- Posted September 24, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
I'm Confused, Mitt
By now you're heard of the brouhaha surrounding the comments made at a private fund raising dinner this past May in FL by Mitt Romney which have infuriated millions of Americans. I've pasted a link to the video further below if you wish to listen to the speech in its entirety. Here's an extract that is rather eye-opening but not surprising coming from a person who is unable to relate to what middle class life is like:
"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's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. My job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." He went on to say that he needs to focus on the 5-10% of Independent voters whom he hopes to persuade to vote for him.
Really? Just because voters support Obama means that we don't take responsibility for our lives, that we think of ourselves as victims, that we live our lives depending upon the government? Really? His words, not mine.
We'll he's obviously wrong about the not taking responsibility for our lives and about the victim mentality. But Mr. Romney does have a point about depending upon the government.
I'll admit it, I do. I depend upon the government to pass laws to avoid anarchy. I depend upon law enforcement keep public order. I depend upon the military to keep our nation secure in an often hostile world.I depend upon government to build and maintain the roads, bridges, tunnels and highways upon which I get around. I depend upon the FDA to check the safety of foods and drugs before I and my loved ones ingest them. I depend upon the government weather service to warn us of impending natural disasters, and upon government agencies to help people recover after those disasters. As a business owner, I depend upon the government to establish and enforce regulations governing commerce and prohibiting fraudulent business practices. As a veteran, I depend upon the government to provide services to my fellow veterans even though I don't need them myself. As a traveler, I depend upon State Department for warnings about countries to avoid that are risky. And come to think about it, I depend upon the CIA to gather intelligence about bad actors who wish to do my country harm. As someone who will hopefully retire one day, I will depend upon social security payments from the fund into which I have made contributions throughout my working life. And, unfortunately, as my body ages I'll probably need to utilize Medicare to access medical care. Gee, I didn't realize what a parasite I was on society.
I suppose that my depending upon government must be different than the oil companies that depend upon government for billions of dollars of subsidies, or the pharmaceutical industry which depends upon the government to conduct basic research, or the telecommunications industry which depends upon the government creating a regulatory framework for fair competition, or the agricultural industry which depends upon the government to pay them to not grow certain commodities in order to establish a floor for prices, or the aerospace industry which depends upon the government to buy airplanes and spare parts to service those planes, or the trucking industry which depends upon the government to maintain the interstate highway system so they can move goods across country, or even Mr. Romney's well publicized private equity industry which depends upon a legislature to pass laws allowing lower tax rates on capital gains from investments than people must pay on income from their jobs. The more I think about it, the more confused I am.
How come individuals who receive government benefits are moochers, but businesses that receive government benefits are praiseworthy? Mr. Romney, with elegant or inelegant words, could you please explain the difference to me?