Regarding the Sept. 18 news article “In leaked video, Romney disdains a ‘dependent’ 47%”:
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says that his comments about roughly half of Americans acting like victims, depending on the government for their basic needs and not paying income taxes, were accurate but not expressed elegantly. I disagree on both points: Mr. Romney concisely expressed his disdain for so many of his fellow Americans, but he was not accurate in his over-the-top stereotyping of those who won’t vote for him.
I served my country as a military officer, am now employed in the private sector and pay my taxes every year. I will vote for President Obama in November because I think he offers a more balanced and sensible approach to making this country better for more Americans.
We will not be a better nation by, as Mr. Romney is doing, denigrating half the population — those who supposedly are lost and unable to take personal responsibility. Rather, this is a time we need to be redoubling our efforts to work together and to make government more truly, as Abraham Lincoln described it, something that is by, of and for the people.
Ken Pilkenton, Alexandria
I am one of the “47 percent” who support the reelection of President Obama. Just as Mitt Romney suggested, I am dependent on the government. I receive a pension check for serving in the Army for four years and working as a civilian for the federal government for 30 years.
I am not quite sure, however, that I fit entirely within Mr. Romney’s view of the president’s supporters. I’ve paid my taxes (at an effective tax rate higher than Mr. Romney). I also do not consider myself a victim. Rather, I consider myself privileged to have served my country for 34 years.
Kenneth Cohen, Reston
President Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, finds it “shocking” that Mitt Romney declared that half the American people view themselves as “victims entitled to handouts.”
Could that possibly be because Mr. Messina thinks Mr. Romney has seriously low-balled the percentage? After all, President Obama has voiced support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary [“Anniversary brings smaller Occupy party,” news article, Sept. 18] and which has as its chant, “We are the 99 percent!”
Darryl W. Jackson, Washington
Regarding the Sept. 19 front-page article “GOP nominee must find his feet quickly”:
Easy! They’re in his mouth.
Pete Nelson, Chester, Md.
I would like to thank the 53 percent of Mitt Romney’s Americans who, through their tax dollars, have funded significant portions of my life. I would like to thank them for the GI Bill. Because of this handout, I was able to complete my education. I’d like to thank them for my VA home loan. Taxpayers, you helped me buy my first home in a beautiful, safe neighborhood.
I also would like to thank you for the five months of unemployment benefits that I received after I got laid off. Honest, I looked for a job every day. I fretted, worried and pounded the pavement for 14 hours a day until I found a job.
Your handout kept my family fed and a roof over our heads. It is a terrible cliche, but I am the 47 percent. I’ve used government assistance to better myself in many ways, and I don’t mind paying back into the system through my tax contributions.
I am an American, and I believe that citizenship comes with certain entitlements. I am entitled to a government that cares about all of its citizens. You are correct, Mr. Romney: I will not vote for you — to use your words — “no matter what.”
Joe Goldsberry, Washington