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.
Note: This post was also featured as one of the “best of the best” blogs by Minnpost’s Blog Cabin feature.