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The Most Secret Tape That Wasn't - alyburns' (aka sideburns & alyjude) Hiding Place
If you spoke faster than David Hewlett you’d travel back in time: Michael Shanks
The Most Secret Tape That Wasn't
Yes, I know, another political post - but honestly, this one is different, I swear. *G*

Okay, so a tape of a May fundraising appearance by Romney at the Boca Raton home of private equity manager Marc Leder was leaked. Do I think it was right to leak it? NO. Am I glad it was released? Admittedly, YES.

*looks shamefaced*

Why was I glad (besides the fact that any presidential candidate who speaks in front of his contributors and expects complete privacy could be labeled a fool - and yes, that goes for Obama too, should the same thing happen - and I'm sure that's in the works *g*)? Because I think this may be the first time, Mr. Romney was RIGHT (well, at least partially).

At a fundraiser of very wealthy folks, he stated the following (the actual video is under the cut):

"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."

Oh, and one of my favorite parts:

"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."

Yep, he's right. Partially. I can't speak for the other 46%, but I'm definitely one of the free-loaders. I'm the recipient of two "Entitlement Programs": 1) Medicare, 2) Federal Social Security Disability and yep, I'm going to vote for Obama. So that's me - one of the 47% of freeloaders that Romney can NEVER convince that I should "...take personal responsibility and care for [my life]."

(btw: Romney is sticking to his guns regarding the above remarks, stating that the only difference he'd have made had the appearance been 'public', is that he'd have stated it all more...I forget what word he used...maybe it was 'elegantly'? Or how about "intelligently"? *G*)

So I'm a freeloader, taking advantage of MY government entitlements. Yep, that's me. Is it you too? Are you 'taking advantage' of American Entitlement Programs like Social Security, Medicare, Food stamps? How 'bout Unemployment?

If the answer is yes, shame on you, but welcome to the 'freeloader' club! *G*

Of course, if I turned down the SSD, well, I do have a 2001 Explorer and could live in it *nods* because working is simply not possible - not to mention we have a little 'job' problem, you know? So a fat, 61 year-old disabled FEMALE with PTSS and Chronic Anxiety/Panic Disorder, well, employers aren't exactly jumping at the chance to hire me, you know? If I turned down Medicare, well, who the hell needs Blood Pressure medicine, Thyroid medicine, anxiety medication and about five others anyway, other than to live. *shrugs*

But hey, I guess one could say that Obama's 47% are useless people anyway (damn freeloaders!) so if they die, where's the loss?

Sound a bit dramatic? Sure. But you know what? It's also true. Because about half this country don't believe (even as they withdraw their SS money from the bank; money put there by the government) in "Entitlement" programs and believe any one on them are, as Romney stated so eloquently, "Freeloaders" and obviously lazy.

Okay, Mitt, you got me there.

I'm definitely lazy. Always have been, even when working 14 hours a day in order to manage a multi-million dollar segment of the company I worked for where I had five (5) school bus yards employing over 400 employees; all in order to provide school bus transportation for - and to - eleven (11) school districts/private schools, etc. Lazy while every minute of every day, I had a pager, a cell, and even a two-way radio by my bed at night and weekends, and when I took a vacation/sick day. Lazy when I drove all over Orange County to visit our customers, the schools, inspecting and talking to my drivers, principals, teachers and parents. Lazy while doing all that and caring for a mother who, at the time, was yep, taking advantage of her Entitlement Programs (SSD and Medicare) which, being so GRAND, permitted one caregiver three times a week for four hours each day (but for which I paid a 75% of the caregiver's wage while the insurance picked up the other 25%).

Yep, freeloaders.

Bet you have a similar story - you freeloader, you!

But here's the real problem: Not only does America NOT understand these programs now called "entitlements" - but neither does the media, be it the conservative OR liberal media. You see, these programs are NOT entitlement programs because WE didn't ask for them. WE didn't campaign for them, write our congressmen/women to get them nor did WE even think of them. If we had, maybe then the word 'entitlement' would somewhat appropriate. But we didn't. And the word 'entitlement' conjures up terrible things in most people's minds. Many Americans view entitlements as 'bad' things, as programs for the lazy. We think of lazy people on the dreaded 'welfare' and even lazier people collecting food stamps. But in reality? *shakes head*

YES, all programs are open to fraud and misuse - ALL programs. But that doesn't make the programs themselves bad. It just means we need to improve how we handle them. But back to why Social Security, etc. aren't entitlements *G*.

Crash of '29. Mr. & Mrs. John Doe, innocent of any wrong doing, watched their future and retirement crash with the stock market - leaving them with zip. They had nothing left, yet had done nothing wrong. The 'nothing' wasn't due to poor habits, lack of saving or planning, or lack of taking "...personal responsibility and care for their lives."

No, Mr. & Mrs. John Doe had done everything right - and yet, had nothing - because of bankers, stock manipulators, gamblers and the lack of any kind of meaningful regulations set up to govern the stock market, let alone the bankers. :( Along comes Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the middle of the Great Depression, who brought to life a simple idea based on the premise that Government is supposed to help its citizens, not just govern.

I'm simplifying now, okay?

He, with others, believed it was the job of the government to help provide a 'safety net' for just such an occurence as the crash of '29. Thousands and thousands of good, hardworking Americans lost their jobs, savings, homes, everything that was dear to them because the market crashed. They suffered (and many died). Soup kitchens were often the only food available - and when the soup kitchens ran out - the doors closed until the next day so if you were in line - you and yours went hungry - again.

This was the reality of the Great Depression and this is why - in the simplest of terms - the entire Social Security package came to be. Originally, it was called the "Economic Security Act" (link is to our government page on the history of SS - as in the FACTS, which you won't find at most websites purporting to be 'factual') - which I think is a much better title. Why? Because 'Economic Security Act actually says in its name - what it's about; namely offering economic security when American citizens lose it. It was NOT and never will be, an entitlement program but again, a safety net.

I wish to the heavens the media would start using that term and not 'entitlement'.

Yes, we pay into it, but what everyone forgets is that the government takes up most of the slack. What we pay is nothing compared to what the government adds to the pot and the interest that pot gathers. Some economic experts have stated that if, when you turn 65, retire, and then begin to collect your Social Security, your part of the money would run out before you turned 68! And yes,  such a program must be mandated or it wouldn't work. It's like mandated car insurance (or hello? HEALTH insurance mandates?), something Americans seem incapable of wrapping their heads around; a concept that only if we ALL participate in such things can they actually work.

At my company, Durham, they never got it either when it came to, for instance, medical insurance. And when I say 'they', I mean the owner (it was privately held for most of the years I worked for them). My boss, one of the regional VP's, understood, but could never get it into Larry Durham's head that if ALL employees don't have the medical insurance, the rates would continue to go up because the only emloyees who took it, were those who NEEDED it and thus USED it, bringing our rating down. And of course, when only sick people use it, the insurance goes up every year.

BUT - if all employess could take the insurance (meaning if the company made it cheaper and easier to afford), our rating would go up and thus, the costs would be kept DOWN because the majority of users wouldn't actually, you know, use it (but it would be there if they needed it). When it was decided that automobile insurance would be mandatory - it wasn't greed (exactly *G*) - it was common sense and is why I can actually afford auto insurance! When you have a program that protects - it can't work unless everyone belongs, hence SS was mandated and that's why Obama put the health mandate into his Health Reform Act. If everyone doesn't get the insurance, the rates can't be kept down AND the idea of 'competitive' rates goes out the window.

Yes, I know I've greatly oversimplified this whole thing, but for my brain, the simpler the better. :) Hello? Old person here. To sum it up - we don't have 'entitlement' programs - we have been given the GIFT of safety nets - something most of us should be very grateful for right now. And something we should fight to protect because these safety nets are in danger. Grave danger (channeling Kaffee from A Few Good Men). *G* And that's why I'm glad the tape was released. And the above is how you make a long story...longer.


22 comments or Leave a comment
From: phantmchic Date: September 19th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
But hey, I guess one could say that Obama's 47% are useless people anyway (damn freeloaders!) so if they die, where's the loss?
And that one saying it might be Charles Dickens: "If they would rather die, than they had better do it. And decrease the surplus population."

I had some nice schadenfreude when that video popped up on facebook. But then, I won't be voting for any Republicans in November just based on their social platform regarding gay and women's rights.
ninja007 From: ninja007 Date: September 19th, 2012 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

I am too. After working for so many years in law enforcement, then developing PTSD, I do think I'm entitled to what I worked my ass off for.

I agree with you Chica. I usually do...
kaleecat From: kaleecat Date: September 19th, 2012 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree, the word entitlement needs to go away. (and romney is one to talk about entitlement). It isn't at all. You worked damn hard for a lot of years, paying into that entitlement system so that it would be there as a safety net when you need it. And what Romney, with all of his millions, fails to realize is that those pesky financial hiccups have wiped out the personal safety net many people worked damn hard to build. Without the one the government holds that they paid into...well there's always the car I guess.

My Dad said the other day, its flawed but damn its nice to have Medicare. And he told me not to vote for anyone who wants to do a damn thing to the programs. This from a man who was quite firmly Rep. for a very long time.
patk From: patk Date: September 19th, 2012 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
>>And what Romney, with all of his millions, fails to realize is that those pesky financial hiccups have wiped out the personal safety net many people worked damn hard to build. <<

And what would this say about his intellectual abilities and presidential skills?

A person who fails to make this connection in his or her mind doesn't have what it needs to be a good president - IMHO.
From: phantmchic Date: September 19th, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
His view of the world is pretty damn skewed. He thinks "middle income Americans" are those who make "$200,000 - $250,000" a year.
patk From: patk Date: September 19th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
And how much of the American population actually falls into this range? 4% or so?
starwatcher307 From: starwatcher307 Date: September 20th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
According to Google, about 2%. Gotta say, I've been working for 46 years and, while I'm not hurting, I'm not even within spitting distance of $100,000. Earning/having $200,000 is an unattainable dream.

But another source does put it closer to 4%. Regardless, Romney is far, far off the mark.

Here's a chart that evaluate the "non-income-tax-payers". Of that 47%:
Elderly - 10% (payed into system for years).
Income under $20,000 - 7% (earn too little to be income taxed).
Paying taxes on their payroll - 28% (and no income tax probably because of child care credits, etc).
Not mentioned - military personnel in combat, those on disability, college students, etc. who all pay no income tax for various tax-code reasons.

I saw someone point out a few days ago -- the Republicans have consistently cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes; they were trying to win people over because everyone would be grateful for less taxes. Now, all of a sudden, people are "moochers" because they're using what the Rethugs threw at them!

Edited at 2012-09-20 06:12 am (UTC)
alyburns From: alyburns Date: September 20th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

He has no skills

other than to sit back and watch his money roll in. Oh, and he'd be good in a puppet show.

As the puppet. Wooden, of course.
alyburns From: alyburns Date: September 20th, 2012 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)

That might be the problem...people thinking

they worked hard, paid into the system, and thus are 'entitled' to it when they retire, but that's actually the language we need to erase *g*. Yes, it's TRUE, in a way...if that makes sense?

Within the Social Security network, ideally, we're actually helping to pay for everyone, not just ourselves when that money is deducted. We're helping the pool grow for emergencies, which was the intent back in the 30's when FDR signed it into law. John and Jane Q Public would put some into the pool, the government would add to it and the pool would earn interest, thus growing (yeah, this is really simplified, but you know what I mean *G*).

But here's where it went wrong: People who don't NEED it, are taking it anyway because they feel entitled to it. Right here in California, we had a...I think it was a Los Angeles retired businessman who became an elected city official and then started taking his Social Security \ALONG with his salary (which was HUGE). There are seniors in this building who didn't lose their retirement savings in our own crash and who now bring in about $75k a year - and still collect their SS as well.

That's probably where the system needs some revamping. Yes, if you make a certain amount, you don't collect, but that amount is HIGH and up to that point, you'll collect less than your maximum benefit, but you still get to collect. Again, a problem because SS is a safety net - not money we're entitled to take even if we don't need it or 'found money' as one lady here called it. She tucks it away all year because she definitely doesn't need it, and then, at Christmas, doles it out to her grandchildren. *sighs*

And yeah, it sounds as if she *should* be able to do that, right? Except...again, the idea of SS is for when things go wrong and the portion she paid in over the years (which was less than me, for instance, because she only worked 11 years of her life) is already GONE, she's already used it up and is now taking it from the future, but gosh darn it, she's still collecting because...yeah, she put it in.

Am I making any sense? I don't find words easily anymore - okay, less face it, I never did *BG*
patk From: patk Date: September 19th, 2012 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
*Scratches head*

You know - aside from everything being right what you said and this tape revealing clearly Romney's true attitude - what he says doesn't even quite make sense in my opinion (though I'm not from the US so I might understand some of these things wrong).

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what."

Okay, that may be the case, may be not, I don't know, it remains to be seen.

"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."

So, he's saying that everybody of those 47% percent are more or less welfare recipients, freeloaders in his opinion. What does he mean to say by this statement? What is implied here? Everybody who votes for Obama is a freeloader? Every welfare recipient votes for Obama? It's only welfare recipients and freeloaders who vote for Obama?

"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."

So, no one of these 47% pays income tax. And not paing income tax equals "freeloader"???

Eh ... what about students who will pay income tax in their future (if they can get a job), probably be the academic future of the country? What about people who are retired (have retirees to pay income tax in the US?) and have already paid ther income tax when they had income for decades of their life? What about families in which only one parent works for money and the other cares for the kids and the household? At-home moms/dads whose husbands/wifes earn the family income *do* have the right to vote, right? But they don't pay their own income tax, or do they?

Are those groups included in this 47%?

*scratches head again*

Romney's statement is already bad because it shows exactly which kind of mind he is but to me - on top of that - it also seems simply incorrect on a factual level.

Which would make it not only bad but dumb on top of that.
fabrisse From: fabrisse Date: September 19th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Active duty military in hot zones also don't pay income tax. Those wusses.
patk From: patk Date: September 19th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Clearly, they're all wimps, not taking personal responsibility and care for their lives and such.

Edited at 2012-09-19 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: phantmchic Date: September 19th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
And can you believe the way they expect taxpayers to give them clothes and food and barracks to sleep in?
alyburns From: alyburns Date: September 21st, 2012 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Considering our beloved Congress

just shot down the new act that would have provided jobs (police, fire, etc) to returning veterans, I'd say they feel the same way. And yes, I'm serious. It was the first major BI-PARTISAN act - written by Republicans (the Democrats did that to ensure the bill would pass), and yet, in the Senate, all but a handful of Republicans filibustered the bill and killed it.

I've never been so angry in my life - and that's saying something with this Congress.
mrs_sweetpeach From: mrs_sweetpeach Date: September 19th, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
"So, no one of these 47% pays income tax. And not paying income tax equals "freeloader"???"

In Romney's mind, yes. He seems to believe that the entire 47% not paying federal income tax are freeloading because each and every one of them is benefiting from the taxes paid by others. To a *tiny* degree he is correct -- everyone living here benefits by programs paid through income taxes (things like enforcing the Clean Water Act, funding federal law enforcement, etc.) -- but it he is completely wrong to think that every one of those people is freeloading as an intentional act. A large percentage of the 47% are *children* and therefore too young to work and too young to pay income tax on their earnings.
patk From: patk Date: September 19th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
He includes children in this statemend? *is puzzled*

But I thought kids aren't allowed to vote until they reach a certain age at which they aren't considered children anymore.
mrs_sweetpeach From: mrs_sweetpeach Date: September 19th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think what happened was that he heard/read that 47% of Americans do not pay income tax and he assumed all of them could pay taxes if they weren't so damn lazy. (I have no evidence this is what happened, but it is what I believe.)

According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, during tax year 2011 46.4% of taxpayers did not, in fact, pay federal income tax. As I understand it, "taxpayers" include those who appear as dependents upon someone else's income tax return. If, for example, I was mother to a two-month old baby, come tax time next year I would have six-month old taxpayer living in my home. Hopefully by the time my child was, say, 20, he or she would have a well-paying job and would then be paying income tax. But for the next few years, my kid would be one of those entitled people Romney is complaining about.

Also, there is no evidence that all non-income-tax-paying people vote to maintain their benefits. I expect there are many people who do not pay income taxes who believe themselves to be staunch Republicans and are against giving money to people who are not themselves.
mrs_sweetpeach From: mrs_sweetpeach Date: September 19th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see I missed a part of your question. Yes, children are not not allowed to vote. The minimum age to vote in a federal election is 18 years. (In some states, the minimum voting age for state elections is 17.) Being a legal adult is not a requirement for becoming a taxpayer. What counts is income -- if you have income above a certain threshold, you must pay taxes and that is true regardless of your age.
alyburns From: alyburns Date: September 20th, 2012 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)

The truly funny thing?

How many in that 47% who didn't pay taxes were...millionaires and above? Corporations (remember, they're people now too)? There's an old rule of thumb: The richer you are, the less likely you are to pay income taxes, and the poorer you are, the less likely you are to pay income taxes. Guess where the burden rests? Yep, on the middle class.

And guess what happened to the middle class?

Yep, destroyed. So the burden, according to the Republican platform, will fall to the poor (God forbid we touch a dime of those precious-fall-to-our-knees-in-gratitude job creators - who sent our jobs overseas in order to quadruple their PROFIT). Yes, Republicans want to TAX Social Security and SSD! Can you imagine? Isn't it bad enough that people have to pay income tax on unemployment benefits? I mean, come on, country, wake the-you-know-what UP!

Mmmm, I might be a bit testy on this subject, eh? *G*
fabrisse From: fabrisse Date: September 19th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't qualify for Medicaid. I had to have myself declared indigent to get treated by a particular hospital (after paying my share of my insurance, plus the maximum allowed time of COBRA after I lost my job). I was turned down for food stamps, so I managed to feed myself on $20 per week for nearly 40 weeks. (I went to the grocery store the other day and realized that beans and barley by the pound had more than tripled in the last three years. I couldn't manage the $20 per week now because the food's that much more expensive.)

Technically, I was never homeless because a friend let me stay in her spare room for nearly two years.

Do you know what? I would have been a freeloader if I could have been. I believe in Social Safety Nets and were the United States to provide a better one, I believe I might have been back to work sooner and not had to resort to the charity of others.

I'm glad I had the others to turn to, and I'm thankful every day for them.
vamysteryfan From: vamysteryfan Date: September 20th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

First, there was no reasonable expectation of privacy. He should have expected any video to go public.

22% of the people who don't pay federal taxes are retirees, living close to the bone as it is.

I paid taxes. I expected to get what I paid my taxes for, not freeloading by government officials, waste and boondoggles..

There wasn't ever a chance I'd vote for Romney. I hope this opens a few eyes for those who were considering it.
sistermu From: sistermu Date: September 21st, 2012 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Does Mitt Romney pay income tax? He doesn't have a job, does he? Isn't he living off his capital/dividends?

If so, Obama has a new voter. *g*
22 comments or Leave a comment