America the Great or America the Dependent

By now, most of us have heard about the woman who was protesting outside of a Mitt Romney rally in Bedford, Ohio. In short, she dislikes the GOP candidate and seems to be in love with President Obama. Her main reason for that love seems to be centered around the phone she says Obama provided for her. She affectionately called it her Obama phone and she was very proud of the fact that it was so easily accessible to her and other minorities or people with little to no income. I think it is safe to say, she is dependent on the federal government for her sustenance. She could be the poster woman for America the dependent.

Before this week, I have been fairly optimistic that Barack Obama could be defeated. I have held the opinion that enough Americans would finally wake up and realize the path America is on is not the straight and narrow, but rather a winding path that is leading us in an ever-increasing downward spiral. After seeing the attitude displayed by the woman in Ohio, and seeing some the reactions to some of the attacks on Mitt Romney, I am beginning to question my optimism. I honestly wonder if enough Americans will wake up before November 6.

America was founded upon the principles of self-reliance and perseverance. It was meant to be a country where everyone has a chance of achieving whatever goal or dream they had for themselves, or their families. It as conceived as a place where men and women could be out from under a domineering government that dictates everything they could or couldn’t do. Our system of government was designed to set the citizens of our country free to be as great as they wanted to be.

What we see today is a far cry from what America was intended to be. Instead of freedom and liberty, we have a federal government that is growing stronger every day. It seems we can not decide what we should eat without the advice of bureaucrats in Washington. With that advice comes rules and regulations that are clearly not in the purview of the federal government. Our food isn’t the only area into which Washington has inserted itself. Light bulbs, healthcare, and birth control are other areas that we can’t seem to get along without the folks in Washington imparting their knowledge and influence.

It seems there is a federal program for every situation Americans may find themselves in. Whereas we used to rely on our families and churches to take up the slack when we were in trouble, we now turn to the federal government. All assistance is routed through Washington and our churches find it hard to pitch in and help, without violating the regulations that come with that federal assistance. Remember, no good deed goes unpunished.

America used to be a great nation of great people who worked their tails off to make it in life. People like my Mom and Dad who had no give up in them. When faced with troubles and trials, they buckled down and worked harder. Many of the generation we are seeing today have no such backbone. When they come up against a wall, they just turn to the federal government and say “gimme”.

American DependenceInstead of a nation full of great people, it seems we have far too many people who are dependent on the federal government. I could quote statistics to show you the percentages, but we can all see it happening. Unemployment is rampant in our nation and when the unemployment benefits run out, many of those people are applying for, and receiving, disability, for one reason or another. That means one thing; the dependent class is growing every day. More dependents and less independents equals an unsustainable and untenable situation in America. Sooner or later, it will have no choice but to collapse.

This brings me back to the reason my optimism about this election is failing me. The people in the dependent class are not stupid people. They know full well the free ride they have is a good thing, at least for them. They are not thinking about what is good for America, but rather what is in it for them. They listen to President Obama and his class warfare mantra, about how the rich are not paying their fair share, and they hear one thing. Obama is going to take from people like Mitt Romney and give to those who are less fortunate. After all, everyone deserves a fair shot, or so Obama keeps telling us. The people like the woman who loves her Obama phone are not about to rock the boat.

Mitt Romney has been in the news lately for his remark that 47% of Americans are dependent on the federal government. His words have been twisted and applied in ways he did not mean. He has no doubt suffered some in the polls because of that, but he did nothing but tell the truth. The man isn’t perfect, but he realizes the situation we are facing in our country is not sustainable. The truth may hurt and it may very well cost him the election, but it is still the truth. America can not continue in the direction it is going. If action is not taken to reverse our current course, our country can not help but implode. No amount of rhetoric will change that.

It’s up to us to change that course. We can continue down the path we are on and become America the dependent, on the verge of fiscal collapse, or we can decide to become America the great, once again. We can choose to complete our transition to total dependence on the federal government, or we can choose to break the bond of dependency and to make things happen for ourselves. It really is that simple, but it isn’t going to be easy. The election on November 6 is one of the battles we have to win, otherwise we may lose the war to save our country.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2033 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

26 comments to America the Great or America the Dependent

  • I am still optimistic, Larry. The media are good at finding extreme examples to entertains us with in their idea of what is news. No doubt there are far too many people like the woman swooning over her Obama phone. But, it is not 47% of Americans that sge represents. That 47% number includes a lot of good people who may be disabled, including many vets, it includes people who have lost their job for no fault of their own and they don’t like being on the dole and will get off the dole as soon as they can find a job. Romney is going to win, Larry. I have to believe that.

    • I am sure the 47% number includes a lot of disabled people, and others, who would give anything to be able to be dependent on no one, including the federal government. I’m just afraid that will not be enough to win out against the people who have no desire to do better and are willing to let someone else take care of them. For what it’s worth, I hope you are right and I am wrong.

  • Larry, check out this article. It might help pick up your spirit.

    http://www.qando.net/?p=13951

  • I share your concern about the 2012 election. I put more stock in the Congressional races than the Presidential race as an overall indicator of where American heads are at. However, as Steven Birn recently commented, our progressive opponents have been infiltrating our society with their destructive philosophy for a century now. We have many, many minds to change before the US gets back to its roots.

    • You may not realize the truth of your statement. The attitudes I am seeing on display in our country does not leave me with much optimism. Far too many people are dependent on the government. As Jim pointed out, many of them have no choice, but many of them do. Those that do seem to have no intention of rocking the boat and upsetting their gravy train. Until that attitude changes, I wonder if we will ever be able to change our country back to the roots on which it was founded.

  • You hit the nail cleanly on the head, LD. It made me think of the previous piece by Sherman Border comparing America with Nazi Germany. He said “…Americans are at heart…a self-reliant people…” That has certainly been our history. Immigrants like my own grandparents did not come here looking for a handout, but for freedom and opportunity, even though there were no guarantees.

    But as I think your post points out, it is a mistake to lump all Americans together under a single generalization. In today’s America our government allows a massive influx of ILLEGAL aliens, here in part to take advantage of our welfare-state that doesn’t exist in their native countries. Politicians promising (and delivering) ever more generous giveaways have conditioned a large part of our populace—who lack confidence in their own ability to achieve—to depend upon, expect and even DEMAND increasing government largesse. Just consider the outrage among “women’s” groups at those opposing Obama’s free birth control unfunded mandate. These dependent people represent an increasingly large percentage of voters, boding well for the liberals.

    The problem for those very people and for all of us is that the stifling of initiative and subsidy of dependence takes away the very qualities that made America great. Our current course, I’m afraid, condemns us (if not reversed)to a mediocrity similar to the struggling and powerless European nations. With a welfare-state, like smoking cigarettes, the consequences may not be immediately apparent but long term are just as inevitable and devastating. It would be such a shame to squander America’s promise in pursuit of easy giveaways.

    Like a lot of us, I’m thinking about the consequences of an Obama victory should that occur in November. For me, the thing to remember is that this presidential race is a single battle in a longer struggle to take back the country. But keeping control of the House and hopefully gaining more sway in the Senate are likely equally important. It’s going to be a long battle, but there is always hope.

    • Well said, John. Indeed, a great many of our citizens have been conditioned to be dependent upon the federal government. They may see very little reason to change, but that makes them very short sighted. Being in such a dependent state comes with a price. That price is costing our country dearly.

      If Obama wins, we are going to have our work cut out for us. I am willing to try, to fight the creeping liberalism that has been slowly taking our country over, but it is going to be a long and hard fight. Given the current state of mind of many Americans, I’m not sure it’s a given that we will win.

  • I’m very fearful of an Obama win. I’m not sure our country can survive another four years of his ‘leadership’. Ever since Reagan left office it seems like our country has been on the slow path to socialism, which an ever growing minority of people being supported by the government. With Obama in office that slow path has become a fast track.

    What will happen when the 47% exceeds 50%? What about when it reaches 55%? 60%? When the majority of people live off the government and vote for the politicians who will keep that happening, our country is doomed to the ash heap of history.

    People call the democrats liberals but I believe that is wrong. Today’s democrats are blatant socialists who seek to enact as much socialism as possible, whether they will admit it or not. They know that the more socialism there is, the more people who live off the government will vote for them. They could not care less about our country; they care only about themselves and staying in power.

    But, like Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.” When that happens, the Great Depression will probably seem like economic prosperity compared to what will happen to our country.

    • I’m with you, Charles. I know Americans are resilient and persevering, but I’m just not sure we can withstand a second Obama term. Sooner or later, Margaret Thatcher’s quote is going to come true. What will our government do then?

  • It has long been recognized that increasing dependency is a Democrat strategy for permanent power. Unfortunately, “something for nothing” is a key motivation of many Democrat voters.

  • Laurie

    Passionate article, but myopic in scope. You don’t seem to consider what it is that helps some Americans not owe Federal income taxes, or why, or even who it is who isn’t paying.

    The Earned Income Tax Credit help many Americans avoid Federal taxes. Reagan was a strong supporter, because he saw it as a way to lift millions out of poverty. To date, over 6 million Americans have done that to date with this credit-half a million alone were induced from welfare to work because of EITC’s expansion in the 90s. Then there’s the Child Tax Credit that helped lift 1.5 million children out of poverty. We have the mortgage deduction, of course, and college tax credits for those paying for their kids’ higher education- the list goes on. Many families take advantage of several of the tax advantages together. These are working families with incomes well above the poverty rate who nevertheless avoid Federal income taxes- many of them even get refunds, all because of the tax advantages.

    These are families, not freeloaders, and many of them middle to lower middle class- millions who take advantage of these rules- who would have a very difficult time maintaining basic life expenses. So- poof!! All that goes away, tell them to go to their church and their family for help. Except, of course, most of their family will be hurt as well. Having a hard time with that logic.

    The other side, of course, is that there are myriad tax advantages offered to high income workers, as well, that allow Federal tax avoidance. Let’s forget about the crazy tax laws put on the books that only 400-1000 uber rich Americans will ever be able to take advantage of. Let’s concentrate on the majority. 90% of all US businesses are pass-through entities. In 2007, roughly 5 million of the 6 million US companies were taxed as S-corps, and it’s about the same now. S-corp tax advantages are numerous, but look at only one of them. Because of the way the tax laws are written, I and the rest of the S-Corp business owners need only declare half our yearly personal revenue as “income”, the rest coming as shareholder disbursements. The truth is, some industries can get away with 30%. Basically that boils down: 5 million income earners in this country pay payroll taxes on only half of what we would if we were taxes like regular workers. Next time you wonder why Medicare is hard to pay for, think about this one factor. Congress is, and some changes are in the works. They’re needed, but it smashes the whole meme of “protect the job creators”, and so Republicans can’t get on board until after the election.

    My point is that we have all gotten to a dangerous point with this whole conversations. We’re busting up on credits for the middle class (many of which most of you on this board take/have taken) and forgetting about all the real advantages given to those who could afford to pay more. We do this by vilifying the “47%” (without even looking at who they are) and deifying “job creators”. Why do I put that in quotes? Because out of the roughly 6 million US businesses, 80% have 10 or fewer employees. These aren’t the people poised for real jobs growth in this country, and in fact aren’t the ones creating many of the jobs at all.

    Instead of grabbing onto rhetoric and “feelings”, wouldn’t it be a lot more productive if we would deal with reality? Does it make more sense to eliminate the tax credits that help the middle class on down, or adjust a bit on the ones that basically help high income earners?

    • I’m sorry you feel my post is short-sighted in scope, but you have completely missed the point of what I was trying to say. I mentioned not a word about paying federal income tax, or the tax code itself, with all of its complicated deductions, loopholes, etc. Neither did I mention the EITC. Personally, I would like to see a complete and total revamp of the tax code. Make it flatter, simpler, and as a result, it would be fairer. And speaking of the EITC, I’m not so sure it hasn’t created a class of dependency, all by itself. I know many families who plan their finances around receiving that particular gift from the federal government.

      I am fully aware that not everyone who is dependent on the federal government is not freeloader and would dearly love to be able to do better. I am also fully aware that the opposite is true of many of them.

      My point has nothing to do with who is getting tax breaks and who is not. It has everything to do with the fact that our country is on a course that can not be sustained and far too many people in America are perfectly satisfied to be in a dependent state. Until that changes, we can not hope to change our direction.

    • “Because out of the roughly 6 million US businesses, 80% have 10 or fewer employees. These aren’t the people poised for real jobs growth in this country, and in fact aren’t the ones creating many of the jobs at all.”

      Doing some quick “back of the envelope” calculations, your numbers account for about 50 million jobs created by small business. Assuming 120 million total jobs, that’s about 40% of the jobs in the entire workforce. Not too shabby.

      Moreover, according to the US Small Business Administration, small firms:
      • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
      • Employ half of all private sector employees.
      • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
      • Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
      • Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
      • Hire 43 percent of high tech workers ( scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).
      • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
      • Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
      • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

      Source: http://web.sba.gov/faqs/faqIndexAll.cfm?areaid=24

    • bill

      “Instead of grabbing onto rhetoric and “feelings”, wouldn’t it be a lot more productive if we would deal with reality?”

      more than happy to laurie. it seems the ‘reality’ of your short essay is that all americans, specifically the middle-class, historically enjoy some governmental largesse. point taken. and your admonishment against (grabbing onto rhetoric and “feelings”) must refer to the demagoguing that pits one income group against another. i get it.

      without going too far down the rabbit-hole here i’d simply point out that our great nation ain’t so great anymore. whereas mr. jackson was pointing out the extremes of statist dependency; i would suggest expanding his concern to the aggregate yearly deficit which now exceeds our gdp. we’re broke laurie, and investors know it. yesterday morning the value of the Chinese yuan was more than our dollar. that snapshot was a brief minute and a half on the market but it was historical. read all about it here:

      http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/09/28/yuan-hits-a-record-and-the-chinese-can-thank-the-u-s/

      what that means is that transnational corps. are looking to china and not this country for investment security, and why not? our treasury bonds are yielding next to nothing and all the fed can offer after qe3 is qe4.

      a ‘strong’ nation has the means to provide not just protection of life, property, and defense of it’s borders; but also the humane support of those less empowered. sadly, america can no longer afford that luxury and there are a few other things that have to go too. that’s the ‘reality’ all of us should be focused on. your s-corp taxable would not be quite as lucrative to it’s shareholders under the watch of Hu Jintao.

      the folks who prey on the sympathy of the naive to accede to algorithmically more encompassing social programs have, since 1908, brought us to this crossroads.

      with respect…b

  • “Have you got your Obama phone?” is the calling card of our time however the program apparently began in 1984.

    I wonder how much Mittens will cut from programs like this. I’d imagine we’d be hearing a lot about how “heartless Republicans” are “mercilessly cutting” programs for the disadvantaged.

    Oh, and if you mock Obama phone woman you’re a racist!

    • I would be interested in hearing how Romney would cut into programs such as the one we have been talking about. As you pointed out, it is an obscure government program that began in 1984. It is basically a phone subsidization program that has been expanded to include cell phones. Obama didn’t start it, but it is a prime example of our federal government putting its hands in places they do not belong. I wonder if they consider owning a cell phone a basic right now?

  • Steve Dennis

    The goal of the Democrats is to get 51% of Americans dependent on government, once that happens they will have a permanent voting majority and will be increasingly hard to defeat. And they are dangerously close to that now, if we don’t turn that around in this election it may be too late to change it later.

  • billiam

    LD, in many respects, self reliance and perseverance, need to be taught, at least at the basic level. Does this happen today? I remember when my mom applied for food stamps when I was a kid. That’s when there was a certain amount of shame involved. People looked at you in a different way when you pulled them out. I noticed that. I learned about self reliance and perseverance mainly from others, as I didn’t meet my dad until I was 15. I learned much from the fathers of my friends, as well as a damn fine scout leader in Boy Scouts. I learned about the pride one gets from doing for himself, even if it means surviving on less until something better comes along. There doesn’t seem to be much of that attitude these days. The common mantra is, ‘get it from the government, it’s free.’ I can’t wrap my mind around that type of thinking. It’s counter to what I’ve come to know.

  • We have a government school system that ridicules self reliance, American freedom and American history while advocating collectivism and dependance. We are finally beginning to see what decades of government education has done to this country. The people fought back for awhile with Reagan and the GOP landslide in 1994. But at some point you had to figure the government schools would churn out more collectivists than we could produce in individualists. Couple that with a Bob Dole level of incompetence from the Romney campaign and you have all the makings of an Obama landslide.

  • Dragonconservative

    This is the kind of thing that Romney needs to bring up during the debates. If he can ram the entitlement state down the throat of the Democrats, he’s got the debates in the bag.

  • Bob

    Barak Obama was elected by the press, and they have too much invested int he nation’s first black president that they will do anything to get his re-elected. If anyone thinks me racist for that remark, I can only say that it is not I who sees everything through a color lense. The press is extremely politically correct, and will lie rather the admit that Barak Obama is incompetent.

    The pattern was set some time ago with the press going after George W Bush. Nothing positive ever got published about him, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or even his unheard of aid to Africa to mitigate the spread of AIDS.

    The mentality of the press is almost like what you find in High School. It is tribal in nature, and does not speak well for the educations of these journalists, or the institutions from which they bought their degrees.


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