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ELECTION: A message from one of the 47 percent

Letter by Clara-Lee Kapovich Bahr Radtke, Gig Harbor on Sep. 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm with 57 Comments »
September 21, 2012 9:36 am

We are the 47 percent of Americans Mitt Romney spoke about.

We have worked hard since we were 14 and 15. We paid into Social Security, Medicare, unions and retirement. We served in the Korean war ( on the front lines). We have a grandson in Afghanistan.

We raised our children to believe in God and in our government. We paid taxes, obeyed the laws, supported our church, schools, sports, foster care and scouting. (We have four Eagle Scouts in our family.)

We have multiracial friends and family. Our kids and grandkids went to college with loans and found jobs. We have voted in all elections since we were both 21.

Yes, we have fallen on hard times. We are paying high medical insurance every month. We are still attempting to work at ages 73 and 82, just to make ends meet.

Yes, we have made mistakes and spent our money sometimes unwisely. But we have not collected welfare, food stamps or unemploymet, and we do not condemn people who need to.

Leave a comment Comments → 57
  1. Frankenchrist says:

    The Romney campaign is going off the rails while Mittens and Ann are becoming mentally unglued. The public sees Mittens for what he is: a privilaged elitist with no moral compass. He only lives to fire people and grab as much money as possible to hide in his off-shore Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts. Willard is an insincere pusillanimous plutocrat who looks down his nose at working men and women. It’s fun watching him flounder and flail about.

  2. PuyallupAdjunct says:

    I’m guessing you didn’t listen to the entire quote. Romney said that 47% of people will vote for the democratic candidate no matter what. So in terms of reaching voters for the election, concentrating efforts on that 47% which will never change their mind, will be a waist of resources. That was the whole point. Conversely there is a similar percentage that will always vote republican. He further commented that he needs to concentrate on the 8-10% undecided voters. I would be ashamed of any candidate who couldn’t work out this simple reasoning.

    There are more details in his quote of course, but I would recommend listening to the whole thing.

    I’d also like to point out that if you are a good tax payer, and consider your vote with care (not just party lines) then you are not one of the 47%.

  3. averageJose says:

    Then, Clara-Lee Kapovich Bahr Radtke… Romney wasn’t referring to you.

    That’s quite the hyphen!

  4. averageJose says:

    btw, don’t only rich people live in Gig Harbor?

  5. slugoxyz says:

    If you pay your taxes and vote, then like PuyallupAdjunct says – you are not part of the 47%. But by all means, if you want to vote for Obama – then do it. You don’t need to write to the paper to tell us why. It is your right and you are respected for it regardless of who you vote for. Good luck.

  6. alindasue says:

    The ironic thing is that a large number of the people I know who’ve said they’re voting for Mitt Romney ARE part of the 47%…

  7. Frankenchrist says:

    Listening to recent sound clips of Mittens is unpleasant, like chewing on a ball of tin foil. His voice is strained, ragged, high-pitched, stammering, stuttering; like mashing the gears in a transmission. We hear squeaks from the back of his throat. It’s absolutely unnerving that this repressed psychopath wants to be the President of the USA. He sounds like a bad actor, portraying a trapped and desperate fugitive. Mitt is in the process of coming undone. He simply can’t believe he isn’t just waltzing into the White House, while his self-pitying wife is sobs like a schoolgirl about the travails of campaigning for FLOTUS.

  8. NewDragon – you most amaze yourself hourly because Romney specifically identified the ‘47% who pay no federal income tax’ then when on to state they (the 47%) were dependent on government handouts and were too lazy to work.

    And aJo and slugo must constantly amaze you.

  9. ThinkerDem says:

    The 47% that Mitt described does not exist as a group, except in his isolated mind. Remember, he never saw a “bad” neighborhood until he was 30 years old. Many who pay little or NO taxes are billionaires with handy tax avoidance tools like off-shore accounts.

    BTW, many of the upstanding people you are describing do not believe in a supernatural deity, and did not raise their children to believe in anything for whose existence no objective evidence has been or can be presented.

  10. Just to clarify the obfuscation that Republicans are trying to float on Romney’s remarks, here is who he thinks the 47% are:

    “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

    M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

    So the 47% are people who support Obama and they currently pay no income tax, and Romney said that he could not convince them to take personal responsibility. So, it is clear to me that he thinks that if one pays no income tax a person does not take responsibility for themselves. He also believes anyone who pays no income tax supports Obama, which is a ridiculous statement on its face, too.

    There is no other way to view this remark. Sure, he tried to soften it or say he mispoke, but he was speaking to people of his social and economic status, and I believe he was telling his true feelings for a change.

  11. Defending Mitts is becoming more and more like trying to defend our presence in Afghanistan. It is fruitless, because even his own people are abandoning ship just as the Afghan people don’t want us there.
    Democrats now have a 74% chance of retaking control of the House. That would be cool.

  12. natomony says:

    Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. CNBC has an article that lists the top ten states where people don’t pay any federal taxes. Eight of these states are solidly republican. Texas, Utah, Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Arkansas. New Mexico leans slightly democratic and Florida is a swing state.
    It should be pretty obvious that the biggest whiners about the 47% not paying any taxes are included in this group.
    Come on now and quit biting the hands that feed you.

  13. Like defending BHO is an easy task. The guy doesn’t even know the national debt.

    Mitt spoke a hard truth about election strategy. None of you whiners were going to vote anything but D anyway.

    With each post you prove his point.

  14. Romney is such a winner those in his own party think he should step aside.

  15. menopaws says:

    This letter writers point was that they are good citizens, work hard……They do receive some help from Social Security and Medicare and they EARNED that….It is NOT some hand out…….These are some of the people we should all be listening to……Mr. Romney and his country club donors are clueless about the fine citizens he chose to diminish on that tape. HE should be ashamed, not people like those who wrote this letter. They should stand proud for their contribution to our society. Those kids and grandkids are good citizens because of the example this couple set for all of them……..
    But, they know that some people need help and they do not begrudge their neighbors that kind of assistance………They know how difficult it can be and recognize that as a community, there should be a spirit of giving to those less fortunate. Great people and I wish them all the best…..They make this country strong-not the 1% that the Republicans pucker up to…….

  16. LeePHilI says:

    I’m not part of the 47% and I’m embarrassed for Mitt Romney that he was such a tool to have spewed a silly talking point that caused him so much grief and now he has to spend his time spinning an excuse.

    Not who I want for President……

  17. MyBandito says:

    Clara-Lee- There is no “The 47%.” This is a figment of Romney’s elitist imagination.

    It may be that there are 47% of Americans who don’t owe any income tax, only because the tax code excludes them from having to pay due to insufficient income.

    It may be that 47% of Americans will vote for Obama, no matter what but they aren’t the same people as the above 47% group.

    It may be that 47% of Americans receive some sort of assistance, Medicare, SS, unemployment, food stamps, etc. but they aren’t necessarily the same 47% as those in the above two 47% groups.

    Many of the people in the first and third group will vote for Romney, no matter what.

    Many of the people in the second group pay federal income tax and many receive no government assistance.

    These three groups add up to be the 99% that aren’t as well off as Romney.

    Don’t let Romney fool you into voting for a 1%er like him who doesn’t have a clue about people like us.

  18. normajean says:

    Mybandito & Menopaws have summed it up beautifully. I have seen first hand how many Americans are suffering & must rely on assistance because they have lost their jobs, their homes etc.

  19. He has paid MILLIONS!!!! Thank Romney for those entitlement!


    Well, leftists everywhere are feeling like total clowns. Played by Reid (who needs to release HIS taxes!).

    20+%, right at where the effective rate should be for his income bracket, well above anyone ‘middle class.

    ROMNEY 2012!!!!

  20. Wow, the letter-writer’s name is a message in and of itself.

    Clara, you should think about a nickname… like… antidisestablishmentarianism or something.

    And if you truly “are the 47 percent of Americans Mitt Romney spoke about” you have one big family too. Congratulations!

  21. MyBandito says:

    CT8- What Romney pays or doesn’t pay in taxes is only a drop in the bucket. Hard working Americans pay the vast majority of what the IRS collects. Those who have recently found themselves owing no taxes due to the Bush tax cuts and their sudden lack of income due to the Bush economy, paid their share into the system up until the Bush recession.

    They have themselves to thank for the safety net that keeps them from ending up on the street, not the likes of Romney.

    Romney isn’t paying into our SS. We are.

    Speaking of Romney’s taxes, doesn’t it bother you that Romney goes to an incredible amount trouble to hide his previous returns? Doesn’t it bother you that he manipulated his ’11 return to make the percentage match his claims of 13%; a larger percentage than he would if he put all of his cards on the table? Doesn’t this aura of dishonesty bother even you?

    Doesn’t it bother you that your vote will be cancelled out by mine?

  22. MyBandito says:

    Clamato- That 47% of which Romney spoke only exists in his elitist mind.

  23. alindasue says:

    If his taxes last year were 13%, unless his fortunes have changed drastically, they would likely be 13% or thereabouts again this year. I don’t think Mitt Romney is lying about that.

    I just think that he is clueless to the fact that he just insulted a large portion of his own supporters, not realizing just how many of them are among the “47%”. I suppose his success or failure from this point will depend on how many of THEM realize that they are among the 47% who “pay no taxes” and receive “entitlements” – or are they just as clueless on this matter as he is.

  24. philichi says:

    What Romney meant to say was ” there are currently people pulling the wagon and people riding in it” The riders will vote for Obama. Obama tries to drive the wagon while telling the pullers that “they didn’t build that”.
    The nice thing about a free enterprise is that Obama is getting what he wants. The pullers are simply stoping. They are telling the president and is commie friends, with their actions, to “pull your own wagon” The President is getting a 1.5% growth rate in a nation that should be growing at 4%. Welcome to Obamaville.

  25. MyBandito says:

    alindasue- Which 47% are you referring to, the 47% who owe no taxes, or the 47% who receive entitlements? Many from both of those groups are Romney voters.

    Romney fudged ’11’s return so as to pay a tax percentage consistent with his 13% statement. He admittedly deferred a good portion of his charitable deductions in order to deceive the public.

  26. MyBandito says:

    philichi- Of course that’s what Romney meant. That’s the problem. It’s a boldface lie.

    Although people like you will swallow his lies hook-line-and-sinker, I’m confident that most Americans will see through them and vote responsibly.

  27. How did he deceive the public if it is out in the open? Nice try. BHO deceived the nation from day 1, sold a great speaking, big promising, waste of 4 years.

    You are just happy to have something to talk about other than BHOs record.

    I love America. Enjoy your vote.

  28. MyBandito says:

    His deception was exposed, bringing it out in the open.

    His 47% comment is a figment of his elitist imagination.

    He’s making it easy for Obama to be re-elected.

    Enjoy your vote, as well.

  29. I think ‘dito is trying to make a “hiding in plain sight” argument.

    Always works with libs – why do you think they love 0bama.

    Yeah, that Romney guy’s not as smart as he would have them libs believe.

    See, this is exactly Romney’s point in not releasing more than 2 years of 1040’s. No matter how innocuous they may be, the liberal narrative will be that he “cheated” (in this case by paying more than he had to), or that he’s not paying his “fair share” (like 2 million isn’t more than Warren Buffet paid).

  30. MyBandito says:

    This isn’t about what I’m trying to do. I’m not running for President.

    What is Romney trying to do by differing his charitable donations until next year, paying more taxes for ’11?

    “Romney’s return is at odds with a July 29 statement in which the former private-equity executive said he didn’t think he would be qualified to be president if he paid more taxes than he owed.”


  31. What is Romney trying to do by differing his charitable donations until next year, paying more taxes for ’11?

    Cheat in plain sight, obviously. Why deduct this year what you can deduct in the future?

    It’s sooooooo… SCANDALOUS!!!!!!!

  32. Bottom line is he gives more, pays more, and is a better American then BHO/Biden.

    How much did Joe give? Oh….

    So, Romney is charitable. Fact. Assisted in the rescue of an employee’s daughter. Fact. Deliver firewood to the poor. Fact.

    BHO, takes a salary (unlike Romney when gov). Represented slumlords in his short career. Is only charitable with taxpayer (or China’s) money.

  33. hansgruber says:

    We are the 53 percent of Americans Mitt Romney spoke about.

    We have worked hard since we were 14 and 15. We paid into Social Security, Medicare, unions and retirement. ( on the front lines). We have a son in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    We raised our children to believe in God and in our government. We paid taxes, obeyed the laws, supported our church, schools, sports, and scouting.

    We have multiracial friends and family. Our kids went to college with loans and found jobs. We have voted in all elections since we were both 21.

    We are paying high medical insurance every month. We are still attempting to work.

    Yes, we have made mistakes and spent our money sometimes unwisely. But we have not collected welfare, food stamps or unemploymet, and we do not condemn people who need to.

  34. MyBandito says:

    The question still remains, why did Romney defer taking the charitable deduction if not to manipulate the percentage of taxes he paid for political purposes?

  35. MyBandito says:

    hansgruber- Most of us, the 99%, fit that description. Far more than 53% of us are hard working Americans. With an unemployment rate below 10%, 90% of us are either working, retired, or in school.

    In the presence of some very wealthy donors, Romney ridiculed the 99% of us who could not afford to be part of that fundraiser. And he got caught by someone who was working.

  36. MyBandito says:

    hansgruber- What is your feeling about those who collect Social Security and use Medicare?

  37. averageJose says:

    OK, Romney released his taxes. Time for Soetoro to open his college records.

  38. Romney released his 2011 tax form….not the tax forms that Gingrich was calling for during the primaries. If Barack Obama releases his 2011 transcripts will that suffice?

    btw – when one considers total taxation – including payroll, state, etc. – Romney’s 2011 tax form suggests that his total taxation is actually less than what many of the 46% who won’t owe any Federal Income Tax for 2011 will pay.

  39. Less percentage of their total income, not less total amount.

  40. “I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes” – Mitt Romney, January, 2012

    (The Romney’s)“ limited their deductions of charitable contributions to conform to the governor’s statement in August, based on the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13 percent in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.” – Brad Malt, Romney’s tax lawyer

    Why do we always have to ask about Romney, “Which statement was the truth, and which was the lie?”

  41. 100 % of Americans depend on government. If you hate government that much, I have a couple of suggestions:
    1) Do not apply for the job of president. Why? Guess what, you work for the government and the 100 % of people who rely on it.
    2) Move to Nigeria for a couple of months. Come back and tell us how great a place without a functioning government is.
    Oh, one more thing. Quit your whining, right wingers. Many of the 100% of people who rely on the government are tired of your incessant whining and complaining. You are not helping – so get out of the way.

  42. LOL, I see TheSlag would be “a candidate for all of the people” too… just as long as…

  43. If Barack Obama releases his 2011 transcripts will that suffice?

    I’d take two years of transcripts from the “smartest man ever to occupy the” presidential golf cart.

    Occidental or Columbia would do. Heck, even one year from each would be interesting.

    What’s he hiding?????

  44. The only thing that is really interesting about Mitt’s comment is the fact he is slamming people for reducing their personal tax liabilities with the tax benefits granted by the United States Congress. This is the same tax code that allows Mitt to minimize his own taxes. These are the tax laws passed by Republicans and Democrats.

  45. Since Obama graduated magna cum laude with his JD in 1991 you are fishing over 3 decades back. All the American people want from Mitt is the most recent decade’s worth of tax returns – we don’t care about his records from the last century.

  46. Clamat, you make no sense. It’s all just hot steam off your teabag, isn’t it? :)

  47. averageJose says:

    I do, I want to know what his thesis was about and I think it would be very informative to know his thought process.

    You sure seemed interested is going back 3 decades with Bush. In fact, I recall you being very concerned about his alcohol abuse and the rumor about his cocaine use. Kooky, it is, that now you are very alologetic about Obama’s drug abuse.

    Then there’s Clinton and his medical records…

  48. averageJose says:

    You’re projecting slag.

  49. Nice use of emoticon.

    How’s trolling… around the slag heap that is?

    Saw a lotta’ boats out there today. Maybe you missed yours?

  50. LeePHilI says:

    Only Josie could equate a laude degree and PHD to alcoholism and cocaine use.

    Well…unless you remember the other half dozen characters….

  51. Clamato: reconstituted tomato juice with clam broth ROTFLMFAO….

  52. All the American people want from Mitt is the most recent decade’s worth of tax returns – we don’t care about his records from the last century.

    What “American people”. You mean the 25% wacko-knee-jerk democrats and their media surrogates?

    And you should be careful, bB, you’re contradicting the official party stance of comrade nancy wassername-seargeant-shutlz. She’s asking for 23 years.


    That would be going back to 1988. I would say we’re easily in the same bounds here.

  53. Slag,

    Thanks for getting a laugh at Larry’s expense. He’s the one who named me, and I thoroughly enjoy it when people make asses of themselves and others by mocking it. Thanks for playing.

    BTW, a partially vitreous by-product of the process of smelting ore really doesn’t have much of a “heap” to stand on when it comes to mocking other’s screen names now do they.

    Geez. Another bad gene(ious) added to the pool.

  54. When playing slag, reconstituted clam juice, scissor – Slag definitely is vitreously victorious, every time! Please spare us with the details on why you are named after clam juice…yuk. LOL

  55. alindasue says:

    The weekend’s over guys. Please try to keep the discussion on topic. Thanks.

  56. Clamat0 – nice try

    WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans, including almost a third of Republicans, say GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the two years he has promised to disclose, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.


  57. averageJose says:

    The national survey of 539 adults, taken Wednesday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

    Why don’t they give the sample data? I hate that they don’t.

    It’s interesting when you read more than just the cut/paste above.

    I would like to see a poll on how many people think Obama should release his college transcripts.

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