This is a guest post from regular Slog commenter Enigma.
A theme you may have noticed in the conservative world is the idea that on Tuesday night "Takers" won. People who have no interest in contributing to society and just want to mooch off the hard-working bankers, or "Makers," this country depends on.
What makes me the most upset about this interpretation from the right is the idea that they refuse to acknowledge the people who want to be "Givers." People who are happy and proud to pay taxes as a representation of contributing to a society we share and want to function.
I come from a childhood on welfare. My mom got WIC to make sure I had nutritious food to eat in the first few years of my life. After that, most of my childhood was spent on Food Stamps. Of course, the voices on the right want to vilify my family for not making enough money to afford food and pay a mortgage, pay for cars and gas, which are necessary in a city without a functioning transit system, and provide clothes and electricity and maybe a money for school trips for three kids (which the right demands to be born regardless of the circumstances of the parents).
We were "Takers." My dad paid taxes the years he made enough, but we were still "Takers."
The right ignores the fact that people need help sometimes and there other people that are willing and able to provide that help. Willing and able. Including people who used to be "Takers." I came from a low-class background and worked almost every day since I was 13. It started so I could have a little extra spending money and not take from the family budget for a movie night with friends. Then it was survival so I didn't have to go on Food Stamps (even though I qualified). And now that I make enough to give back to the society that helped me, I am happy to fill out my tax form knowing it is paying for Food Stamps for a hungry kid trying to get through school. Or maybe going to Social Security Disability Income to help out a person who worked their whole life but had a tragic accident that made them unable to function in a job. Or to a great transit system that makes owning an expensive car unnecessary.
I know there are people who abuse the welfare system, just like there are bankers who abuse our legislative system by rigging the system to remove themselves from the social contract.
I have to say I'd rather have 10 welfare "cheats" on the dole than see one bank executive get a bonus paid for with bailout money.
I know there are others out there that share my sentiments. Look at Buffet and Gates. Are there no other middle to upper-class people who share these sentiments? There must be a few out there since Obama basically ran on this platform of helping one another in times of need. Where are these voices?
We need to hear from some more "Givers." We need to make paying taxes as righteous as saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
I'm proud to be a Giver.