Katy Bourne

A Word from the 47%

POSTED ON September 18, 2012 | POSTED IN: My Blog | 5 Comments


 “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food & housing, to you-name-it. That that’s entitlement. And the government should give it to them. They will vote for this president no matter what.” – Mitt Romney

“And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” – Mitt Romney


Dear Mr. Romney,

I am one of the 47 percent that you referred to in remarks that you made at a private fundraiser in Boca Raton, FL on May 17th.  You have made some egregious and offensive assumptions about me and I deserve an opportunity to respond.

 My husband and I divorced at the peak of the economic crash. We had been married for twenty years. Up until the time of our split, I had been working as a “stay-at-home” mom. This was per an agreement that my husband and I made prior to having children. One of the reasons we made the decision for me to stay home with the children was because childcare was prohibitively expensive. When my boys were school-age, I held down some part-time jobs and also worked as a freelance writer and jazz vocalist. However, my predominate responsibility during this time was the care of my children and as such, I did not get much career traction during this period of my life.  My post-divorce re-entry into the mainstream workforce was brutal. As we all know, the anemic economy proved disastrous for the U.S. job market. Because I was a middle-aged woman with a sizable gap in my work history, the environment was especially inhospitable. My search for employment was prolonged and bleak. I eventually found an extremely low-paying, part-time job and hustled as many writing and music gigs as I possibly could. My days were long, grim and exhausting. My resources were very limited and it was a colossal struggle to survive. Finally, when I found myself forced to choose between buying groceries or paying the heating bill, I did what you would consider unthinkable:


 The process to sign on for the food assistance program in my state was detailed and fairly intrusive. I am grateful that everyone that I dealt with at DSHS (That’s the Department of Health & Human Services, Mitt. It’s an acronym I’m sure you’re not familiar with.) was compassionate, helpful and respectful. I was on food stamps for a little less than a year. Contrary to your belief, I most certainly was taking responsibility for my life. I was completely up against it financially and did what any responsible mother would do; I utilized resources that were available to me so that my family could survive. I was, more than likely, eligible for other government services. However, I did not choose to use them. I only took what I needed to squeak by.

 Although I am no longer using the food assistance program, my life is far from easy. I bust ass every day.  I often work very long hours. I pay my bills. I care for my family. Whenever I can, I make every effort to contribute to my community. I’m not a victim, nor do I consider myself as such. I am a strong woman who pulls her weight and makes responsible choices every day. Mr. Romney, you do not have the right to characterize me as anything other than that or to condescend to people whose lives you know nothing about.

 And for the record, I believe that everyone in this country is entitled to housing, healthcare and food. These are non-negotiable and are fundamental to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

 I am dumbfounded that a man who seeks to be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES would make such deplorable remarks about his FELLOW AMERICANS. In the absence of really understanding who we are, you assume the worst. In fact, you appear to have nothing but disdain for almost half of the population….the 47 percenters….us. In your vision, as so clearly articulated by your remarks at the Boca Raton fundraiser, not everyone matters in the United States, especially “those people.” And your comments about the Latino vote were reprehensible. What planet do you live on anyway, asshat?

 This is certainly not your first gaffe. Although your hubris doesn’t particularly surprise me, your willingness to articulate it out loud is stunning and says volumes about your character or lack thereof. And if you would speak so recklessly about citizens in your own country, I can only imagine how horrifically you would mangle foreign relations. Of course, we’ve already had a taste of that with your visit to the Olympics and your comments about recent events in Libya.

Yes Mr. Romney, I am part of the 47 percent and although you would readily dismiss me, I am a citizen of the United States. My life, my voice and my VOTE matter. My support of President Obama is not blind allegiance. It is heartfelt and deeply considered. I choose a leader whose vision includes everyone. I choose a leader whose policies align with my value system. I choose a leader who believes the best about his fellow Americans, not the worst. I choose a leader who is compassionate, intelligent and proven. I chose a leader who truly gets “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”  President Obama has earned the right to lead this country.

You, Mr. Romney, are not even close.


Katy Bourne

U.S. Citizen, Mother, 47 %



“We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up.”

– President Barack Obama









5 responses to “A Word from the 47%”

  1. Eloise. says:

    Beautiful Post, Katy.
    I have added below a letter I wrote to homeboy Ryan when one lie too many pushed me into an uncharastic unbalanced state. Ryan’s silly face had just appeared on the tube saying ” Gov.Romney was inarticulate when he spoke.”

    What a pathetic, vest pocket sized convention of saps this Romney-Ryan ticket reveals itself to be! Despite the family millions that established their fortunes they remain foolish little figures posturing before us, all but begging to be taken seriously. Ryan, the purported intellect, flubs around and comes up with the word inarticulate to describe the freely speaking Mitt, cozy in a friendly room, who would be our President.

    Sorry, Paul. Your term means one who is unable to express an idea. A man without words who stumbles, leaves his thoughts unsaid.

    THAT was not what happened. The Mittster said EXACTLY what he meant. Said it arrogantly with a sneer to a congregation of his own kind: the fifty thousand dollar a plate crowd among whom he feels so at home. They enjoyed good chuckles among themselves thinking of how far removed they were from “you people”. From those who work for a living and know the hurt of elbows to the ribs;knees to the heart.

    To that privileged group Mitt described those from whom he believed the bulk of President Obama’s support would come: the moochers…the takers…the free-loaders. In short, the barbarians who crowd outside the palace walls.

    Funny, how those descriptions fit so many I see among YOUR crowd. Those who supported every war but who sought deferments and who never had even one son serve one day. Kids from wealthy families who applied for and accepted Social Security to pay for college tuition. Those who TOOK at every opportunity when no need existed yet complain about elder men and women who worked forty years or so, payed into their Social Security and in their last years reaped a few dollars.

    Your friends,the conspicous consumers, who stand smirking at the check-out as a young mother pulls a food stamp from her flat wallet while bread and milk is being tabulated.

    Know anybody like that, Paul?

    The greed that allowed Romney to trash-talk a great block of our society before his fat crowd of cronies did not express itself in garbled words or in the uneasy, halting sentences of the inarticulate.

    Romney spoke with the casual intention of one who KNEW his crowd and knew they knew him. They all understood WHAT he was saying. He was putting them on notice that their fifty grand was buying them a place at the table in the New Order.

    Not one of the smelly riff-raff would ever breach the walls. Romney, the fixer would see to that. So what it they were hungry and had no bread?

    Can’t you just hear him saying with a wink: “Let them eat cake.”

    • admin says:

      Wow! You GO Eloise! I think you need to get a blog of your own going. This is the most elegant bitch slap I’ve ever read!

  2. Eloise. says:

    Thank you, Katy. Coming from YOU it is taken as ultimate compliment. However, my writing days are all but over. As vision dims it becomes all the harder to get words in a chorus line and make them dance.

    The one hand typing doesn’t help either.

    But I LOVE that you saw the rage and called it a bitch-slap. The privileged frat-boy smart-alec bull-shit that conservatives offer as policy and plans truly outrages.

    I don’t want the Middle Class to beg the likes of THEM to “stand up for us”.

    I want THE MIDDLE CLASS to walk all over THEM.

  3. Eloise. says:

    October 5, 2012: So NOW Mitt decides his remarks about the 47% were “wrong”!

    It’s just that I don’t buy your serving of lately trumped up second thoughts.
    If it had been a brief, off-the-cuff comment that would have been one thing. THIS, however was NOT that.

    THIS was a speech of some length…before a room full of very wealthy folks, none of whom, we can assume, has much interaction with citizens on the lower rungs of society. Romney said EXACTLY what he meant never expecting his words to escape the room. He was speaking of “you people”: that dreaded group of inferiors (of whom Ms. Romney has spoken so dismissively) who live lives as moochers EXPECTING the taxes of the productive rich to keep their worthless selves well-fed.

    That point of view runs rampant among admirers of Ayn Rand. Paul Ryan is a true believer as is Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who made certain to say he was reading “Atlas shrugged” during his campaign. That few older than fifteen read such cheesy books…and NONE with above average intelligence…does not deter the admiration of the politically ambitious conservative individual.

    And neither do they regret what they say among themselves UNLESS an unofficial, but undeniable, tape makes its way through the media during the final weeks of an election campaign.

    I do not believe Romney’s disclaimer of the speech. As Truman Capote once wrote of prisoners he had interviewed over the years: “I never met even one who was sorry about his crime. They were sorry they got caught but not that they did the deed.”

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Katy Bourne is a Jazz Singer and Writer.