I am the 53%

Great counter to the “99%” nonsense via Lawyer with a Gun.

Here’s Mine:

I’ve been working full time since I was 16 years old (that’s 31 years for those who are counting).  I joined the Navy at 17 and served my country for 21 years, spending long periods overseas, away from home and missing birthdays, holidays and anniversaries.

I’ve worked two jobs more than once to make ends meet when it was necessary.  Twice I had to take jobs that required me to commute 250 miles from home during the week and return home only on the weekends.  I did it because it’s my responsibility to take care of myself and my family, not anyone else’s.

I completed an Associate’s degree with a 4.0 gpa and no debt by taking courses one and two at a time and paying for it as I went…while also working 50 to 60 hours a week.

The longest period of unemployment I’ve ever experienced was five weeks.  During that time, I made it my job to find a job.  I worked 8 to 10 hours a day doing nothing but searching for jobs, submitting resumes, going to job fairs, walking in for “informational interviews” etc.  I did not apply for unemployment because I had my emergency savings to live on during that time.

I took the first reasonable job offer I got even though it wasn’t a job I wanted;  it is MY responsibility to earn the money I need to live on, even if it’s not doing what I want to do.  I used that job as a springboard to future employment and am now happily working in my chosen field at a good company at a good salary.

I’ve raised two children who are now adults and are both employed, self-sufficient, contributing members of society.  I have four beautiful grandchildren which is really irrelevant to this rant, but I just like to boast.

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth.  My life has not all been sunshine and roses and I face new challenges every day.   I do not expect the government, the Banks, Wall Street or anyone else to deal with those challenges for me.  That’s my job.   I am the 53%.


7 thoughts on “I am the 53%

  1. Curt, don't cut short the 47%. I am one of them, and I worked and paid my share for 49 and a half years, neither seeking nor taking any handouts along the way. Two jobs sometimes, and college at night after the long workday for many years. That earned me positions that had excellent pay scales and my tax rate went up.

    I EARNED every penny of the below-poverty level social security income I now receive, which would have been much higher based on my tax contributions had not the government changed the rules just before I retired.

    I do not consider it a handout. I don't expect the government, banks, Wall Street or anyone else to make it better. That's STILL my job and I'm one of the 47%.

  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Social Security payments subject to income tax?

    If so, you're part of the 53% as well.

  3. Correction: If the only income is social security, it is not taxable since we were taxed on the income when we earned it (which paid into the fund).

    However, if there is additional income such as still earning a wage, or something like capital gains, there IS income tax on that portion.

  4. Social Security is a tax, not an investment. The money you paid into it was either used to pay the recipients at that time…or was "loaned" to the general fund and spent.

    The government, as of last year, is now taking in less in Social Security taxes than it pays out. That means the money I'm paying in Social Security taxes isn't being saved or invested for my retirement, it's being used to pay your benefits.

    I'd love to think that I'm going to be equally taken care of when I'm ready to retire but I'm not naive enough to believe that fairy tale, nor am I selfish enough to want my kids and grandkids to be forced to give up the money they earn to pay for my leisure in retirement.

    I know that may sound harsh and condemning of those like yourself (and my mother for that matter), who worked all their lives paying into a system with the expectation that they were going to get something back out of it again when they retired, but reality is reality…sugarcoating it doesn't change it…and those of my generation don't have the luxury of believing in myths.

    So…if you are, in fact, not paying any taxes and are receiving redistributive payments: then, yes…you are the 47% that we in the 53% are supporting.

    you're welcome

  5. You are wise and have made good choices with regard to your responsibilites. But should any of the "99" read this, they'll mutter, "What an idiot." Preaching to the choir. But you had to get it off your chest.

    A taxpaying, SS recipient

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