Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An Unrepentant 47%er

I am an unrepentant 47%er, one of those leeches on society that Mitt Romney disdains. And of course I'm also a 99%er. Here's how I got to be a 47%er:

In college, I needed financial help, even though my undergraduate years were at a state college. Oh, wait. A state college is subsidized by tax dollars. Check #1. I qualified for federally-funded student loans. Check #2. I paid them back with interest on time.

In grad school, I qualified for more federally-funded fellowships. Check #3. Private university; no state funds required.

When I went to work, I paid taxes on my income. I paid faithfully into Social Security and Medicare, never believing that either would be around when I retired. Paying my fair share was my responsibility, rather like paying for the privilege of being a US citizen. I hoped there would be enough Social Security and Medicare for my mother and mother-in-law when they retired and needed the promise to be fulfilled. Both drew leech-y entitlement checks. Check #4.

On April 1, 1984, a day that would be fraught with irony were it not so important in my life, the federal government initiated a tax-deferred saving program called 401(k). Designed to become the primary source of retirement funding for individuals, it was a government godsend. Check #5. I opened my first 401(k) account that very day and paid in until I retired on December 30, 2012. Now, as I draw from my own funds, I pay those deferred taxes. Check #6. Again, a privilege that allowed me to retire on my own terms.

I'm eligible for Medicare. Check #7. I applied for and received coverage, means-tested, to be sure, from another government program. I have private supplemental insurance, but Medicare is part of the package. Sucking off the government teat once again.

And in three months I will begin drawing Social Security. Check #8. I paid into it for 40 years. But, it's a government handout to those of us too lazy to work, those 47%ers who want a free ride. There's nothing free about Social Security. It's an entitlement I paid for, not a handout.

With all those government programs, I was able to get a great education, find well-paying jobs, work for 40 years with only two layoffs and retire when I was ready. I never had to draw unemployment insurance, food stamps or any other aid to the needy. Still, in Romney's eyes, I'm a parasite on society and on the government dole.

Ain't it great being an unrepentant leech on society???