September 19, 2012

Dear Mitt Romney

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 10:07 pm by chavisory

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 is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” —Mitt Romney

I am actually not one of the people whose character you insulted the other night at your private donor event, in footage now made public by Mother Jones Magazine.  You see–and this may come as a shock to you, as it does occasionally to people when they learn how much money I actually make, or who think that freeloading is easier to do than it actually is–I pay federal income taxes.

I mean, sure, I can barely afford my rent, my health insurance, the steadily rising cost of public transit, and the $300 in unexpected repairs that my computer needs, and may be applying for food stamps this month because even though I worked steadily all summer, the work was chronically underpaid and I’ve run through my savings…but I still pay federal income taxes.  I say this not for your pity or anyone else’s; this is just how it is.  I pay federal income taxes, and I’m very, very happy to do so.  I have a fondness for the trappings of civilization, I think the social safety net is a good and moral idea, and I’m glad to be a contributor to those things.

But let’s take a look at some of the people who you did call entitled victims with no interest in taking responsibility for their own lives.  Because I don’t think they are who you want us to believe they are.

People who find themselves exempt from paying any federal income tax may include, but are not limited to:  People who receive tax credits for dependent children, or for being the sole head of a household; people who buy their first home, or an environmentally friendly vehicle; who suffer an initial loss in the course of starting a new business, or who make improvements in energy efficiency to their home or business.  People with more than one income source who can deduct half of the self-employment tax they pay on freelance work, or charitable contributions, or the costs of private health insurance or health care if they don’t get insurance from their employer.  They include students who still manage (or need) to work part-time during high school or college.  They include people who survive primarily on disability or Social Security, or are financially supported by their families, but who volunteer or do other informal work in their communities.

They include people who work full-time, and yet still do not make enough money, particularly if they also have children, to be legally liable for federal income taxes under our current tax code.

Do these sound like people with no interest in taking care or responsibility for their own lives to you?

But no, I have a feeling that images like these, of people who are benefited by the tax code because they do economically or socially advantageous things, are not what you meant to evoke to your donors.  People who in fact are doing the opposite of not taking any care or responsibility for their lives.

You meant to evoke a bogeyman image of a lazy bum who purposefully refuses gainful employment and would rather sit around collecting government benefits, mooching off the hard work of the rest of us just because they can, and who will vote for anyone just to protect that status.

And those people do exist–I’m sure they do, because wherever there is any system of benefits or safeguards, there are people who will figure out how to take unfair advantage of it, among the rich as well as the poor.  But that is really, really, really difficult to do these days, in our current system of welfare benefits, if you are a non-disabled adult with no dependent children and no work history.  (Hell, it’s difficult to get benefits if you are legitimately disabled, generally requiring more than one appeal no matter the validity of your claim.)

This leaves about two possibilities that I can think of.  Either that, one, you don’t know very much about how our tax laws work and how responsible, working people can benefit from them to the extent of winding up owing no federal income taxes, and you don’t know the difference between people who reap tax advantages by working and people who choose not to work, and you don’t know the difference between people who work full-time (or more) and still don’t make enough money to pay taxes on and people who think that the world owes them everything.

Or, two, that you do know these things, but you thought that you could win some advantage or approval with a few rich and powerful donors by smearing these people, and so you did.

You either know nothing about the lives and economic situations of nearly half of our citizens, or you see them only as pawns for your own advancement, whose character, work ethic, and well-being mean nothing.

Either one leaves you unfit to be President.

I, on the other hand, believe that if we don’t hang together in times like this, we will surely hang separately, so non-freeloader that I am, it doesn’t help you to tell me that nearly half of my fellow citizens are economically or morally disposable moochers.

I believe, unlike you, that the vast majority of our citizens and not only a little over half of us, both desire and are capable of doing something worthwhile with our lives and making this country a better place, and that valid ways of doing that are not confined to occupations that wind up making you an arbitrary amount of taxable income.

And this is the reason that I will vote for Obama and not for you.  Not because I’m a freeloading entitled victim who pays no taxes and just thinks the government should provide for me.  But because I don’t like how you treat people.

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13 Comments »

  1. Hannah said,

    I’m not super-familiar with US politics but that guy sounds like a (insert word I’m not sure if you mind being used in your space).
    Some of those things he listed as “entitlements” are human rights…monkey..

    • chavisory said,

      While I generally try to stay away from name-calling, this blog is totally okay with profanity. 😉

      Yeah, the US has some messed up politics and unfortunate stances on what human rights are.

  2. gotsheila said,

    Yep I don’t like how he treats people either. God help us if he gets elected!

    • chavisory said,

      I don’t think he will at this point…but I don’t want to be smug, either….

  3. Grumpa Joe said,

    Joseph: Here is one point where you and I disagree. I feel your analysis is well meaning, but you have arrived at a totally bad decision, i.e. to vote for Obama. Romney governed one of the most liberal states in the union and was able to turn a deficit into a surplus. He gave the people a health care system without raising taxes. They have since learned that the system is too expensive. He was able to manage and lead within the framework of the Massachusetts Constitution. He brought reform to their educational system. He was able to bring both sides to successful outcomes. Yes, there are Republicans in Massachusetts.
    Your analysis of the many reasons people need the safety net are astute. Because you are so compassionate a person, you missed Romney’s point. Those very people who depend on the safety net, even those who do not like it, will vote to save it. Those people are most likely to vote for Obama just as you have decided to do. Read Romney’s book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, and you will learn of the man’s compassion. He is not as Conservative as I would like him to be. I am a strict Conservative, but I also understand that a compassionate conservative will be a better choice for America than a progressive bent on destroying America by making 350 million people rely on the safety net.

    • chavisory said,

      Well, I don’t find Romney a compassionate conservative. If he were, he would not be talking about people who need help behind their backs with contempt this way. That’s not something that a compassionate person does. Just isn’t.

      Also–yes, I know he governed a liberal state, and not badly either, and that there are Republicans in Massachusetts, thanks–he knew what he had to say and what he had to support in order to win the support of Massachusetts voters. Fine. Now that there’s a totally different set of things that he knows he needs to say in order to win the national Republican base, he says that. I find him unprincipled. I don’t think he truly believes in anything.

      I ethically can’t vote for Romney.

      I wish there were a third-party candidate who had a far more plausible chance of winning, because I’d vote for that person…I have problems with Obama’s presidency as well. But there’s not. And given how bad I believe Romney winning would be, I can’t throw away my vote on someone who will only take votes from Obama but can’t win. I wish it were different. It isn’t.

      If compassionate conservatism were something that I’d ever actually seen in action, I’d probably vote for it. But I haven’t.

      And I don’t understand how anyone is “making” anyone rely on the safety net. Because actually, huge percentages of people who are eligible for help go without it in most states.

      • Grumpa Joe said,

        Joseph: I agree 100% with your last statement. There are many people who are forced into taking government help by their life circumstances. Many of them hate it. What I abhor is the government advertising programs and encouraging people to sign up for them.
        Here is another item to think about. You are way too young to be concerned about Social Security and Medicare, but I am not. How principled is the man who passes a health care law that guts medicare by three quarters making it hopelessly ineffective at a time when record breaking numbers of baby boomers are signing up for the program, and then runs around the country preaching that his opponent will take Medicare away from seniors? How principled is a man who in the same health care law effects a huge premium increase in the Medicare Advantage program on October 15, 2012, but then proposes an 8 billion dollar program to improve Medicare Advantage to delay the premium increase until after the election?
        We can agree to argue indefinitely on this election, but I can only agree to disagree with you.

  4. Aww, that’s lovely, Chavisory.

    You know who don’t pay income tax either? BABIES. I hope Romney intends to address the freeloading baby menace. They have NO interest in taking responsibility for their lives, either – I’ve seen them!

    • chavisory said,

      No, they really don’t!

      Baby menace!

      (It’s a bad election cycle when my ability to tell whether something a candidate is reported as having said is real or from the Onion is *this* bad.)

    • Grumpa Joe said,

      elodieunderglass: Babies don’t pay income taxes they pay for their parents and their grandparents mistakes by having to live in conditions which subject them to the government debt incurred by us.

      • I’m sorry, I’m slightly confused by this response. I was being facetious about the babies for purposes of humor?

        But FINE, if you don’t want to tax those weak little American BABIES, I don’t blame you! They’ll have to pay for a disproportionately large amount of uninsured dying elderly people, and they have NOT yet proven that they can lift their heads unassisted, the lazy fools! How can they be expected to carry this burden when they haven’t yet worked out the complex physics of Peekaboo?

        I advise emigrating, if you live in America. This is a highly unbalanced situation, and far too much of America’s fate is clutched in the slightly damp hands of creatures with no bowel control!

        THE BABY REVOLUTION IS COMING, AND IT WILL BE ADORABLE

      • Grumpa Joe said,

        I agree, and hopefully they will grow to have the genius to survive in spite of “we the people.”

  5. chavisory said,

    Grumpa Joe, I’m not sure how young you think I am, but it’s not too young to be concerned about Social Security and Medicare.

    But nobody has gutted Medicare by three quarters. There are aspects of the health care law that I think are wrong, but this did not happen.

    And I don’t abhor the fact that the government lets people know what programs are available to them. WIC (the Women Infants and Children food subsidy), in particular. I think they should advertise the heck out of that. Nobody has to sign up for the help who doesn’t want it.


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