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Mitt Romney and the '47 percent' - Readers respond

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the U.S.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. (Sept. 17, 2012) Credit: AP

Newsday received a deluge of responses to an editorial that was critical of Mitt Romney for his statement that many Americans believe government has a responsibility to care for them ["Romney wrong about the 47%," Editorial, Sept. 19]. Here's a sample of reader comments.


I support Mitt Romney's statement. I resent half of the country believing they are entitled to my income. I am tired of supporting those who choose not to work, those who enter this country illegally, and those who fraudently abuse the support systems, when my family and I have worked hard all our lives to make a better life for ourselves.

I do not have a problem assisting those who have paid taxes when they fall on hard times. I have no problem assisting senior citizens or those who are disabled. But I do resent those who choose to feel entitled to my hard-earned dollars when they have not contributed to the system that is supporting them and their families.

The time has come for government to stop enabling, to start treating illegal immigrants as criminals and to hold people accountable.

Nancy LiRosi, Kings Park

I implore anyone who is undecided -- if you care about our great country being respected -- to not vote for Mitt Romney for president.

The most recent leaked negative comments toward our lower-income earners should really be the last straw. This is one of many truly inappropriate and unintelligent comments he has made over the past few months. Calling lower-earning people "victims . . . who should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," should be all the evidence needed.

Personally, I don't care to hear what Romney has to say after it's been edited and scripted by his writing team. I want to hear what comes out "off the cuff" -- Romney's phrase as he tried to wiggle out of his latest gaffe. It's the unscripted comments that reveal the true colors and identity of a person.

And I am a registered Republican.

Bill Morello, Kings Park

The 47 percent who don't pay federal income tax includes people who make less than $50,000 a year but pay the 7.75 percent federal payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security. Many work multiple minimum-wage jobs, like those available at Walmart and Staples.

Romney calls himself a job creator, but he seems to despise those jobs he helped to create at Staples because those workers don't make enough to pay federal income tax.

Romney paid $29,000 out of $20.7 million in income in 2010 for Medicare and Social Security, a rate of 0.14 percent.

Yes, someone is bleeding the system, but it's not the working poor.

Phil Heckler, Hicksville

It's amusing how Romney gets attacked for his wealth, implying that he cannot understand the common man. Did the wealth of FDR, the Kennedys, Lyndon Johnson or John Kerry give them the same problem? Or is that only a Republican problem?

Gregg Freedner, Ronkonkoma

Newsday, you never cease to project your bias in favor of President Barack Obama. Romney did not say, as your wrote, that he holds "contempt" for 47 percent of the population. That is your version of the statement he made at a fundraiser in response to a question posed to him at the event. You conveniently omitted that his answer was taken out of full context.

Romney expressed disappointment that Americans receiving government subsidies and those not paying federal income tax probably voted for Obama in 2008 and most likely will vote for him again. Is that not a true, logical conclusion?

You did mention that Romney's fundraiser was a $50,000-per-person event. How convenient that this video of his comments at a private fundraiser is taking precedence over the world burning in the Middle East and the economy of our country in a downward spiral. Obama and company are destroying what used to be a great nation and turning it into a third-world country.

Carol Miller, East Northport

I am going to have to admit that my mom was part of the so-called 47 percent. She died a few years ago and did not pay taxes for the last few years of her life.

She was a nurse and joined the Navy before World War II. She actually earned more medals than my dad, another World War II veteran, and a lot of other men who fought in the war.

My mom found a spot at the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook and didn't pay taxes toward the end. At 92, she just didn't have enough income to pay taxes on.

My mom was deserving of this help regardless of what a guy running for president might say.

Greg Bruschi, Plainview

Mitt Romney is not wrong in what he said, although he could have articulated it differently. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and a vast majority of Democrats lead 47 percent of the American people to believe that only the government can take care of them.

Many of us who come from the Caribbean believe and live the conservative values of the Republican Party every day. We work hard, go to church, don't have man-to-man or woman-to-woman marriage, don't spend what we don't have, remind the kids to work hard in school, etc. Yet when it comes to voting, we are told to always vote for the Democrats because the Republicans only care for the rich and never do anything for minorities.

The abolition of slavery was led by Republicans. And in 1984, President Ronald Reagan put a big smile on millions of faces with amnesty for illegal immigrants, many from minority groups.

This notion that Romney and the Republicans only care about the rich is total rubbish. The rich have always created jobs, giving the poor (like my dad) a chance to lift himself out of poverty.

Anyone out there, please raise your hand to tell me the last time a poor person created a job in the United States.

David Duchatellier, Elmont