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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Who are these terrible 47% of Americans?

(This post refers to the linked AP article below)  I agree with Wayne's post (Peter and Paul) for the most part.  I would add, though not as an argument for or against the opinions in Wayne's post, but merely as additional food for thought, that Romney was talking about 3 separate and distinct groups: likely Obama voters, people who get federal benefits and people who pay no INCOME taxes.

The linked article breaks the 3 groups down, and while it is often true that liars figure and figures lie, these stats appear to tell the story that supports what I see in my world. Others may see it differently in theirs.  The dishonesty that I saw in Romney's comments is not that he brought up the problem of too many people depending on government assistance. I think most agree that there are too many now requiring assistance due to economic hardships that exist in many areas of the country, and that hard decisions will need to be made to overhaul our entitlement programs into something that we as a country can realistically afford.  But what he said was that 47% of Americans are ALL dependent on govt assistance of some kind, prefer it that way and want to stay on govt. assistance and therefore will vote for Obama in the belief that a Democrat is most likely to continue the programs upon which they are dependent.  While this is a favored argument and belief among conservative comments posted on the inter-web (none on Yellowarmadillos I hasten to add), they are mistaken.  Nonetheless, that belief is a rallying cry for many. The result is a hardened attitude toward ALL beneficiaries of government assistance and a strong suspicion  that all are lazy, shiftless, parasites with no desire to work or put out any effort whatsoever other than a walk to the mailbox to get their guvmnt checks.  The statistics simply do not bear out this belief.  By far most Americans that depend on the government (and I'm not including people that work for the government...that is a different discussion) are either receiving social security and medicare/medicaid, or some type of temporary assistance until they can get back on their feet.  The insult that Romney, by his words, has spat in their faces is hard to gloss over, though many smart people are working at doing just that as I write. 

I have family that depends on SS and Medi-care, same for my wife's family, same for many in my friends' families, people that live in my neighborhood, people that go to our Church and other places where we intersect with our fellow Americans, and most of  them by far will vote for Romney.  Of course this is Texas where people are about as likely to vote for a Democrat today as they were likely to vote for a Republican 50 years ago.  So my view may be skewed.  But, while these Americans are in the 47% who receive government assistance, they are not in the 47% who will vote for Obama. 

The 47% that will vote for Obama DOES include me and many others who neither need nor take any assistance from the government, and while I may need government assistance some day, in the form of SS and medicare it is my intention to continue working and living on my own assets until I die, even though I admit the liklihood of me being able to keep good enough health to continue working for a living AND live as long as I want to are not that good, but better than they used to be.  My purpose in bringing this up is to simply point out that many who are in Obama's corner are not there because of a desire for government assistance.  So while I am in the Obama 47% I am not in the government assistance 47%.  Also, I assure you I am not in the 47% who pay no income tax.  Those checks are hard to write but I understand the necessity. So I am only in one of the 47% groups.

Apparently Romney believes that the 47% who pay no income tax have actually planned to not make enough income to be subject to an income tax bracket higher than 0%.  That is simply not good tax planning, even though in Romney's world minimizing tax liability any legal way you can is obviously acceptable.  Apparently that attitude does  not reach all the way to not making enough income to be subject to income tax.  That plan apparently lets one off the hook in some way that is not palatable.  And by far most in that situation would agree that living on that little income is most assuredly not palatable.  Anyone of us who has been there, done that will agree, and are happy to NOT be there, doing that, if one has been fortunate enough to work out of it. 

I leave any interested reader to go over the statistics in the article without further comment on my part.


1 comment:

  1. Yeah, that whole thing was bad on facts, on politics, and on common sense.