Romney, Obama and the ‘takers’

Like many Americans by now, I listened to the recording of Mitt Romney talk about the “47 percent.” While there are some things to criticize about what Romney said, I have to admit that after I listened to him I thought, “Yeah, he’s right.” I had an instinctive concurrence with what he said. I didn’t pay attention to the actual number 47 but I sure felt like that number was pretty close to what I imagined Romney was talking about. So what was he talking about?

I assumed he was talking about a composite citizen – a person who comprises many of the characteristics he described. Are there people who are dependent on government? Yes, of course, there are. My mom and dad receive Social Security payments. Was Romney talking about them? No, I didn’t think so. Social Security isn’t a welfare program even if seniors are dependent upon it today.

Frankly, I assumed Romney was talking about people, who because of a variety of socio-economic variables, choose government welfare over work, inflexible people out of work who pridefully choose unemployment checks over work, people from intergenerational poverty who only know government assistance, and even young people from strong families who choose food stamps, WIC and Medicaid benefits instead of asking parents for help just to maintain the appearance of independence and adulthood.

I thought he was talking about a growing culture of Americans, especially young adults most likely to vote for Obama precisely because of their youthful ignorance, who actually feel entitled to government benefits, almost as if they tapped their parents for every last nickel and now they’re looking for more freebies from “the government,” which they conveniently disconnect from taxpayers. Romney was right: Those folks won’t vote for him.

Romney’s critics say I’m wrong to think all of that. They insist that Romney was literally talking about actual taxpayers and non-taxpayers, poor citizens who never pay a tax and wealthy citizens who likewise never pay a tax who also, evidently, should be the only people who pay taxes.

I’ve seen more charts trying to explain what Romney was saying than I care to ever look at again. But here’s what I do know: eventually prosperity creates idlers and free riders and America is certainly a prosperous nation. We see it in our own families with our kids. Why do we think it doesn’t happen throughout society? While Romney made a poor attempt to conflate facts and opinion, I remain steadfast in my belief that his sentiment was correct – even if, for political reasons, he’s apologized for the construction of his opinion. I think Mitt was right.

And while I’ve been criticized for echoing the use of the term “takers” to describe people needlessly on government assistance, I won’t apologize for discerning how needless those circumstances often are amidst a culture of indulgent prosperity like we’ve never seen before – a culture wherein kids think milk comes from cartons and money comes from wallets. From Obama’s view, America is a divided nation of givers and takers. Obama, who set this rhetorical tone himself, has inflamed this division. Mitt Romney hasn’t. I haven’t. I get that there are people in real need. I also get that there are people in need who shouldn’t be. I don’t know what percent that is but I know it’s more than it needs to be and those are the “takers” of whom I speak.

By using the term “takers” I’m not purposefully objectifying any one of God’s children. I believe we are all beggars in the eyes of God.  I am saying that this nation cannot long afford to reward idleness or the politicians who institutionalize a soul-destroying welfare state just for votes.

This entry was posted in Self-reliance, Welfare and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • rmwarnick

    The facts show that it’s difficult to qualify for government assistance in this country, and you can receive it only for a limited time. Unemployment insurance is something we pay into when we are employed, therefore it’s not free.

    • Duane

      Employees pay for Unemployment Insurance? Where do you get that idea from? Show me where it is deducted from your paycheck. I can show you the checks my wife writes to pay for UI for our employees. You are right, it is NOT free. Your boss paid for it and continues to pay for it after you are no longer getting it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1298510753 Bruce Estey

    Paul Mero is a selfish uninformed moron! This article is a biased attempt to explain away the odious remarks Romney made when he didn’t know he was being recorded. The fact that he didn’t know he was being recorded lends credence to the notion that it is really what Romney thinks. Even if Food Stamps, Unemployment, and other social programs were reduced it would make little difference to the amount of taxes the average middle class American pays because the military industrial complex dwarfs them all. This guy is clearly an apologist for Mitt Romney.

  • Utahlady

    Bruce I am quite aware that Mr Mero can well take care of and defend his own opinions.He has done so on various occasions with me and others re Illegal Aliens. My statements are not in defense of Mr Mero or Mitt Romney. However both of their thought processes are correct re the 47 %. I am indeed one of those on government “entitlement” programs.Newly on Medicare and SS. It does not matter which entitlement program any of us are on,there are just to many of us on them.None are sustainable for much longer. Kudos to any thinking person for having the courage to bring up the subject . I have no idea if I will live long enough to use up all of the monies I paid into these programs,but there is a pretty good chance I will,and need yet more . That ,coupled with the devaluation of the US dollar and the cost of living does not make for a pretty future for people my age and it looks even worse for the younger generation. This is all thanks to our government using monies inappropriatly, and making promises they cannot keep. Now that sir is truly what is odious.

  • JBT

    Paul Mero wrote:

    “Frankly, I assumed Romney was talking about people, who because of a
    variety of socio-economic variables, choose government welfare over
    work, inflexible people out of work who pridefully choose unemployment
    checks over work, people from intergenerational poverty who only know
    government assistance, and even young people from strong families who
    choose food stamps,”

    Come on Paul. The people you described don’t even come close to making up 47% of Americans. You are smarter than that, or so I thought. Perhaps ideology trumps intellect where you are concerned. Who knows?

    • Duane

      Can you read a whole article and remember more than the first paragraph? Who knows?

    • Duane

      “I also get that there are people in need who shouldn’t be. I don’t know
      what percent that is but I know it’s more than it needs to be and those
      are the “takers” of whom I speak.” Paul Mero

      “The people you described don’t even come close to making up 47% of Americans.” JBT

      We have lost track of the number of able-bodied men we have offered jobs to and they either don’t bother to call back or refuse the offer. In spite of the fact that Utah supposedly has a pretty high work ethic, we struggle to staff our crews. Having lived on both coasts, I would not be surprised if the fraction of “takers” is a lot higher than ten or even twenty percent.

      I apologize, you did manage to remember at least parts out of the first three paragraphs. What happened to the rest?

  • A_frightened_American

    No, it is not Obama who has caused division. It is people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others like them who have produced it.

    Now, conservatives have jumped aboard the fear wagons of those people who profit from producing division, and are generating their own waves of paranoia.

    There is a wonderful definition of a “liberal.” A liberal is really a good conservative American who refuses to allow himself to be fooled by anyone.

    • Duane

      Your definition does not include many “Liberals.”