Mitt’s ‘victims’

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is trying to get his campaign on track following the release of a video that showed him complaining about people who pay no income tax, people who Romney said believe they are victims and are entitled to care from government.

Unlike previous gaffes, after which Romney was lambasted primarily by liberal voices in the media, this time he provoked the ire of many conservative writers.

That’s understandable because Romney’s comments, made at a private fundraiser in May, reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of who pays income taxes and why. Also, they reinforce the picture Democrats have tried to paint of the GOP candidate as someone wealthy and privileged who has no empathy for the struggles of average Americans.

We don’t believe the comments must prove fatal to Romney’s campaign. He still has an opportunity to right his ship, but he must do so quickly and forcefully. His explanation Monday night that his comments were “not elegantly stated” and were “off the cuff,” but he still stands by them, is not sufficient.

Among the problems with Romney’s remarks is that there are many reasons why 46 percent (not 47 percent) of Americans paid no income taxes in 2011. Many receive tax cuts through programs initiated by Republicans, such as the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit. Most do pay payroll taxes.

Moreover, those receiving entitlements include veterans and senior citizens, as well as those who worked hard much of their lives but now have disabilities. It’s unfair to suggest that all people in these categories are individuals who won’t take personal responsibility for their lives.

Furthermore, and contrary to Romney’s statement that this 47 percent “will vote for the president, no matter what,” many of these he lumped into this group are people who lean Republican, including numerous senior citizens and veterans. According to a map published by the Tax Foundation, eight of the 10 states with the lowest income-tax liability are in the Deep South, and are mostly Republican leaning.

Romney should make it clear that while his May remarks were off base, they point to larger issues that need debating.

For one thing, the United States has repeatedly expanded its definition of “poverty.” It’s clear that most families living under the government definition of poverty today are not in the same life-threatening straits as a poverty-stricken family during the Great Depression. That’s a positive reflection of compassionate Americans living in a land of plenty. But it’s fair for Romney to ask how much more we can afford to expand the definition and the benefits that go with it.

Also, it’s appropriate to raise questions about the great ideological divide regarding the role of government, especially when a recent Gallup poll shows 82 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of independents now believe government does too much, while 67 percent of Democrats believe it should do more.

What’s not appropriate is for a major-party presidential candidate to write off nearly half of the U.S. populace by saying, “My job is not to worry about those people.”


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The New York Times article front-paged in Monday’s Sentinel (“Romney Internet video bluntly assesses Obama’s ’47 percent’ of voters”) and today’s timely editorial (“Mitt’s ‘victims’”) both bluntly reaffirm the Romney-Ryan campaign’s cynical dishonesty.

Romney’s strongest appeal is to “white, non-college-educated male” voters, but he impliedly claims that more-educated, female, and minority voters support President Obama only because they are “freeloaders” who would vote for him “no matter what” – not because they recognize that Romney is an arrogant, unqualified wannabe who is relying on outright falsehoods and coded racism to promote an unpatriotic and immoral agenda that would enable the “1%” to destroy the American Dream of the “middle class”.

As the Sentinel noted, while almost 47% of American households (perhaps including Romney’s) pay no federal income taxes, most of them do pay payroll taxes.  Of the 18.1% of households who pay neither, “more than half were elderly” or “had incomes under $20,000” – including many Republicans.  Moreover, various tax credits which eliminate federal income taxes for many are the direct result of Republican tax policies.

Moreover, while Romney defines the “middle class” as including those earning up to $250,000 annually, President Obama has promised not to raise taxes on those earning less than that amount – necessarily including the “middle class”.

While both assert they will not increase taxes on the “middle class”, Romney’s tax plan actually raises taxes on incomes between $100,000 and $250,000 – and thus would also raise taxes on thousands of successful “job-creating” small businesses which Obama would not.  Rather, President Obama retains the “Bush Tax Cuts” for all income below $250,000 and returns to Clinton-era marginal tax rates on income above that amount.

As the Sentinel’s editorial clearly intimates, Romney simply cannot be trusted by the “thoughtful . . . 5-10% in the center” who still remain noncommittal. 

                Bill Hugenberg

It has now come out that there were several minutes edited out of that tape… BIG SURPRISE,huh?  Yet again another lie perpetrated by a sneaky liberal placing an unauthorized, hidden tape in a private meeting. Can you imagine the uproar if a conservative had done that.  Also, the DS is wrong and Romney was right about the 47%. Come on… 46-47? good grief.  OH and now the truth is coming out about the attacks on our embassy!  So you all decide who is the ‘biggest liar’ in this race for the White House.  How anyone can even begin to believe what comes out of the mouths of this administration.. any of them.. is beyond my understanding!! Oh and Hugenberg…JUST SHUT UP FOR AWHILE - WILL YOU… for me and many others I bet, when I see your name I just MOVE ON!!

Dear Joyce:

1.  I’ve heard that there were “two minutes” missing from the tape—when whoever was doing it inadvertently turned off the camera.  Even if there were “several minutes edited out of the tape”—what was edited out and what difference did that make to the rest of the tape?  BIG SURPRISE, Huh?

2.  I have not heard about “a sneaky liberal placing an unauthorized, hidden tape in a private meeting”.  What I did hear was that the host of the fundraiser apologized to Romney because he had wanted to give the tape as a momento to those who had paid $50,000 to attend.  Given the number of people in attendance, there was no serious “expectation of privacy”.

3.  When conservates do that, they also doctor the tape (ala ACORN).

4.  On what basis was the DS wrong?  On what basis was Romney right?  His words speak for themselves as to the 47%.  GOOD GRIEF!!

5.  As expected, it will take time for the whole truth to come out about the embassy attacks.  While I have heard right wing talk radio accuse the administration of “lying” about it, they never make it clear exactly what the lie was (demonstration, preplanned attack, or both).  Romney was the first to conflate Cairo and Benghazi, and the Ambassador himself minimized security concerns.

6.  There is clearly no question as to who has been the “biggest liar” in the race for the White House.  Paul Ryan’s was the “Most Dishonest Convention Speech Ever”, according to fact-checkers at the Nation of Change, and Romney’s distortion of President Obama’s tax proposals “was the single biggest convention lie by a Republican niominee for president in history”.

7.  Everyone who objectively fact-checks what “comes out of the mouths of this administration”—as opposed to what Romney-Ryan say—confirms that there is a credible basis for usual belief and occasional doubt (leading to follow-up questions).

8.  Thus, moving on, it seems that Joyce Dry is really “Just all wet”!

its crude and rude to make fun of someones name… a new low for you.

As to the rest of your points….. blah blah blah…..

No, Judy, not a “new low”—just an appropriate pun!!

drinking too much of that koolade I think….. who’s Judy?

As usual, no facts to back up your blah, blah, blah!!

Sorry, Joyce, that was unforgiveable.  I prefer strawberry!

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