During the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney was famously caught on camera talking about the 47 percent he claimed pay no taxes. That led to the conservative media referring to the 47 percent as the “moocher” class; those people whose votes could be bought with promises of free “stuff,” such as food stamps, unemployment insurance and access to healthcare.
According to a new survey exclusive to The Associated Press, Romney had the numbers wrong. The survey shows that 80 percent of adults in the US face near-poverty and unemployment at some point in their lives. You read that correctly…80 percent!
In addition, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 22 percent of Americans have been significantly affected by the sequester budget cuts. And those who earn less than $30,000 per year have been hardest hit. Moreover, 1 in 6 (50 million) Americans face food insecurity, including 17 million children.
The vast majority of these people work full-time jobs; some work two jobs or more and still can’t make ends meet. Yet conservatives call these people “moochers” and “takers.” Fox News Channel and conservative radio hosts vilify and ridicule the working poor. Instead of placing the blame where it belongs…on greedy corporations and an economy that no longer offers the majority of Americans an opportunity to realize the American Dream…Congressional Teapublicans blame the problem on labor unions, pensions, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They have voted to cut food stamps and unemployment insurance benefits. They have voted 39 times to repeal Obamacare, denying access to healthcare for more than 50 million poor Americans. And, instead of voting to fund projects that would rebuild our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs, they vote to cut taxes for the wealthy.
In the two and a half years since regaining control of the House by promising to focus on jobs, Teapublicans continue to push for budget cuts and to place obstacles in the way of our economic recovery.
As a result of their indifference to the plight of ordinary Americans, our economy continues its slow recovery. We continue to see the loss of good-paying jobs to other countries. We continue to see the loss of pensions and income security for the elderly. And we continue to see a widening gap between the rich and the poor.
Teapublicans are right to talk about the “givers” and “takers” in our society. But they have things backwards. The “givers” are the working people who pay a disproportionate share of their income to taxes, including payroll deductions and sales taxes. And the “takers” are the very wealthy and large corporations who benefit from corporate welfare and record profits.