A friend posted about http://the53.tumblr.com/ recently and I find the site quite compelling.  The 53% refers to a recent statistic that 53% of people pay taxes and 47% reap benefits. Here’s what I might say on the topic:

I am thankful to my parents for not just handing me everything I wished for, but encouraging working toward it.  So my first jobs during high school were because I wanted to buy a computer.

Then I followed the example of my parents by moving out immediately after high school, a short stint in the military, then using the [quite modest] G.I. Bill benefits to help pay for college.  Tuition and student loans were much smaller back in 1990, and the interest rates were higher which encouraged paying them off early, which I did within a year or two after graduation (on time in 4 years, private college.)

Then my early career was interrupted as my Naval Reserve duty status was activated to participate in the first Gulf War.  I returned to find my employer had gone out of business.  Thankfully my B.S. degree prepared me to find other jobs, and I’ve been working in my chosen field ever since.

Didn’t save much while single, but my wife did, so we bought our first home in 2003.  The house is now “under water” in the current market, but we see no good reasons to default since we purposely did not overextend.

Health problems with our two children have kept my wife out of the job market for the last 6 years, and living on one income is a challenge.  Maintaining my tradition of donating both time and money charitably is also a challenge.

That is my 53% story.

My hope for this country is that the 53% (an F grade) grows to 60, then 70 (D), with a final goal of 90%+ (A).