Thursday, September 20, 2012

Forgetting the 47%

We've all seen the video clip by now, with Mitt Romney discussing how he feels about voters who support President Obama:

Romney has since doubled down on his comments, while allowing that they "were not elegantly stated". I suppose that's smart; he'd have a hard time trying to explain that he didn't really mean what he said. After all, the comments were made during a private fundraiser that was not supposed to be filmed, which would seem to be a perfect setting to speak candidly about what he really believes.

Most people shouldn't be surprised that Romney feels this way. By now we are all well aware of his total and utter disconnect from the issues that trouble anyone not at the very top of the income spectrum. His "lower the rates and broaden the base" statement is about the only concrete piece of policy we've heard from him in the entire campaign. Apparently, the 47% of people who owe no income tax each year are all completely dependent on entitlements, and have no desire to move up the economic ladder.

After all, we all know that the 50% of recent college graduates that can't find a job are just sitting back and loving it. The elderly who receive no income could be in the factory working their butts off, but they just think they're too good for that type of work. And soldiers? They think that just because they're on the front lines of the War that Never Ends that they should be exempt from getting a real job and actually doing something for their country? Please.

Humorously, many of the 47% that Romney has such contempt for are probably supporters of his. Seniors have tended to back the GOP for some time now. The military will always have a strong connection to the party that can't cut a penny from defense spending (even though our military spending is more than the next twenty largest military spenders combined). Many southern states that back the Republicans based on religious and social considerations (the "Bible Belt") are among the poorest states in the nation.

The former governor's comments are ridiculous in every sense of the word. He has tried some damage control, but cannot stop himself from saying stupid things. As quoted in this article, Romney believes that his comments underscore his effort to "focus on the people in middle". How are you focusing on the middle of the country if you have thrown out nearly half of it? The hits just keep coming in an interview with Fox News:
"There are a number of retirees and members of the military and so forth who aren't paying taxes and that's how it should be. 
"But I do believe we should have enough jobs and take-home pay such that people have the privilege of higher incomes that allow them to be paying taxes. 
"I think people would like to be paying taxes. The good news is if you're doing well enough financially that you can pay a tax. And the problem right now is you see in this country so many people have fallen into poverty that they're not paying taxes they have to rely on government and the right course to help them is not just to have government handing out but instead government helping people to get back to good jobs."

It's funny how in one breath you can stand by your comments, and in your explanation, you completely change what the comments said in the first place. The quoted remarks are clearly in direct conflict with the position that the 47% of people who do not owe income taxes are dependent on government and do not want to take responsibility.

We all knew how Mitt Romney felt. Still, there's something sickening about hearing it come so bluntly out of his own mouth. It saddens me that a man such as this can be so close to becoming the President of the United States of America.

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