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Monday, October 17, 2011

I am the 53%

The premise behind being part of the 53% is thus: In this country, the United States of America, 47% of its citizens (and non-citizens) don't pay any taxes.

It's not that they don't work, it's that they file an income tax return every year (except for the non-citizens) and get back all they've paid in payroll taxes and sometimes get back more than they've originally paid.

That leaves 53% of the country to support the other 47% and the social welfare programs they partake of.

My husband and I are part of the 53%.

  • I am 47 years old and I got my first job at 12 when I started delivering papers - I earned about $15 a week.
  • At 13, I got a job at a local skeet shoot chasing down unbroken clay pigeons - I earned $1.50 an hour.
  • At 15 I had saved enough money to pay for some Red Cross classes and became a certified life guard, which I did until I graduated from high school - I earned $2.75 an hour.
  • Almost immediately after high school graduation, I entered the military. I earned $750 a month.
  • After the military, I went to college on the GI Bill. It took me 9 years to earn my degree but I graduated with no debt.
  • My husband earned his associate's degree while in the military. It took him 16 years but he finally got it and graduated with no debt.
  • We own our home, we have no credit card debt, we have two cars (both paid for) and raised four children.
  • Our two oldest children are in the military and are taking college classes when they can using the GI Bill. They will eventually earn their degrees and will graduate with no debt.
  • Our youngest, a senior in high school, entered the Delayed Enlistment Program not long after his 17th birthday. He intends to use the GI Bill to pay for college. He will graduate with no debt.
  • My husband and I never applied for public assistance of any kind, even when we qualified for it while he was in the military. He delivered pizzas on the weekends and I worked two different jobs while attending school.
  • When times got hard, as they always do, we stuck it out together, knowing it would get better with hard work, determination and faith in God. It did get better.
  • In 2006, I became ill and had to quit working. We drained our finances to pay bills and for two years fought bankruptcy. We had to file in 2008, which we're not proud of, but did it to save our home. We are paying back 100% of the money.
  • I am starting my own business.  I will pay the taxes associated with it and no expect anyone else to do it for me.  I will also reap the rewards of my hard work, such as pride and a sense of accomplishment.
  • I do not blame Wall Street, the government, large corporations or anyone else for the choices we made. In my opinion, all the corporations are guilty of is expecting people to pay back that which they borrowed.
Life is a series of choices. It is also the consequences of the choices you make. If you are not happy with your life, make different choices. Instead of wreaking havoc and leaving destruction in your wake, how about getting off your parent's couch, getting a job (and minimum wage is fine for someone with no skills, really) and taking responsibility for yourself and your choices? Be a responsible adult for a change.

I am the 53%.