Forty Seven Puzzling Things About the 47 Percent

Mitt Romney's claim that 47 percent of all Americans are dependent on government and will never "take personal responsibility" for their lives has left this editor very confused.

(Emily Henry is the editor of Concord Patch.)

First, a disclaimer: I don't know if I could actually come up with 47 separate questions about Mitt Romney's "47 percent" speech — but it wouldn't be far off.

In the interest of brevity, I'll whittle it down to just 13. Here's what he said, and why I'm confused.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what."

Question 1: Are almost half of American voters apathetic to the political, economical and social changes affecting their own lives? Do they head to the polls just to tick the same box every four years out of habit? Does their chosen political party really have complete and unquestioned authority, no matter what?

Question 2: What if the president divorced Michelle and made Snooki the First Lady?

"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

Question 3: If half of all Americans are victims, what does that make the other half? Culprits?

Question 4: Is the government not supposed to care about its citizens? Is that considered a conflict of interest?

Question 5: Doesn't the "health care" that the government provides to most of these "dependent" people start in the emergency room and end in a big, bankrupting check? Is that the "health care" we're talking about? Or is it programs like Medi-Cal, which provide limited access, subpar services and don't include dental care?

Question 6: Are the American people not entitled to food? 

Question 7: Or does Romney mean they're not entitled to the $4 a day they get from food stamps?

Question 8: There 3.5 million Americans experiencing homelessness here in a given year. How is that possible if housing is so readily available from the government? Isn't there a chronic shortage of beds at homeless shelters? Isn't the average wait list for section 8 housing between five and eight years?

"My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Question 9: If you only worry about half of all Americans, wouldn't that make you only half a president?

Question 10: How do you explain "personal responsibility" to the millions of Americans working multiple jobs, longer hours, and earning lower wages than they did in their teens?

Question 11: How do you explain it to their kids, who have to raise themselves because their parents are never home? What about the teenagers who are forced to drop out of school so that they can get a job and contribute to the household income? What about the college graduates who are racking up tens of thousands of dollars in interest on their student loans because they can only afford to pay back the minimum amount, and so end up burdened by debt well into middle age?

Question 12: If half of Americans didn't care for their lives — wouldn't they be dead? 

Question 13: Would that make things easier?

Do you have answers to these queries? Or questions of your own? Maybe you can bring the total to 47. Comment below. 

Dalamar September 25, 2012 at 06:58 AM
David- In reference to your post at 10:48 on the 24th, in the interest of objectivity, where are you getting these numbers? This is a sincere question, not an attack.
David September 25, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Dal, the source is here http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty the references are all government sources like the Census, Dept. of Energy, etc. The idea that "poverty" in America is a grinding cycle of hunger, deprivation, homelessness, etc is just bull. Sure, there are hungry people. Sure there are homeless people, but is it 15% of the population? absolutely not. It's on the order of 1-5% of the population, and for the most part those people are suffering because they do not avail themselves of aid (due to drug abuse, mental illness, don't want it, etc). Again, just look at your WaPo article. What are these "poor" people complaining about? Waiting for a laundromat? They're in the minority of poor people who don't have a washer/dryer, and heck, they still can get their clothes (which they actually possess) clean. Waiting for a bus? Again, in the minority of poor people who don't have a car. Paying $9 for a bucket of chicken wings? For Pete's sake. That's not poverty, that's inconvenience.
Dalamar September 25, 2012 at 03:21 PM
@David- I thank you for the link. I will check it out.
Cynthia September 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Thank you - well said.
Thomas Clarke September 28, 2012 at 12:48 AM
If you are happy with the last 3.5 years then vote Obama. If you yearn for the security of Bush then vote Seagull and cast your lot with Romney. If you cannot stomach the same d**n message delivered by different talking heads then vote Libertarian, Gary Johnson for President. When possible vote Libertarian in every choice. Opt out to increase government. Never vote for an incumbent, you only to look and smell the moment downwind and you know it is bad. Vote No on all Taxes. Follow the money, chances are that the source is common to both parties. The difference between megacorporations and international unions is the spelling. Their messages are the same. Insist that your representatives create improvement or quit. It is time to tell these folks to s##t or get off the pot so the other guy can have a s##t sandwich like the rest of the 47 per cent.


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