In defense of the 47 Percent


Tyler Reed | Staff Writer

By now, Mitt Romney’s remarks are infamous among billionaire donors about his lack of duty to his estimated 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income tax. Gov. Romney very likely sealed his fate with these remarks. As anyone who uttered those remarks should have.

There’s a difference between income tax and payroll tax, folks. Many of us don’t pay income tax. We have to have a defined income outside of wages to pay this. Many of us do pay payroll taxes, however. As a Harvard MBA, Mitt Romney knows this distinction. In his words, Mitt Romney isn’t concerned about those of us who don’t have income outside of our wages apparently.

He, who aspires to the presidency of the United States of America, is not concerned with 47 percent of our nation. These hardworking men and women who live paycheck-to-paycheck and sometimes work multiple jobs are not of concern to Mitt Romney. Apparently they’re especially not of concern when he’s in a room full of fellow multi-millionaires or billionaires. He is concerned, however, with winning the wealthy over with words and purported deeds that run contrary to the beliefs of almost half our nation.

Resolute, Mitt Romney did what he has always done and doubled down on these notions. Recently, the former Massachusetts governor has backed away from these comments. Romney, do you stand behind your comments or do you not? Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?

I’m hard pressed to find a middle class individual who is not willing to pay his or her income tax if he or she should have the opportunity in the first place. Notice, there must be opportunity first. Governor Romney has supported the budget plan of his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan. Included in this plan are tax increases for every individual not making $250,000 annually or greater. How are we supposed to take “personal responsibility” when you’ve provided nothing but additional obstacles to middle class prosperity?

Is our problem “personal responsibility?” As I’ve said before, I’m no fortunate son. I’ve seen the faces of this “47 percent.” I’ve heard their stories. I have met nobody who does not dream of a better tomorrow. I have met nobody that does not have pride, hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations. Mitt Romney does not understand us, nor does he understand what we’re about. Yet, he aspires to be our president. He, who does not know us, aspires to lead us. But lead us to where?

We’ve tried this notion where we buy and buy, save the millionaires and billionaires, and hope it trickles down. Mitt Romney, how is this different? How is this going to work? Is this part of your secret plan? As a court justice once wrote, “At the end of the day, even if you put a calico dress on it and call it Florence, a pig is still a pig.”

Photo by Makensie Brown