23, 2012


"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." -- Mitt Romney

The statistic is accurate. 47% of Americans pay no income tax, yet receive government assistance.

I have no problem with most of this quote. The last line could have been stated a little more eloquently.

Because the fact is that roughly 5% of Americans are on disability (ie. have been determined by a medical professional as unable to work).

So let's lower that number to 42%, 'kay?

Another 10% are elderly. So let's lower down to 32%.

Another 7% work, but bring home less than $20k. So let's lower some more down to 25%.

That seems more reasonable to me. Including from my own experience.

One-fourth of our population pays no income tax, but believes they are entitled to government benefits.

While his statement could have been stated a bit more... tastefully... the point behind the statement stands. A large portion of our citizens have grown to rely on the government for things they could provide themselves, but don't. They believe they are entitled to certain provisions, and honestly don't understand why they should pay for them, when the government will. I've heard them argue this point with my own ears.

I know people who work just long enough to qualify for their unemployment checks again, pretend to look for work each month so they can keep drawing them, get the checks till they run out, then work another month or so. Just long enough to get back on the taxpayer's payroll.

I know people who get ticked off when the government cuts off their benefits, because what are they supposed to do now?!? (hint: get a job).

I know people who get their hair & nails done, wear name brand clothing, smoke a pack a day, then complain that their government stipend doesn't cover their living expenses.

I know people who take their food stamps and do their grocery shopping at the local gas station, paying incredibly inflated prices for junk, because they don't want to walk another block to the grocery store.

I can tell you that after my car accident I was told by several doctors that I "more than qualified" to be on disability (government paid, taxpayer paid, disability) - yet I was always able to work, and in fact during that time often worked more than one job. So how many of that 5% do you think are, in fact, truly disabled? truly unable to work?

I can tell you that when I finally had to declare bankruptcy due to medical bills, and attended my government-mandated financial counseling, the counselor told me he was shocked at how frugally I had been living. After all, I had been "entitled" (his actual word) to things like cable, having my hair & nails done, eating out, entertainment, etc.


The fact is that our government does have programs that were originally intended to help those truly in need, but which over time have somehow evolved into providing aid not only to those in need, but to those with entitled mentalities. It's the truth. It is.

How you can have a system that tells able-bodied people they're entitled to disability, tells poverty-stricken people they are entitled to luxuries like cable, professional hair appointments, manicures, and the like, tells people that they are entitled to use their food stamps to buy food that is of little to no nutritional quality, that they are entitled to work the minimum amount required by law and never recognize the pattern of abusing they system... how these things can continue to happen over & over again, how these entitlements can continue to expand, how our taxpayer system can become more & more strained...

I just don't understand how this can continue to happen. How can we Americans continue to be okay with it? How can we call requests for reform unsympathetic?


Maybe you like these entitlements. Whether you're currently using them or not.

Maybe you think I've just had a lot of bad experiences, been surrounded by the rare exceptions. Maybe you're right.

But we all have to base our opinions based in part by our life experiences, and unfortunately my life experiences have been full of entitled laziness. Friends. Family. Neighbors. And I'm sick of it. I'm tired of trying to ignore my friends' complaints about how the system doesn't give them enough, while she tells me her latest scheme for abusing my tax dollars.

I'm tired of it.

If you're okay with living in a country that entitles people to be lazy & spoiled, then fine. But I'm just not.

I get what Mr. Romney was trying to say. Could he have said it better? Sure. But then again, I'm sure I could have written this post better in some way as well. I'm sure every one of you has at some point in your life said or done something that came out differently than you'd intended. It happens. And while I haven't yet decided who is getting my vote, I'm not going to count him out because of one minor miscommunication. Not when the overall point stands so well.


I acknowledge that this post rambled a bit, and got longer than I'd anticipated. If you got this far, thanks for hanging in there. And as always, thanks for checking in!


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

My post for today will simply be to post a link back to this one and ask people to read it.
You and I have had EXACTLY the same types of experiences. And we live in totally different areas of the country so this is not a regional issue.
The whole idea of being entitled to much of anything seems ludicrous. I keep finding myself saying the words: ...But this is America. We don't behave like this. And then I realize that sadly we are...

downsizers said...

Amen sister. We have to take a stand. This is the most important election ever. They will have a permanent majority soon and then it's over for America. These union people are just useful idiots. They are helping to collapse the economy so the government can take over. Do they think when the government owns everything there will be unions? I think not. Well said.

Robin said...

I think that you have made your points very well. This is a mindset. A philosophy that needs to change. If Romney/Ryan are elected and cut out these entitlement programs then something different will have to happen. People who are TRULY IN NEED will have to have their needs addressed at the local and state level. And that is where it should happen. Neighbors helping neighbors. It was how it used to be. It worked then. There was no sense of entitlement about it. In fact, it made someone want to change their situation, IF THEY COULD, and go to work. If they couldn't, then there was a sense of gratitude. Period. Oftentimes, people recognized a way for those folks to contribute in other ways. It generates a different society. A different mentality.

And why people don't want someone who was consistently successful in the private sector as President I will never understand. I voted for Ross Perot back in the day for that very reason. We needed someone who knew how to create jobs because we were losing jobs. Well, we are still LOSING JOBS. We need someone who can create jobs. Everywhere this guy has worked he has created jobs. Isn't that a great thing???? Last I looked, unemployment is up. Inflation is up. And Obama is looking (again) at the "last resort" of counterfeiting more money in order to create a false sense of security. What he is really doing is simply devaluing the dollar here, and in the global economy, and setting up the stock market to crash. If not a crash... making it very unstable, so that everyone who has money invested feels like they are on a bad roller coaster ride.

And don't get me started on foreign aid to countries who won't even claim us allies.

If my overall point got lost in the rant, I think you managed to stick to your topic and make your points well. Good for you:-)

Robin said...

For the record, I think you did a good job culling down what is and isn't an Entitlement program. For example, people who are retired and living on Social Security are not living on Entitlement programs. They are living on a program that they paid into their entire lives. It is a Retirement Program. Social Security Disability is a program set up for someone cannot work; it is not for someone who will not work. They also paid into it while they were working. They are paid on a percentage. It is all funds that they paid into the program while they were working. It is their Social Security Retirement money being drawn out early due to injury or illness.

Just wanted to say Thank You for making that distinction. I think that Romney would be faring with the voting populace if he had a better handle on those numbers.

areyoukiddingme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
areyoukiddingme said...

I have a few problems with the statement - first, I think your numbers might be off - it's more like the 23% that are making too little money to pay taxes and 7% that are living off their entitlements. (Based on this breakdown, , 23% are paying payroll taxes, but not paying income taxes, which indicates to me that they are employed in some manner). But I haven't been able to find a more clear breakdown.

Second, I have a problem with people who defend Romney's use of offshore accounts to avoid taxes by saying it's a legal and reasonable method of reducing his tax burden...while at the same time vilifying people who are using the Earned Income Credit or other perfectly legal deductions that might reduce their tax burden to zero. If those tax reductions are entitlements for the working poor, then we certainly have way more entitlements for the rich and businesses in our tax code than we do for the poor.

Third, I find it extremely disturbing that a politician will, in any forum, write off almost half the population - especially based on income. That just makes me fear that he is interested in creating an oligarchy instead of the Democratic Republic that we currently have.

Finally, I have had the opposite experience of people using government assistance - they have worked hard to get out of the system. However, as life gets more expensive, and our culture changes, it becomes more difficult. I know there are scammers in every system. I just do not understand why everyone assumes that the majority of people receiving aid are scammers. Unfortunately, I believe that there will never be any way to change the mind of anyone who sees people getting government aid and thinks they want to be in that situation. But, if you see abuses, you're free to report them.

Keep in mind, though, that the majority of our budget goes to the military. Unless we are going to make cuts there, any other program we make cuts to will have little effect on the overall debt issue.

Rae Rae J said...

Love. This. Post. Spot on, thumbs up.

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