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April 2012
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Voting Blocks

This Rosengate issue – with Hilary Rosen saying that stay at home mom  Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life” has me thinking about all these monolithic voting blocks: Hispanics, Blacks, Minorities, Women, etc.

The political class (both sides) has categorized certain groups of people and then they purport to tell us what our issues are.

I’m sorry, but those categories/issues don’t necessarily match up.

I am a woman. According to the Powers That Be (PTB) I should be for free birth control, “women’s health”, equal pay, doing it all, etc.

On the contrary, I am concerned with the economy and the slow erosion of my freedoms and rights.

I’ve been both a “working” mom and a stay at home mom (SAHM). I’ve been a married mom and a single mom.

As a younger mom, being a SAHM made economic sense. In those days an hourly office job (reception, secretary, customer service, clerk, etc.) paid about $8-10 an hour. For a 40-hour week that’s $320-$400 gross. Daycare for two small children was going to be $350 a week. Our family would be losing money if I were to be a “working” mom.

Later on, I was a “working” mom making enough money to cover some of the extra expenses of being a “working” mom; daycare, extra gas, convenience foods, office suitable clothing, etc. I had a job I liked. I accomplished a lot. But I was missing out on a lot of my children’s lives. I was out of the home for 10-12 hours weekdays and so was my husband. I’d get home and have to cook dinner. There was little time to spend with the children before bedtime, then there was pick-up and dishes and bedtime for mom and dad and then it started over again the next day. Hubby was – and is -a big help in the home.

In 2001 Hubby was laid off from his job the day before his company’s IPO. For two three years he worked temp jobs. I worked full time until my company was sold and the headquarters was moved. Parts of my job were transferred to three other people. I then worked temp jobs for a while as well. At one of my temp jobs the company was looking for a employee with Hubby’s skill set. Hubby got that job (he was overqualified and took an entry-level position) and has been there since. I had to leave another temp job because The Little Guy was expelled from pre-school. He was misbehaving and headbutted the teacher, breaking one of her teeth.

So, I left my temp job and once again became a SAHM. We had two cars at the time, but when the lease was up on mine, we turned the car in. We’ve made sacrifices with the loss of incomes. Hubby’s temp jobs weren’t paying what the old job did. It’s taken time for the new job to get close or match what the old job paid 10 years ago. My income was gone, but so were a lot of expenses such as the lease payment for the second car, daycare, clothes and dry cleaning, take-out, and the more expensive convenience foods from the grocery store. We used to hire a babysitter every Friday night and go out to dinner and a movie. We still go out to movies occasionally, but usually with the whole family.

The Little Guy was still having some issues so we took him to the doctor and found he has ADHD before he went to kindergarten. We had his ADHD under control before he entered the public school system so he’s never been pigeonholed and he’s currently in a brand-new enriched fifth-grade class that is composed of students from throughout our school district.

A Stay at Home Mom works. She runs a home. She provides 24/7 child care. She is a teacher. She is often a volunteer as well. I have put in many hours with the PTO, spending days and weeks at the school running book fairs and Santa Shops, Family Movie Nights, and Fun Fairs. Arranging Teacher Appreciation lunches. Helping out with twice-yearly picture days. I was also the Cubmaster for our Cub Scout Pack for three years. As The Little Guy is moving into Boy Scouts I’m cutting down to serving as Treasurer of the Cub Scout Pack and Webmaster to both the Cub Scout Pack and the Boy Scout Troop.

Even “women who lunch” aren’t sitting at home with a box of bon-bons. They volunteer. They serve on boards. They’re involved in their communities.

Women aren’t a monolithic group who all think and feel the same way. We are a naturally diverse group. Sure, some women are concerned about what the PTB think they should be concerned about. Others of us have different concerns. I’d like to know that my children and grandchildren won’t be paying for the “entitlements” of today. I see what’s happening in Greece and see where this country is heading and I don’t like it. I know that “it didn’t work before, but it will work this time” is a load of crap.

Fairness is that everyone have a stake. Everyone pays something. Currently 47% don’t pay any income taxes at all. But they receive the bulk of the “benefits”. They don’t necessarily pay the payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) either. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a “rebate” of all or part of those taxes withheld from each paycheck. This is how people who don’t owe any income taxes can receive a refund of more than was withheld (for income tax).

And with these rebates of Social Security and Medicare taxes is it any wonder the “lockbox” is running dry? Add in the recent “temporary” payroll tax reduction and it’s even worse.

Added: During my SAHM time I’ve completed my Bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Science in Business/eBusiness) and I am one class shy of my MBA. I am a small business owner of Schratwieser Consulting, and a disabled veteran. My oldest child, a daughter, is 21-years-old with developmental disabilities, a moderate conductive hearing loss, epilepsy, and lupus. I also have two sons, one is 17 years old and the other is 11 years old.

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  • http://www.movermike.com Mike Landfair

    I like your thinking, especially “…47% don’t pay any income taxes at all. But they receive the bulk of the “benefits”.

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