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.
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%).
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.
Tags: politics 2012