I am the 53%. I pay federal income tax. I also pay state income tax, property and school tax, social security and medicare tax, and sales tax. I also pay hidden taxes, like that on gasoline, cell phone service, internet access, electricity and heating fuels.
And I am the 47%, because I depend on government. And I believe that government is instituted by a nation’s citizens for their benefit, convenience, and protection, and to guarantee their freedom and civil rights.
Today, I drove on a public road. I took two forms of public transportation to get to my job—a commuter rail line, and the NYC subway. I work for a tax exempt not-for-profit organization—we don’t pay any income taxes, but we work in the public good and when we have a good year and don’t incur a deficit, our surpluses do not accrue to the benefit of any individual. My child rides back and forth to her public school on a school bus.
Last month, when she broke her arm, we took her to the emergency room at the local non-profit hospital. We’re currently saving for her college education via a 529, also known as a qualified tuition program. The yogurt I ate for breakfast was made in a plant that’s inspected by the government. My bank account is guaranteed by the FDIC. The mammogram I had last night was covered by my insurance—with no co-pay—because of the Affordable Care Act. And when I go to sleep tonight, I’ll be under the roof of the house we own with the help of a mortgage and the home mortgage interest deduction.
I believe that food should be safe, health care should be available to all, and roads, bridges, levees, and dams should be maintained to the highest standards. I love that my country supports the National Endowment for the Arts, and Acadia National Park, and National Public Radio. I appreciate the work that NOAA and the FAA and the NTSB do, and I get great pleasure out of mailing letters and packages and postcards through the Postal Service. Above all, I believe in the social compact, and that together we can make a better whole.
I guess this makes me 100% in support of President Obama.
Maggie Christ has worked in non-profit arts administration since the Reagan administration. She is a wife and mother, lives near NYC, and rattles cages as often as possible.