• Similarities between 1 percent and 47 percent
    October 05,2012

    Similarities between 1 percent and 47 percent

    In a paper I subscribe to, I was surprised at the apparent prevalence of the positive reactions to Mitt Romney’s 47 percent remark. I would certainly agree that some people see themselves as entitled. I know some. I am reminded, however, of a comment made perhaps 40 years ago by Charles Post, who, if I recall correctly, was the director of what was then called the welfare office in White River Junction. He was asked, in an open meeting, what percentage of people on welfare cheat, and his response was that he would guess it was about the same percentage as rich people who cheat on their income taxes.

    Of course, we all know that many hardworking people, including our service people, do not pay taxes, but I was particularly interested by two comments the article quoted. One person said, “If you do not pay taxes and you depend on the government, you are not going to bite the hand that feeds you.” That could also be said of those who may vote for Romney. Wealthy citizens benefit greatly from tax loopholes and other breaks, and they, too, will not vote against the hand that feeds them so well.

    Another person made reference to the reality that more people than ever now receive food stamps. The context, if I interpreted it correctly, implied that people receiving federal food stamps are unwilling to work. The reality is that there is an increasing gap between the wealthiest in our country and the rest of us, and much of that wealth is “virtual,” arising from the manipulation of funds on paper, rather than being the result of creating actual jobs that people might be employed to do.

    I work weekly as a volunteer at my local food shelf. I have met people who would appear to be using the system. The great majority of people using our services, however, are people who are hardworking, who try to take no more than they can use, and who are profuse in their gratitude for this “hand up,” as opposed to a handout.

    Betty Edson


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