To: Mitt Romney
Hey there! It's me, The Poor. I have other names you may have heard of. Some call me The Underprivileged, The Less Fortunate, The Down Trodden, and sometimes I am referred to by my fancy name: The Indigent.
Lately, you have called me out and have said some really mean things to me. Since you never really communicate with me, and I know I have next to no chance of meeting you face to face, I have decided to take this time and write a letter in the hope that you will at least learn about my plight. So here it is.
Now, you may not recognize me because let's face it, you have never met me. You have never known what it is like to be in my presence nor have you learned to go without. No sir, you have never walked in my shoes, my worn out raggedy shoes, and you have never felt the stinging stare of stereotyping like I do on a daily basis. You have never been put out of your home or eaten food issued by the government. You have never had to give your children sugar sandwiches for dinner or send them to the worst, most dangerous schools in your area because you couldn't afford any better. But that doesn't bother me.
Now, normally I don't get too riled up about politics because let's face it, you politicians don't like to focus on me. Generally, you guys ignore me or use fancy language to talk around me. Sometimes, I vote for your party, but I never really see how your policies help me or even make my life just a little bit easier. Most of the time, when I am laying on the ground or asking for help near Congress, near state buildings, or near big companies, you act as if I am not even there. It is like I am completely invisible. But I see you and I don't mind. Nope I don't mind it at all.
Now, it concerned me when you made a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry. You see, I earn that much in about 3 months. But I got over it. I was also alarmed when I found out that Bain Capitol, the company you used to run, had laid me off and many of my family members and had made you even more money. You sent those same jobs over seas and they were lost forever. Again, I got over that. I tried to make myself feel better about it when you said at the Iowa State fair that "Corporation were people,"although I didn't really. But still, I let it go.
But your statement that you are not concerned about me really stung. In fact, I was hoping you would retract your statement or at least clarify your words. You chose to clarify. But your attempt at clarification actually made things worse. See, your explanation was that you don't have to focus on me because I have a safety net in Medicare, housing vouchers, food stamps, and earned income tax credit. But I wouldn't exactly call those things a safety net. Here's why.
See, I don't get all of these programs at the same time. Although I do get Medicare, I can't get a housing voucher because my income is just out reach of the qualifiying maximum. I don't get food stamps because I work and although I get the earned income tax credit, it's not very much money and I use it to help pay off bills and help my family. In addition, does this safety net you speak of help me with my upside down mortgage? Does it help me protect my children from inner city violence? So, the few benefits I get, I wouldn't call them a safety net, I'd call them much needed assistance.
In all fairness, you did say that you also were not concerned with the wealthy either because they are in good shape. I agree. No issues there. You then said you wanted to focus on the middle class because they represent 90% of the American people. But you fail to recognize that the middle class is actually comprised of three groups: lower, middle, and upper middle classes. When times are good I can sometimes be in the middle middle class but most of the time, and especially lately, I am definitely in the lower middle class. And trust me, these days, lower middle class means that you are poor. So, that means you should be concerned with me. It means you should help me.
Look Mitt, I understand that you believe my concern with your income and your taxes is class warfare and class envy. I understand that I will always work while you earn money while you sleep. I understand that asking you to contribute the same amount in taxes I do is akin to asking you to share the wealth, which is clearly socialism. Although, I'm not quite sure what that is. I even understand that you and other politicians like you will always be in power and create policies that affect my life. But do you think you can lay off a little?
Do you think you can lay off the unions who try to negotiate a little extra pay and an easier time at work for me? Do you think you can refrain from cutting the already financially depleted schools my children attend? Do you think you can prevent companies from preying on people like me? Can you stop criticizing the health care plan you designed to help me? Can you get the police to stop arresting me because I look illegal? Can you get your other politician friends to stop attacking me and calling me names? I know you can Mitt, you're running for office remember?
So, I have spelled out the few things that I would like from you. Mostly, I would like you stop making things worse for me. I would like for you to understand that largely, I am a product of my environment and that some government services allow me to educate myself, empower myself, and enrich myself. Now, you wouldn't want to prevent that would you? Wouldn't that be class warfare? Are you a socialist because I share most of my paycheck with you?
Now, the elections are coming up and it appears that you have a fighting chance of becoming President of the United States. If that happens, your policies could directly effect my environment, my children, and my future. Will you think about the things I have told you? Will you try and change your view toward me? Will you help provide much needed financial, educational, and social services I need? I really hope so.
Ok, so that's all for now. I hope that you will read this letter and think about policies that will actually help me. I know you don't know me and you don't like to see me when you are in public but please find it in yourself to help a fellow person. That's all for now. Take care.
P.S. - Keep in mind that I do vote and my vote holds the same weight . I expect you to respond to me by the general election or I plan to express my frustrations at that time. Enjoy the rest of the primaries!
What do you think about Mitt Romney's statement that he is not concerned with the poor because they have a safety net?