You know every time I hear Mitt Romney talk, I hear that Shaggy song in my head.
You know the one.
“It wasn’t me.”
As the song goes, a guy is telling Shaggy about cheating on his girlfriend and getting caught and Shaggy’s advice is to just deny it and say “It wasn’t me” despite the overwhelming evidence.
Much like Mr. Mitt “Obama made the economy worse” Romney..
“I didn’t say he made it worse.”
Except for the fact you did. On tape, on several occasions stumping through the country. However the blatant lies and misdirection of the positive news we have coming out of our country now is not what bothers me so much.
It’s his “I am not worried about the very poor” comment that sticks in my craw.
Now his protestations of “I didn’t say that..” (yes you did) and “You need to look at it in context” (well in context you basically said the only REAL Americans were the middle class as shrinking as the group is, and you didn’t worry about poor folk because they can live off government cheese)
The GOP screams “CLASS WARFARE!” when the concept of economic inequality comes up but they are the first ones to rail against the “Welfare Queens” and the “Blah people” taking all the governments money and buying Air Jordans or something else.
This column and topic is very personal to me, and I had wanted to write about it before when all this Santorum/Gingritch/Romney “Eat the poor!” stuff started going on, but it was too hard to face the situation I have been in for awhile.
Fact is, I am not doing too well right now myself. Back in 2006 my writing had to take a back seat to a day job when my step father had, and shortly there after succumbed to stomach cancer after a six month battle. The medical costs and time it took to properly treat him took the hustle right out of me.
After he passed, the cost of cremation plus what was left of the medical bills meant I had to keep working a minimum wage job until I could save enough to focus on what I am meant to do, what I am good at. Creating, writing, producing.
Flash forward to late August 2011, I found myself terminated after transferring to a department within the company I had worked for diligently for the past 3 years because I was promised full time hours. I was terminated because I live in a right to work state (more on that in a bit) and they are able to terminate over BS reasons (I don’t like your shoes.. You’re fired!) all to cover up some middle management clown’s super big, and financially costly to the company’s mistake.
At this point, now its my mother in failing health. Living with MRSA, after trying to walk through 4 foot flood waters filled with sewage and god knows what else, to one of her two jobs which she worked 80hrs a week just to keep her head afloat.
Like most Americans, we don’t have insurance. I don’t think in all my 31 years I remember having insurance. The last time I went to a doctor, I was 15, and living in England where medical coverage is free.
And may I say, it was damn fine coverage. I went in, went out got my meds no hassle no waiting.
So here I was, my mom ailing, barely able to walk having problems on and off with her heart, my wife making barely minimum wage and not enough hours to even justify going in half the time, my brother was.. My brother. (more on that later, if I can manage it) and I was bringing in $64 a week in unemployment.
Now after reapplying I get $89 a week in unemployment, (woohoo lets party!) but that goes to the big problem with the GOP’s war on the poor.
None of them have ever been poor. None of them have ever had to struggle. And you know what? Good on them. I don’t hate anyone for succeeding in the world despite what they want you to think, these aren’t ’words of envy’, they’re the story of MY American Life.
The whole “They’re just envious of success” bothers me as well.. It’s like the pretty bitch in High School you know? “They just hate me because they’re jealous of how pretty I am.”
No, they hate you because you’re a bitch. The fact that you’re pretty just means we won’t call you a bitch to your face, because we’re too busy staring at your tits. So no, I am not envious of wealth it’s just you can’t speak of MY struggle when you’ve never had to decide do you eat tonight or heat your house?
Thanksgiving we were forced to go to a homeless/poverty outreach shelter for food. The first time in all of our lives we’ve ever had to do that. We always made do, we always worked hard for what we had, and now the harder we work the less we had to show for it.
Thanks in large parts to the Bush tax cuts which went unspent and un-invested, in the communities. I read an article, once on what 100 billionaires did with the money they saved on their taxes. Most said they saved it in the bank, others went to Europe for a shopping spree, some bought boats, or put on an extension to their houses.
But not one of them said “You know what? I took that money opened up a second, or third, or fourth location and fully staffed it.” because that’s not what they did. They didn’t get rich, or stayed rich by spending their money. They got/stayed rich by conserving it or outright hiding it through tax loopholes and shelters.
And in part due to the nature of right to work states. Like when dealing with a monopoly in an economy anytime one side has all the leverage, the other side falls flat, and the whole system becomes stagnant. When you have employers that can hold your job over you like the Sword Of Damocles, not because of any performance related issues but because of power displays that are legal within a very flawed law.
There are charts that show that when states went to Right To Work states the economy worsened. Without the ability to negotiate with workers you will find a lot of them when given a “like it or leave it” will most likely leave it, if its possible.
The makers seem to get the raw end of these deals while the suits get to glide through the hard times on Golden Parachutes. People are starting to wake up, we are seeing uprises in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, places that have been the backbone of our economy but until more people see what right to work states do to the working class they will be small pockets of justice in a wave of apathy.
“They came for the Jews, I said nothing for I wasn’t Jewish…”
Hyperbole without standing, while the quote is far more glaring than the point, the fact remains by and large people do nothing when a thing does not directly affect them, but once they realize the domino affect their apathy had allowed any and all allies to your cause to have already been removed from play.
But back to what the lack of empathy to those most in need of it truly cost us… And the hardest part to go into in this article…
On December 4th, 2011, after a very very hard time and after a family decision of canceling Christmas because there just wasn’t enough to go around this year. My mom suffered a heart attack, my wife and I helped her and kept her calm but we didn’t realize what all this did to the most fragile among us.
He had lost his father to cancer, he saw his mother falling victim to her disease, and he just couldn’t take it. So roughly 3am Saturday morning on December 5th 2011, he took his life at age 25, by jumping into the Elizabeth River just a block from our house.
He died hungry, with no food in the house. Surrounded by scared, sick people who just wanted to get by. And Mitt Romney and his ilk want to demonize people like us because we aren’t content living in our safety nets.
Fuck you Mitt.
The fact is, as Jon Stewart said, “whether you are an acrobat, a tuna, or a butterfly if you are in a net of any kind that means something terrible has gone wrong. “
The thing that irks me even more than “I don’t’ care about poor people”, which is fine. I don’t care too much about pious semi-religious blowhards that want to enforce their faith on the rest of us, is the “They have a safety net, and if it has holes, I’ll fix them.”
IF it has holes.
If he ever had to stand in line, or jump through the hoops to get some kind of benefit to survive, he’d know there are holes. Saying “I’ll fix them” doesn’t do a damn thing if you don’t understand them.
We were unable to get Food Stamp (SNAP) assistance because we made $20 too much for their arbitrary minimum household income, which was not adjusted for inflation.
In my debut column I talked about how “hungry” I was. Now you understand I wasn’t speaking figuratively, but also literally as well. But do you see me shaking my fist and saying “someone shouldn’t have a lot of money?”
No, I am all for people being rich, I’d enjoy being semi-rich some day. And when I am, I want to pay my fair share of taxes… So I am out there hustling. I am looking for some sort of hourly check, while pursuing my writing career, because you know what?
My brother always had faith in me. When I stopped writing he’d always ask me “Why aren’t you making comics anymore? Why aren’t you making more movies?”
Well it’s a day late and a dollar short, but now, more than ever I see we only have one life to live, and we need to make the most of it so I am trying to up my game. Got several projects in the works and praying one day I can pick up a nice Marvel or DC assignment.
But until then Mitt, Newt, Rick, I am going to scrape by. And I am going to pay my taxes… ALL of my taxes.
I am not a mooch or a welcher. I am not trying to suck at the government teat, I am trying to pick myself up from my bootstraps. But only finding your GOP cronies have encased my boots in cement.
I hope you rich S.O.Bs that have never had to actually work for a living finally understand what the rest of us go through when the economy stops ‘trickling down’.
(Newt had his sick wife pay his way through college, only to dump her for a new model, Mitt was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and ass, and Rick? Who the fuck cares about Rick Santorum?)
If Mitt Romney lost half his ill-gotten fortune (built on the backs of those smarter, or more skilled than him. He just happed to be there to nod his head and agree.) he’d still be able to live a fantastic full life.
If I lost half of what I have now? I wouldn’t be able to buy a sandwich. I wouldn’t be able to eat or survive.
Newt Gingrich has been on the Government lottery for 30 years, after he left his nice seat in Washington he went on to get more money I have ever seen per speaking engagement having people listen to him tell them they should be content with cleaning toilets.
I mean who would want to suffer like him with all that Government health care, and stable financial status given to him by the tax payers.
And Rick Santorum….
Fuck Rick Santorum.
I also wanted to add a bit here about Herman Cain’s “If you aren’t rich its your own fault” but I’ll leave Cain abuse to Michael. He can use more apt words and phrases.
And if after all this GOP, you can’t understand what its like, then please shut the fuck up about the poor.
Enjoy your free time in 2013 considering you won’t have to worry about holding a public office or anything… Hope you don’t spend all of your money campaigning. I’d hate it if you ever had to find yourself down on your luck and have to pray there isn’t a hole in the net under you.