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Advertisement Letter: Am I better off? Yes, and I support Obama
Op-Ed · October 12, 2012


Am I personally better off than I was four years ago? Do I take “responsibility” for myself as a taxpayer?


One solid example of how I am better off is my retirement portfolio. I worked at UIHC for almost 35 years with TIAA-CREF as my retirement plan. At the beginning of 2008, the value of my retirement allotted to CREF had dropped to almost half of its value at the beginning of 2006 and was still sliding with the crashing economy. This amounted to thousands of dollars I had planned for during my “golden years.” According to my third-quarter statement for 2012 all that was lost during the Bush years has regrown to its 2006 value over the last four years. So, yes! I am better off than I was four years ago. Fortunately, I had a comparatively conservative amount invested in this account and my fixed rate TIAA retirement was safe. I am luckier than some of my friends who lost much more.

My husband and I never earned the inaccurate estimate of $200,000 to $250,000 middle income before retirement but we have been “responsible” taxpayers with a reasonable degree of personal fiscal success. Our combined working income was probably less than the amount some people pay for an automobile. But, by the time we retired, our farm and two houses were paid for due to carefully planned cutting back on expenses and paying forward on our mortgage by living on one income while the other income paid the mortgage. We pay our credit card balance off each month and two of our three vehicles are paid for. We contribute to charities and non-profit organizations because we value that we all work together as a society and are “responsible” to each other. We pay income tax, sales tax, real estate tax, and all other taxes every year as required. We also take deductions which we are allowed by current tax law and sometimes get a refund. So, no, Mr. Romney, you do not have to “worry” about us because we do just fine without you.

Karen, part of the 47%, Arensdorf, West Branch

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