By Leonard Pitts Jr.

True Stories Of The 47 Percent

September 26, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 27 Comments A+ / A-
True Stories Of The 47 Percent

Sharkara Peters is a 35-year-old single mother of two. She works 34 hours a week at a fast-food restaurant. A few months back, she was hospitalized with a blood clot in her lung. Then, one of her daughters needed surgery. As a result, Peters lost about three weeks of work, and could not muster her $335 monthly rent. When I met her last month while in Charlotte reporting on poverty on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, she was facing eviction.

I asked Peters what President Obama should do for people in her economic situation and she answered without hesitation. Obama, she said, needs to do something about girls on welfare that just sit up and have baby after baby and never try to better themselves.

You see, nobody likes freeloaders.

The point is made for the benefit of Mitt Romney. Of course, he’d likely consider Peters herself a freeloader. I’ve not seen her W-2, but it seems a safe bet that, working less than full time for fast-food wages, she doesn’t pay much if anything in federal income taxes. Romney was heard last week in a secretly-recorded video disparaging the 47 percent of Americans — low-income earners like Peters, Social Security recipients and others — that he says pay no taxes. Last May, speaking before a room full of well-heeled donors in Boca Raton, Fla., who had paid $50,000 a plate for some face time with him, the Republican presidential nominee described those non-taxpayers with contempt as people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims…”

In the video, posted online by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, Romney says it’d be a waste of time pitching his campaign to those moochers: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Sharkara Peters does not need Mitt Romney’s lectures about personal responsibility.

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True Stories Of The 47 Percent Reviewed by on . Sharkara Peters is a 35-year-old single mother of two. She works 34 hours a week at a fast-food restaurant. A few months back, she was hospitalized with a blood Sharkara Peters is a 35-year-old single mother of two. She works 34 hours a week at a fast-food restaurant. A few months back, she was hospitalized with a blood Rating:

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Comments

  • bcarreiro

    We need to create a level of stability for single moms/dads on the system, they need guidance. I know all to well how it is to be a single mom without child support and then smacked in the face with a court ordered minimum of 11.55 per wk when my child was seven. non custodial parents need to pay their fairshare as well then making babies they never can support or take care of. In massachusetts theres something called the family cap for people on the system who are limited to additional benefits if another child is born while mom is on the system. They also have a welfare to work program that makes single moms/dads go to school and/or work 20hrs. per wk. Their are bad apples in any group…….WE ALL NEED TO PAY OUR FAIRSHARE!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/CuteAwesomePrincess Rebecca Perez-Williams

    As a military spouse and a former soldier I know what it is like to have an income just above the poverty line. Our family often payed no taxes because my husband was deployed to Iraq. According to Romney, our family has not fulfilled our debt to society. We are part of the 47%. Not to mention the fact that my husband retires from the military in less than two years, so we will be even more beholden to the government for his retirement and for VA compensation. I personally am trying to get compensation for permanent hearing loss and tinnitus from exposure to loud noise on the battlefield, as well as compensation for permanent back and neck problems. The VA is a government program, so no matter what my income will be like once I am in an area where I can get a job, I will always be part of the 47%. Does this make me a bad person? Does this make me less of a responsible citizen? Does this make my vote less worthy?

    What all of us want in life is a fair chance at the American dream. Part of the American dream is to be respected, no matter what is happening in our personal lives. I have read and heard the statement about welfare queens all of my life, and I agree with the concept of working for a living, but until the government is willing to provide free child care for anyone at least below a certain economic line then there will always be people who don’t work because they have kids. There are no easy answers, and no matter what fix is implemented someone pays for it. Do we make the poor pay for the government and slash programs that they used to use? Or do we make the wealthy pay to help bring everyone up to a higher standard in the long term?

    Government economics is always a short term versus long term game. Do we spend more in the short term, so we can have long term gains, or do we spend less in the short term, and end up with long term losses. To put this in personal terms, it is spending money on a good education so that you can make more money over your life, vs. saving money on education, but only making minimum wage for the rest of your life. Which is truly the fiscally responsible thing to do? Giving a hand to others is responsible. Can those programs be better managed? Yes, and it is our duty to have civil debates about what is the correct course of action. There is no 100% solution, but there is a solution that can help the most people in a fair manner.

    • jarheadgene

      I loved what you wrote….YES…there are no easy quick fix answers. But I KNOW one thing, Willard Romney is NOT the answer to anything. Thank you and your family for your honorable service to this country, may GOD Bless you and provide for you in miraculous ways.

      • ALLLLAMERICAN

        Romney is NOT the answer but neither is a Muslim lover that hates our country. We have men and women fighting to keep our county safe and Obama is on the terrorist side!!!!!!!!!!
        and YES—we should do anything and everything for the men and women that are fighting for our country!!!!!!!—–They are the ones that deserve it!!!

        • highpckts

          Allamerican-you are truly deluded and scary!!

          • daniel bostdorf

            You gotta understand that this FAUX poster is probably a Karl Rove “dis-informtaion’ operative…

            It is standard right wing FASCIST opposition campaign tactics..

            Lies, deceit, treatchery and distractions….

            Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels said it best:

            “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (likeFox FAUX News, Limbaugh, Beck and Rove believe)

            or as Adolph Hitler stated:
            “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

    • irishtap

      Thank you for your valuable contribution to our country and providing some honest clarity, which is sorely lacking from Mr. Romney and the GOP. I respect you and wish you well.

    • onedonewong

      I’m sure your husband is reallll proud of your note here…NOT. Part of the American dream is to be respected realllly where is that in the constitution???
      As for free day care why would some one have children if they aren’t equipped to take care of them?? They certainly can work nights at hospitals emptying bed pans or scrubbing floors.
      You right we should SLASH programs that the poor are used to its made them dependent and a drag on this society Having the wealthy pay more taxes doesn’t help anyone. The poor and lazy will stay that way they always have and always will.
      The govt economics is nothing short of a disaster name 1 time when govt actions to tax and spnd ever helped the taxpayer??

    • daniel bostdorf

      Pitts states it best:

      “Romney says it’d be a waste of time pitching his campaign to those moochers: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.””

      ROMNEY”S QUOTE:

      There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

      ALLAMERICAN WHO IS NOT”, onedonewong and others OF SAME FASCIST ILK:
      You are right wing propagandists.

      Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels (like Linmbaugh, beck and Rove believe) said it best:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

      or as Adolph Hitler stated:
      “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

      Don’t you fascists get it?

      You are posting at the wrong blog….go back to “right wing fascist print and broadcast media” OK?

      Go away…

    • daniel bostdorf

      Pitts states it best:

      “Romney says it’d be a waste of time pitching his campaign to those moochers: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.””

      ROMNEY”S QUOTE:

      There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

      ALLAMERICAN WHO IS NOT”, onedonewong and others OF SAME FASCIST ILK:
      You are right wing propagandists.

      Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels (like Linmbaugh, beck and Rove believe) said it best:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

      or as Adolph Hitler stated:
      “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

      Don’t you fascists get it?

      You are posting at the wrong blog….go back to “right wing fascist print and broadcast media” OK?

      Go away…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Maurer/100000910841619 Joan Maurer

    How would a President who won election on a platform of hate lead this country? Where would he lead us?

    • ALLLLAMERICAN

      Are you talking Obama??? Because Obama HATES this counrty!!!
      He couldn’t even get the words out of his mouth for a year—GOD BLESS AMERICA–
      He said and refused to wear the american flag on his lapel—He said ” I AM NOT WEARING “THAT” FLAG ON MY JACKET”

      When you are always on the TERRORISTS side—-There is a problem!!!!!!!!

      But I guess Obama knows how to run the Country because
      HE WAS A “Community Orangaizer” Ya know!!!!!
      They know everything about running the whole world!!!!!!!

  • ALLLLAMERICAN

    All of you will see—–
    If Obama stays in other 4-years
    Our country will be going down even further than it is now—–
    ACTUALLY—-I HOPE HE DOES GET BACK IN, JUST TO SHOW YOU IDIOTS HOW STUPID YOU REALLY ARE!!!!!
    Then finally your dreams will come true.
    Obama will have taken all the hard working RICH people’s money and given it to the
    LAZY NO GOODS that don’t want to make nothing of them and won’t take care of themselves and sit around begging for their hand out!!!
    We will allll be equal and be in the bread lines.
    Obama wants the whole world to be equal to KENYA!!!!!!!!!!
    How do you think our country runs????
    It’s from the RICH people that invest their money and makes businesses and trickles down!!!!
    The RICH do pay for their “OWN” everything—-
    Everything they own they worked for —-
    The RICH—pays for their EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!! Taxes, private schools, college, houses,kids, health care, phones,day care, food—They don’t BEG for help and want others to pay their way!!
    They just don’t WANT to pay for the LAZY people that can’t get up and hold a job!!!!!!!!
    THE RICH PEOPLE ARE SICK OF PAYING FOR EVERYONE ELES PROBLEMS!!!!
    Why do liberals think people should be punished for being successful?
    Do you beat your kids for getting good grades?
    Do you turn down a raise at work?
    Do you watch the academy awards?
    Should prisoners make the same money as the working class?
    Think about what you are saying……
    THE RICH PAY MORE TAXES ON THEIR HOUSES EACH YEAR THAN YOUR HOUSE IS WORTH!!!!
    The RICH people give to charity!!!!!
    How much do YOU give to charity???
    The RICH people make jobs!!!!
    How many companies have you put together and supplied jobs!!!!
    How much money do YOU have in the bank so the banks can make money off
    you and grow???
    The RICH people buy stock
    How much stock do YOU buy.
    How much money do YOU invest to help our country??
    WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP OUR COUNTRY???
    Isn’t your arm getting tired holding your hand out by now????
    WHY DO YOU HATE RICH PEOPLE????
    THEY ARE THE ONES THAT MAKE OUR COUNTY!!!!!!
    The jobs they send overseas are the ones that our LAZY NO GOOD people here think they are to good to do or if they don’t get paid the right amount, they think Obama will pay them more to sit at home and draw unemployment. They can’t get anyone here to work like the people overseas!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Our country CAN NOT survive with all poor people—
    WE NEED THE RICH!!!!—–They are the ones paying YOUR WAY!!!!!!!!!!
    HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!
    WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jarheadgene

      NOT you again…..shouldn’t you go by the name….KKKamericankkk? That would be more fitting. And so I’m clear….”KKKamericankkk” is the antecedent for “That”. You really need to go back under Rush Limblah…..blah…..blah’s desk where you just crawled out from under as you are SERIOUSLY misinformed. A MIND is a terrible thing to waste.

    • bcarreiro

      the 98% make the 2% who they are……….the percentages never change cause of morans like you. do you work to live or live to work……neither!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/warren.nicholson.77 Warren Nicholson

      Sock Puppet, try a new set of lies, those are as empty as your head.

    • Landsende

      You ask why do you hate the rich people? If you are an example of the “rich people” with your rants it’s no wonder more and more people are turned off by Romney. Most people have no problem with someone being rich and successful. What they have a problem with is the elitist that think they are better than everyone else and have no idea what it’s like to try to earn a decent living and support a family. They also have a problem with someone making $20 million and paying lower taxes than someone that makes $50,000 and parking that $20 million in the Caymans instead of using it to create jobs. By the way, the rich need the middle class because without them to do the jobs the rich won’t do and buy the products they make, the rich will start losing some of their wealth. HOW DARE YOU!!!!! YOU NEED the middle class to fuel the economy. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3J6OEWYHKZIJQD5X4CJCRJTKPE Patricia

      I find it interesting that during the 1960s, the top 2% wealthiest in America owned only 8% of America’s wealth, now they own 40%. Back in the 1960’s America had a huge middle class with a strong demand for goods and services and the economy was healthy. It is a large middle class with a strong demand for goods and services that bring prosperity to America. Obviously the smaller the middle class gets the worse our economy gets. When only 2% of Americans own 40% of the wealth the economy get worse and worse for everyone else (except for those in the top 2%).

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

      You should be the first to go down. Who needs a cotton-mouthed white supremacist that would be dead weight as we move on to progress?

    • sangsue

      You must have really skinned knees.

  • irishtap

    This would probably make for a humorous spoof on the GOP, save for the calamitous train wreck to come, should their many exasperating policy positions become law. This tirade came from the same republican presidential candidate whom attempted to place a $10,000.00 bet with an opponent, during a televised debate, as if it were no more than pocket change. Mr. Romney’s wealth and privilege has removed certain sensibilities to which most of us commonly adhere. He is oblivious to the point of being vacuous by uttering “$394,000.00 isn’t very much money.” Never mind the fact it would take a 47%’er several years of hard work to make the amount of money a “President Romney” would find insignificant. One is left to wonder : does he find value in these human lives, or are they also insignificant? It is shameful how this man has bullied his way up the economic ladder at the expense of many people whom reside within the 47%, and helped to throw their lives into turmoil. As we well know : He likes to fire people. This man became rich for upending companies and scattering workers to the winds, and he says his is the example to follow for succeeding in life. Well…what if most of us still own a conscience, believe in economic fairness or consider our lives intrinsically connected by virtue of willfully living within the moral assertion of bearing some measure of responsibility for our fellow man?

    Take heed folks, Mitt Romney is truly doing us a favor. By pointing a spotlight on everything economically and morally unbalanced about today’s GOP. The party like their best candidate has no moral compass, and I’m beginning to wonder if they even possess a soul.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3J6OEWYHKZIJQD5X4CJCRJTKPE Patricia

    If the Republicans have their way, America is going to end up like Mexico where a handful of aristocratic hugely wealthy families own everything & everyone else is a peon.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

    This article says a lot. (1) We have a lady making subsistence wages at perhaps the only job available to her. (2) She falls ill to the point where she loses three weeks of wages and is facing eviction. (3) Her only response to the question asked on what President Obama should do to help people in her economic situation was President Obama should do something about girls on welfare that just sit up and have baby after baby and don’t do anything to better themselves. . . Wow. Either this is a case of yellow-journalism or this lady is so entrenched in her indoctrination in white supremacy, she can’t see the forest for the trees. She is in her economic situation because of the eight years of economic terrorism of the Bush/Cheney administration; industrial/corporate outsourcing of jobs, and Republican/Tea Party obstructionism and filabustering, and she’s blaming “welfare” for her problems? SHE NEEDS ASSISTANCE! SHE NEEDS ACA! IT’S HER SAFETY NET! Once she gets well enough to return to work, that is, if she hasn’t been replaced by another individual in the same situation she is in, she could get off the “public dole” and she could proudly pull herself up by her boot-scraps and “better herself.” In the meantime, she is ill, her own daughter fell ill right after her, and she’s talking about welfare? The same Republicans/Tea Party spin she is regurgitating would leave her behind to “let her die”. The sad part about it, she would willfully die than suffer the shame of being a “slacker”, a “moocher”, and Republicans/Tea Party would see her as one less scum who doesn’t pay taxes. Her demise would make government smaller. With her daughter, two the better.

  • onedonewong

    where is the man or men who fathered the children ?? How much are they paying to support them??Under Obama no one is accountable so the taxpayers have to pay

  • daniel bostdorf

    Pitts states it best:

    “Romney says it’d be a waste of time pitching his campaign to those moochers: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.””

    ROMNEY”S QUOTE:

    There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

    ALLAMERICAN WHO IS NOT”, onedonewong and others OF SAME FASCIST ILK:
    You are right wing propagandists.

    Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels (like Linmbaugh, beck and Rove believe) said it best:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    or as Adolph Hitler stated:
    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

    Don’t you fascists get it?

    You are posting at the wrong blog….go back to “right wing fascist print and broadcast media” OK?

    Go away…

  • daniel bostdorf

    Pitts states it best:

    “Romney says it’d be a waste of time pitching his campaign to those moochers: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.””

    ROMNEY”S QUOTE:

    There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

    ALLAMERICAN WHO IS NOT”, onedonewong and others OF SAME FASCIST ILK:
    You are right wing propagandists.

    Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels (like Linmbaugh, beck and Rove believe) said it best:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    or as Adolph Hitler stated:
    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

    Don’t you fascists get it?

    You are posting at the wrong blog….go back to “right wing fascist print and broadcast media” OK?

    Go away…

  • daniel bostdorf

    Pitts states this:
    “Romney was heard last week in a secretly-recorded video disparaging the 47 percent of Americans — low-income earners like Peters, Social Security recipients and others — that he says pay no taxes. Last May, speaking before a room full of well-heeled donors in Boca Raton, Fla., who had paid $50,000 a plate for some face time with him, the Republican presidential nominee described those non-taxpayers with contempt as people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims…”

    here is the reaction….

    Thousands attend a NYC concert highlighting poverty!

    John Legend, Black Keys, K’naan and others wowed thousands who turned out Saturday night for a free concert in Central Park to call attention to poverty worldwide. Dubbed the Global Citizen Festival, the concert also featured Band of Horses and Foo Fighters with Neil Young expected to cap off the evening. Video of the event was streamed worldwide as about 60,000 music fans crowed the park.

    Do a google of ” Global Citizen Festival,” and see how those of us in the 47% appreciate what has happened in NYC tonight.

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