I am an American citizen. Born and raised here. My feet have never even touched foreign soil.
I have always believed in the American Dream. Work hard and you will be successful. I have also always believed that when you reach success you should turn around and give back to those behind you.
I have never accepted government help, and only rarely have I relied on charity.
Even as a single pregnant teenager I worked two jobs to pay for my medical care. I purchased much of what I needed for my baby at garage sales, and, be it furniture or clothing, I have never rejected a hand-me-down.
I met my husband when my baby was 3 months old. I moved in with him after two weeks, and 18 years later we are still together.
We didn’t have much when we started our lives together, and two children later we realized that something needed to change. I came to the conclusion that working at a Walmart snack bar just wasn’t going to cut it, so I registered for classes at the local community college.
That was in 1996. For the next 8 years we were barely scraping by, worrying each week about how we were going to put food on the table, juggling the bills, trying to decide which one had to be paid in order to avoid being disconnected vs. which ones could wait until the next paycheck. My husband was working as much as 70 hours a week to help put me through school, and at times I was working a second part-time job in addition to my full time job and full time course load.
I remember well the days of looking out the window when a van came down the street worried that it might be the local utilities coming to shut off our water. I remember when we would be watching a movie and the TV would suddenly shut off because the electric company was tired of waiting for us to decide to give that last little bit of money to them instead of paying our children’s school fees or buying them new shoes.
I remember well the times when going to McDonald’s was a rare treat, and one to feel guilty about later when the next bill came due or the next catastrophe struck… a broken down car or leaky pipe wasn’t just an inconvenience back then, it was a genuine tragedy.
I also remember very well the days of carting textbooks with me everywhere I went in case I found myself with an opportunity to sneak in some study time… sitting in a doctor’s waiting room… during breaks at work… Everyone I worked with knew to leave me alone at lunch. I didn’t have time to socialize, I had to write that paper.
I am also painfully aware, especially now, that I was a part of that 47% who Did.Not.Owe.Taxes.
In fact, there was one year during that time when we qualified for the earned income credit and the government actually paid us.
Was I proud of that? No. I have made some bad decisions in my life, and I have no problem admitting that. But I was part of that 47% who owed absolutely no federal income tax for a number of years.
Am I lazy? No.
Was I dependent on government? No.
Did I take personal responsibility for my life?
You tell me.
Interestingly, I am not a Democrat. Nor am I a Republican. I am registered to vote with “No Party Affiliation”. In the past I have identified as more Republican than Democrat, currently I lean strongly towards Libertarian, but… technically… I am a part of the group that Romney feels he should be convincing.
Yet I am so horrified by what he said, and I am so personally offended by the way he views almosts a full half of the American population, including me, I’m almost disgusted that anyone would vote for him at this point.
Romney, you missed the mark with me. And I’m sure I’m not alone.