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Freeloaders, according to Mitt

By Vicky Dickson

So Mitt Romney and his multi-millionaire donors think my husband and I are freeloaders, according to a video that’s been circulating recently. We are able bodied and of working age, and we’ve paid no federal income tax since 2008. Apparently, we’re just part of the problem that a Romney presidency would fix.

Except that we’re also part of a group that Romney claims to love: We’re small-business owners. And the reason we’ve paid no federal taxes during those years is that the weekly newspaper my husband co-founded in 2007 has always operated at a loss, which we’ve funded through the sale of stock we owned. It was thanks to the Bush tax cuts – and their provision that capital gains and dividends for those in the 10 percent and 15 percent tax brackets have been taxed at 0 percent since 2008 – that we’ve had no federal tax obligation.

We haven’t exactly been gorging on entitlements. But there is that $50,000 local economic-development loan we received from a program that was originally funded by the federal government. There’s no way a bank would have lent anything to our money-losing business, so that 2 percent loan has helped us keep our doors open. But the budget necessitated by Romney’s proposed tax cuts would squeeze such discretionary funding out of existence.

The federal help that small-business people like us really need is help with medical costs. Our newspaper has never been able to afford medical insurance for our employees. And our individual policy costs $5,366 a year – despite the fact that it carries a $10,000 deductible. So the yearly cost of medical care for my husband and I approaches $15,000, which amounts to 30 percent of the median household income ($50,964) in this country.

So, Mr. Romney, we are concerned about our employees, and about all the people who are going without health insurance because they don’t have the money to pay for it. That’s why we voted for the man who had the wisdom to try to provide access to health care for all the people he governs – and the courage not to disavow his actions when they became politically inconvenient. That’s why we voted for Obama. That’s why we’re voting for him again.

Vicky Dickson is co-owner of The Carrboro Citizen.

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