Mr Romney I am part of the 47% that you seem to dismiss. I receive Social Security Disability and Medicare. I did not choose to become a "slacker" and "mooch off" the government. I started working at 16 and held my last job in 2000. I worked in food service, retail (management as well as straight customer service), I was a Pottery Studio assistant and taught Art in a grammar school in Brooklyn. My problem was that my Bipolar - oh yes I was diagnosed Bipolar in high school, likes to rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times. I missed the majority of my senior year, the first 5 months of 1995 and a minimum of one week a year (sometimes more, sometimes less) all spent in mental hospitals.
Mr Romney there is no "free ride". I paid into Social Security, taxes in three different states and dealt with the majority of people who do not like/understand mental illness. Explain (without explaining) why you need every Thursday off. I either ignore peoples curiosity about why I don't work or explain and lose potential friendship. The price I pay everyday is human contact. People are curious about why am I 43 and still living with my Mom. There were times when I did live on my own and held a responsible job but then the other shoe would drop and I would totally lose it. I guess you might say I'm gun shy now. I preferred my "normal" life to the one I exist in now. I have paid with my dignity so that people of your ilk can judge me and tag me "slacker". I think it would be safe to say that with all the work I have done (in the work force and psychiatric) that you are, comparatively, the one who is a slacker.
Mr Romney when you next decide to judge any Americans please try one thing first - walk in their shoes. Survive for one month on $1000 or less(I get $900 due in part to my work history). Pay rent, utilities, medications and food. Buy gas for your car or pay for public transportation or if not lucky enough to have a car and there's no public transportation then get up early to walk. This is real life for many real Americans. Do not insult us. We are the people who do the work you believe is beneath you, the elderly, the working poor, the unemployed looking for work, veterans, the mentally ill and physically ill - chronic illnesses, rare genetic disorders and debilitating injuries. You will find that people who are on unemployment, disability, Social Security, food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid or any of the safety nets and life lines that are there to HELP people really DO need the help. That's what a good country does for it's people - what the people do for each other. If you remove these safeties what do we have? Insane asylums and work houses? People dying at home (or in the streets) due to no healthcare access. Children going hungry or getting their only meal from school.
Now I'm an Atheist but this saying works for me for this situation....
"There but for the grace of god go I."
I'm speaking to you Mr Romney.