Wineke: Romney’s remarks show disdain for 47 percent of Americans

Wineke: Romney’s remarks show disdain for 47 percent of Americans

You know what? I have just about had it with multi-millionaires calling me a moocher dependent on the government for my daily bread.

I’ve never been a fan of Mitt Romney, but he really pushes me over the edge when he says that 47 percent of the American public are “dependent upon government” and “believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.”

He made those remarks to a group of people in Florida who paid $50,000 a pop to hear him sneer at the lower classes.

He lamented that “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Really, Mitt? That’s how you think of me?

It is true that I am not worth a quarter-billion dollars, a quarter-billion dollars I did not inherit from my father who was president of an auto company and governor of Michigan.

So, if “personal responsibility” means making a quarter-billion dollars and receiving $20 million a year on which I pay a 13 percent tax rate, then I guess Romney has a point.

However, my parents weren’t rich and didn’t even give me an allowance. When I was 12 I started selling a weekly newspaper, Grit, from door to door. I’d buy the paper for a nickel and sell it for a dime. If I didn’t sell the paper, I’d have to eat the nickel.

Later, I branched out into selling greeting cards and salt and pepper shakers door to door.
When I was 14, I went to work for Miller’s Supermarket in Verona (it was actually a general store at the time) and I worked there until I was in college, working my way up to the status of assistant butcher.

This could get tedious, so let me just say I earned a college degree from UW-Madison and a theology degree in Chicago and I have held two jobs at a time for almost all the years since. I am now 70 years old and still work two jobs.

So, Mitt, Paul Ryan and all the rest of you rich guys who think I am a lazy dependent, here’s the difference between you and me: I don’t think I am “entitled” to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.” I have earned my own way.

What I do think is that others are entitled to food, to housing, to health care. I think those are basic human rights.

I am enormously grateful that I have been able to earn my own way. I am enormously grateful that my parents valued education and loved to read. They didn’t give me money, but they gave me a head start because I grew up thinking I should read.

I am enormously grateful that my parents worked very hard and taught their eight sons to do so, too.

I am grateful that I was born with at least average intelligence, that I wasn’t disabled in accidents or in war. Like Romney, I didn’t go to Vietnam. Two of my brothers did. I am grateful that I didn’t suffer serious illness during my working years and I am grateful that no one in my immediate family did, either.

So, yes, I do think that people who haven’t been as lucky as I have been also “deserve” health care and housing and, yes, food.

Honest to God, Mitt, that was a disgusting comment you made.