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We are all the 47 percent


I wonder if Bill Gates will enroll in Medicare when he turns 65.

He can, you know. Every American is eligible, and the feds pick up half the tab for our medical bills.

It would bother me if Mr. Microsoft did sign up, though. Just because you’re entitled to something doesn’t mean you should take it.  I agree with the conservatives on this: too many people use social safety nets because they can, not because they have to.

Republicans rightly want to shut these frauds down, and I applaud them for that.

Gov. Mitt Romney said recently that 47 percent of Americans “think they’re entitled to healthcare, housing, food…and that the government should give it to them.”

It’s those 47 percent who are panhandling this country into the poorhouse.

And Romney’s running mate has the answer for that. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal will eviscerate entitlement programs that give cash (in the form of food stamps and Medicaid) to the loafers.

I supported his belief in smaller government and lower taxes for a while. Then came the disappointment of the year. I heard Paul Ryan’s proof that he wouldn’t end Medicare: “My mom is on Medicare.”

Is she part of the 47 percent Mitt was talking about? Someone who “thinks she’s entitled to health care?” It sure sounds that way. And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Paul Ryan’s mom a pretty well-off Republican? 

What’s odd is that she actually is entitled to health care. The middle class picks up the tab for her doctor visits because, no matter how rich she is, she qualifies for the handout. And yes, even Mitt Romney considers Medicare a handout.

But does he consider her part of the problem?

Here’s a fun game: Next time you’re at a potluck dinner, stand by the most popular item and watch. If there’s one pizza and 21 tubs of tuna salad, you can bet the pizza will go first. And when it comes to the last slice of the pie, there are two types of people:

  • The first believes it’s his lucky day and takes the last piece. He has every right to do it. He contributed, so he can take – even if it’s more than what he gave.
  • The other type looks behind her; sees the horror in the downcast eyes of those who realize they’re stuck with fish casserole; and she cuts the last slice in half.

She’s my kind of people. Just because you can take all of something doesn’t mean you should.

And that brings us back to Romney’s 47 percent who feel entitled to handouts and, according to him, always vote for Democrats. I wonder: Will Paul's mom really vote against the GOP like Mr. Mitt believes? I doubt it.

Turns out many of those so-called moochers are actually members of Romney's own base, low-income seniors who collect Social Security and Medicare.

And even rich Republicans take handouts – although we never seem to talk about them. Apparently, handouts to the rich are less likely to raise the deficit than handouts to the poor.

I also doubt the 47 percent number is accurate. I think the percentage of us who benefit from the government is much closer to 100 percent. Whether we want to admit it or not, none of us has paid enough in taxes to cover the actual cost of what we use.

We are all the 47 percent.

And no, I don’t really worry that Bill Gates will go on Medicare. He seems like a share-the-pie kind of guy. Thanks in advance, Bill, for not being greedy – no matter which party gets your vote.

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David Sneed

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss; The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company. As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at  David@EveryoneHasABoss.com

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