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Romney is correct about Americans being government-dependent

REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Romney was right to say 47% of Americans are dependent on government. He just understated the claim by 53%.

I hate to admit when Governor Mitt Romney is correct.  But when he said 47% of Americans are dependent on government, I have to face the facts.   Romney had it right.

He just understated the claim by 53%.

After all, 100% of us are dependent on government, and it’s been that way for the entire history of the nation.  One hundred percent of us are dependent on publicly funded national defense, roads, highways, bridges,  police, fire, water, sewage, environment and health protections and education.   We can’t compete and succeed without those things.  We are dependent.

But despite Mr. Romney’s bitter private preaching to his special interest congregation,  my fellow Americans don’t need to hang their heads in shame for collecting Social Security and Medicare after a lifetime of supporting their neighbors on Social Security and Medicare.   I’m proud to support them, just as I’m confident younger generations of Americans will be proud to support me when I reach that stage of life.

Likewise, my fellow Americans who served in the military don’t have to hang their heads in shame for using a broad array of expensive VA government services.  We non-veterans have their backs, because that’s what patriotic Americans who love their country do for each other.

Americans don’t have to apologize for not being able to do their own police work, firefighting, consumer protection, public health, and educating while holding down a job.  We Americans will get  those important tasks done, together as a community, through our democratically elected government.

Americans who pay a high proportion of their income in sales, payroll, property, and sin taxes don’t have to apologize for not paying one form of taxation, the income tax.  We know that those Americans are contributing too, even if they can’t always afford to contribute as much as the most successful Americans.

No, Mr. Romney, we Americans are all in this together, and we want it that way.    That’s why 78% of Americans oppose cutting Medicare, and public opinion support for most type of government services remains high.  That seems to be the biggest thing you just don’t understand about the nation you propose to lead.

Yes, we Americans also bring personal responsibility, talents and drive to our lives, and those things are central to our individual and national achievements.  Those personal traits are absolutely necessary components of our  success.  But they are not sufficient components.  We also need to band together as a community to accomplish things that we can’t achieve on our own.

So again, Governor Romney is correct when he says 47% of us are dependent on government.   He is 47% right, and 53% wrong.  Let’s give him that much credit.

This post was written by Joe Loveland and originally published on Wry Wing Politics

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Jerilyn Jackson on 09/19/2012 - 02:46 pm.

    Well put!

  2. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 09/19/2012 - 05:54 pm.

    Hear! Hear!

    Taxes are our dues for living in civilized society.

  3. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 09/19/2012 - 08:00 pm.


    I don’t know if Romney means all of us who depend on government for our roads and bridges and schools and firefighters and police officers and court systems and the like. If so we are all dependent on government.
    Imagine, if you can, that we are all on our own. There is no government to turn to, to build roads and bridges or establish a court system, much less to provide money for older people and disabled people (most of whom have paid into it all their lives), there is not an ounce of help for health care or anything like that. Each of us would raise our own armies and local security forces and on and on and on. How would that work?

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/20/2012 - 08:37 am.

    You’re missing the point

    This isn’t about service that government provides.

    Romney’s point is that when his plan for economic recovery includes tax cuts to put more money in consumers’ pockets to spur the economy, it doesn’t resonate with almost half the people in the country because they already pay no income taxes. So why should he bother trying to sell that idea to them.

    When he said his plan is to cut government spending, about half of the population lives off some form of welfare check, so that doesn’t resonate with them because they like government spending.

    That was his point and it’s too bad that some of us are too dense to 1) get that, and 2) understand where he’s coming from and why most taxpayers, you know, people who really pay for it all, agree with him.

    This nation has devolved to one where there are fewer people pulling the wagon than are riding in it and that’s not sustainable. You can live in denial if you’re pulling the wagon, or simply continue to enjoy the ride if you’re riding in the wagon of government dependency, but bottom line everyone should have the intellectual honesty to admit he wasn’t talking about streets and firemen.

    • Submitted by Richard Schulze on 09/21/2012 - 07:26 pm.

      My mother (84 years old) and Exxon have paid no taxes lately.
      For obvious reasons, I’ll give my mother a break…

      You understand that math is not a conspiracy on the part of the Democratic party?

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