Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard a ton about Mitt Romney’s latest remarks. Speaking at a private fundraiser, Romney commented that 47% of Americans would automatically vote for President Obama because they believe they are entitled to health care, housing, and food. He said that they are dependent on government checks and “believe that they are victims.”
Count me as one of those “victims.” I’m a “victim who pays income taxes to my state. I do not receive government checks. I have a college degree. In fact, I have a Master’s Degree. I have a job. I go to work regularly. I work overtime quite often. I own a house. I pay my bills. AND I believe that people are entitled to health care, housing, and food. I believe these are fundamental rights for human beings, not just Americans.
Romney wasn’t talking about the Obama supporters like myself. He was trying to put down those who get government assistance. He implied that they are lazy, play the victim and want to live off of food stamps. Yes, I’ve heard this argument from many people. Working with the public in a way that many people do not, gives me the opportunity to really see many of these “victims”, the people using government assistance. Working with children, who are often much more honest and open than adults, has allowed me to see that most people using government assistance are hard working and would love to be able to afford things on their own, without help. They work at low paying jobs where they are given 35 hours a week, not 40. 40 hours a week would get them health care. They are people who worked at factories that closed. 46% of that 47% Romney mentioned are working poor, retirees and the disabled, including disabled veterans, along with students and some people suffering long-term unemployment. But who is counting, right?
Some of the 46% are people who are trying to make it but weren’t given the same opportunities as I was, and yes, I said given. I was taught at a young age that education is important. I was told from early on that I would go to college. And luckily, I was intelligent enough and studious enough to make that happen. I’m not saying that to be belittling. There are people that truly do not have the mental capacity to make enough to live comfortably in America. Don’t even get me started on the mentally ill who rely on government assistance. Do we really expect a paranoid schizophrenic to go out and get a job? My best friend’s sister-in-law has paranoid schizophrenia. I can tell you that remembering to eat or getting her to take her medications is a full time job.
Are there people who take advantage of the system? Of course. Anybody who has lived long enough knows that. But it really comes down to if you think people are intrinsically good or intrinsically bad. That’s the bottom line. If you think people are intrinsically good then you realize that sometimes people have no where else to turn except the government to help them. They are trying. If you think people are intrinsically bad, then you think that everyone is out to play the victim and get something for nothing. That’s it. That’s what it comes down to.
Mitt Romney made it clear what he believes. I’ll be voting for someone who sees the good.