I don't depend on my government for very many things, if you don't count the nation's infrastructure, copyright and patent protection, justice, defense, and even the occasional laugh, all of which enjoy the dependence of all Americans. I'm a self-employed homeowner with a family that I support. My child attends a public elementary school. Only once, during the Bush years, did I ever receive money from the government that wasn't already mine: one check for about $500 in unemployment compensation. Little did I realize how much that check, along with my education and quality of life choices, would come back to haunt me so cruelly today.
I have been branded as an undesirable, a government sponge, by a man who is waging an historic campaign for the presidency, with the biggest budget in U.S. history, funded mostly by a handful of the wealthiest men in history. Mitt Romney has clearly stated that I'm not worth his efforts to communicate with me if I may have benefited from federal tax credits or exemptions that could lower my income tax bracket. He says I believe I'm a victim and am therefore entitled to have provided for me such basic needs as food, housing and health care. I'm told these things mainly because of the candidate I have chosen to support in this race, the radical, socialistic human teat known as Barack Obama. Romney believes I will support this supposed walking dispenser of government money even if he were to commit cold-blooded murder on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
So I belong with the social outcasts on the other side of the fence.
But here's just one that tops off a long list of problems here: I pay a lot of income tax, and sometimes it outweighs money I've spent on some bare necessities of 21st century urban living. I don't consider myself a victim of anything or anyone, and I don't blame society for any of my life's misfortune, though I'm sure there are many who do. I blame myself when it is clear and credit myself when it is time.
I do not feel entitled to health care. I've been buying my family's health insurance since before there was ever a word Obamacare. But you know what? Something extraordinary happened just weeks ago. Our insurer actually paid for something. It paid for some preventive care examinations, the kind which can and likely will save my family, and the insurer, tens of thousands of dollars over the next decade. This was a refreshing change from the older version of our policy, a bank-breaking deductible and a doctor co-pay equaling -- wait for it -- zero.
Know what else? They also cut me a rebate check. The rebate, and the preventive benefits, didn't come from the hard-working, bootstrap-pulling, job-creating, half-of-the-country-supporting taxpayer. It wasn't raided out of the senior citizens' Medicare pot. It came from me. It was money that I kicked in for years. And for the first time ever, my insurer spent it on me, instead of executive bonuses and a bottomless lobbying budget. Did they do this for me out of the goodness of their hearts, or perhaps a deep sense of commitment to customer service? No. It literally took an act of Congress, and the president's signature, to make them do it.
And that, somehow, puts me on the other side of the fence. Why? Because I support a president whose policies have made a positive difference in my life and millions of other self-reliant Americans', and will actually save money for all? Because under him I just might be better off today than I was four years ago?
Even the president knows, better than anyone, that my support doesn't come guaranteed or automatic. If someone were to appear on the scene with ideas I like better, he or she just might get my vote. If President Obama's campaign should implode over the next month, I may have to consider a write-in. But it won't be the name of anyone who displays such blatant cynicism, behind closed doors or not. Mr. Romney will never have my support. And his ill-informed, unapologetic assessment of my citizenship tops off a long list of reasons why.