Tuesday October 2, 2012

This is in response to Mitt Romney's claim that 47 percent of Americans are dependent upon government. He speaks of entitlement programs as though people who benefit from them are freeloaders. Many of us worked years and contributed to these programs. In my opinion, if you are looking for freeloaders you need to look at many in Congress and in the non-taxpaying richest 1 percent.

Both the article by Alan Fram and the op-ed column by David Brooks on Sept. 19 point out some of these facts, but I would like to add some others to the list. I see Congress as the largest entitlement program in this country. They get free health care, large retirement funds, expense accounts and many other fringe benefits they voted in for themselves while doing very little work for the people they are supposed to represent. Here in fairness is where cuts should be made first. Second, many of the richest 1 percent pay little or no taxes because of loopholes and offshore accounts but still benefit from our tax dollars in areas like protection and use of the infrastructure. Third, Romney conveniently forgets that thousands want to work but their jobs were sacrificed to corporate greed when they were outsourced to another country and American companies were forced to close.

We are not freeloaders but hard workers who contributed to programs like Medicare and Social Security as well as with our income taxes for years so we would have help available when we find ourselves jobless and homeless through no fault of our own.

PAULETTE LAPALM

Pittsfield


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