Tuesday 18 September 2012

Romney caught on video: 47% of Americans are Losers

Update: Letterman interviews Obama: see at end

Just how much out of touch are the Republicans? Watching this video of a rich guy, a multimillionaire rich guy estimated to be worth $230 million (The Atlantic) giving his take on the state of the union is jaw-droppingly unbelievable. This man's view of the world is so warped, it is hard to know where to begin. How this gaffe will affect the Republican campaign remains to be seen but it is incredibly difficult to imagine how anyone would vote Republican now. The Republicans in their platform paper, in their speeches and now in these videos have demonstrated over and over again not just a total lack of understanding about what's going on, but a callous disregard for anyone who is not of their camp or who is not as financially well-off as them.

Published on Sep 17, 2012 by MotherJonesVideo
Mitt Romney on Obama Voters

"There are 47 per cent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 per cent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

"[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

"Forty-seven per cent of Americans pay no income tax."

Victims? Entitlement? Take personal responsibility and care for their lives? What? That's "what" as if what the F?

47% of the people pay no income tax. No explanation. No details. Just the insinuation that these 47% are contravening the law, doing something bad, or are just plain lazy. According to the Tax Policy Center (Who Doesn't Pay Federal Taxes? 2011), out of the 47% who do not pay federal income tax, two thirds pay payroll taxes. Those who pay neither income nor payroll taxes are the elderly or those making less than $20,000 per year and pay no taxes because of tax credits. Those are legal tax credits which are an integral part of the current tax system.

Mitt Romney like many Conservatives makes statements which are only partially right. Yes, 47% do not pay federal income tax but these people are the poorest of the poor. On top of it, NBC reports that 3,000 people who earn more than two million dollars (you heard me, two million) pay no federal income tax thanks to some elaborate tax planning. Alex Wagner, an NBC journalist, goes so far to suggest one of those three thousand could very well be Romney himself.

I have to shake my head. Is this the man anybody would want as president? Is this the man you would want as your leader? This is not what I would call profound thinking. This is not what I would call a thorough grasp of the big picture. In fact, this is the type of open-your-mouth-and-say-the-first-thing-which-comes-to-mind jaw-dropping stupidity the Conservatives have been saying ever since the Tea Party element has taken over the Republican Party. I remember how Rush Limbaugh suggested that Obama had some responsibility in Hurricane Isaac disrupting the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. What?

Many have said that Romney displays a chameleonesque quality to him where he will say whatever he thinks is appropriate for the group of people he's talking to.

"Paul Ryan just released his tax returns for the last two years, and it turns out he and his wife had a combined income of over $323,000 last year. To which Mitt Romney said, 'See, I do reach out to poor people." -Jay Leno

Entitlement? No, it's a right!
Mitt Romney like his Republican colleagues has failed to grasp a fundamental principal. If you offer somebody a helping hand, they have a better chance of succeeding. If you offer this person food, shelter, health care, and an education, this person has a better chance of climbing the ladder. This isn't a question of entitlement; this is a question of fundamental rights. A free and democratic country, an advanced country, represents people pulling together to make all their lives better. Mitt Romney states that he wants an America where everyone can pursue their dreams. What he doesn't understand is that if somebody is down, way down the economical ladder, they can't pursue their dreams. They can't afford food, shelter, health care, or an education all of which are fundamental to pursuing a dream. United we stand; divided we fall. Access to food, shelter, health care and education are the prerequisites for a productive citizenry.

What happens if Romney wins?
The Republicans clearly laid out their intentions in their 2012 platform. (my blog: The 2012 Republican Platform: Are ya scared yet?)

* No same-sex marriages

* Repeal Obamacare

* Enforce abstinence as the only method of protection

* Lower taxes on the wealthy, raise taxes on the middle class and the poor

* Stop any cuts in defence spending

* Stop abortions

* Try to stop distribution of birth control

This isn't the traditional Republican Party, this is the new Republican Party commandeered by the Tea Party and the far, far, far right. This is an extremely distorted view of reality.

Final Word
I watched the videos. I’ve read the Republican Platform. I’ve followed the GOP for over a year as they selected their presidential candidate and formulated their strategy to “take back America”. In the beginning, it was funny. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, etc. turned the Conservative movement into gaffe central. Oh what fun.

Now it’s not fun. It’s serious. Like really, really serious. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party, and the entire Conservative end of the political spectrum are so far out of touch with reality that I am scared. If these people get into power, they will knock the United States back into the Dark Ages. Democrats = warm and fuzzy. Republicans = cold and prickly. Barack Obama = step forward. Mitt Romney = step backward.

But in voicing my preference, I want to add a caveat. The electorate is an impatient lot who expect anybody in power to turn things around overnight. In 2008, the country faced the worst financial crisis since the crash of ’29. Anybody, even the Lord himself, would have a long row to hoe to get the country out of the mire it’s in. In other words, Barack Obama, the step forward, is the first step in the journey, a journey which will be long and arduous. But America, I would remind you that yes you still can.

99%? 47%? Vote for a leader who will bring the country together and make everyone part of the 100%.


MotherJones - Sep 17/2012 by David Corn
SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters
Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

Wikipedia: Mother Jones (magazine)
Mother Jones (abbreviated MoJo) is an American independent news organization, featuring investigative and breaking news reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Mother Jones has been nominated for 23 National Magazine Awards and has won six times... [It] also won the Online News Association Award for Online Topical Reporting in 2010 and the Utne Reader Independent Press Award for General Excellence in 2011.
The magazine was named after Mary Harris Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Harris_Jones) (1837-1930), called Mother Jones, an Irish-American trade union activist, opponent of child labor, and self-described "hellraiser."

Wikipedia: Earned income tax credit
The United States federal earned income tax credit or earned income credit (EITC or EIC) is a refundable tax credit for low- and medium-income individuals and couples, primarily for those who have qualifying children. When the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who qualify and claim the credit. That is, this credit is refundable. This tax credit is provided, in part, to offset the burden of social security taxes and to maintain an incentive to work.

Aljazeera - Sep 18/2012
Defining, not realigning: Romney's 47 per cent victim gaffe by Joshua A. Tucker
At a press conference yesterday to address the video, Romney sought to explain the point he was trying to make more clearly:

"This is ultimately a question about the direction of the country. Do you believe in a government-centred society that provides more and more benefits? Or do you believe instead in a free-enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams?"

If I were in the Obama campaign, it is this line that I would focus on relentlessly because this is of course a false dichotomy. While there is undeniably a moral argument to be made as to whether as citizens of the wealthiest country on earth we ought to be guaranteed access to food, education, and healthcare, there is an equally powerful pragmatic argument to be made as to why we should ensure that our citizens have access to food, education, and healthcare, because these are precisely the prerequisites needed for a productive citizenry.

The Washington Post - Sep 18/2012
How paying no federal income taxes helps the poor get off welfare and into work by Suzy Khimm
Why don’t 47 percent of Americans pay federal income taxes? One major reason: Tax credits that were passed with major bipartisan support — namely the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. And there’s a wealth of research showing that both of these tax breaks have been effective at lifting these Americans out of poverty and encourage them to move from welfare to work.

Huffington - Aug 28/2012 By Paige Lavender
Michele Bachmann: Obama's Wealth 'Really The Issue' In 2012 Election (VIDEO)
Michele Bachmann said President Barack Obama can't relate to "the common man" because of his extreme wealth, failing to note that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is worth hundreds of millions more.

"President Obama is extremely wealthy," Bachmann said when USA Today asked how someone with "vast wealth" could connect to the American public. "He and his wife have been wealthy for a number of years, and so I think that's really the issue. President Obama is wealthy -- what does he understand about the common man right now?"

According to financial disclosure reports released by the White House in May, the Obamas hold assets worth between nearly $2.6 million and nearly $8.3 million. Romney's net worth is up to $255 million, according to financial disclosure reports.

Romney = $255 million. Obama = less than $10 million. Just when I think Bachmann has said the most idiotic thing I've ever heard, she turns around and tops herself. That woman is amazing.

Published on Sep 19, 2012 by ThePopularFeed
YouTube: David Letterman President Barack Obama Zings Romney's 47% Remark

President Barack Obama discusses the comments made by Mitt Romney in a recently released video.

"When I won in 2008, 47% of the American people voted for John McCain. They didn’t vote for me. What I said on election night was even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices and I’m going as work as hard as I can to be your president.”

“One of the things I’ve learned as President is you represent the entire country. And when I meet Republicans as I’m traveling around the country, they are hardworking family people who care deeply about this country. And my expectation is if you want to be president you’ve got to work for everybody, not just for some.”

Washington Post - Sep 27/2012
Brutal new Obama ad features Mitt Romney and the 47 percenters By Greg Sargent
Matt Miller recently suggested that the Obama campaign should close out the campaign by literally paying people to watch two videos in their entirety: Bill Clinton's convention speech, and Romney’s freeloading 47 percent remarks. In a sense the Obama campaign is actually doing this. The new ad featuring Romney’s comments will run in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Accompanying this is Obama’s new two-minute spot, which is essentially a compressed version of Clinton’s speech, in that it recaps the magnitude of the mess Obama inherited, claims we are making slow and painful progress, warns that a return to Bush economics will upend that progress, and details the ways the recovery will bear fruit in Obama’s second term.


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1 comment:

Pauline Gaines said...

I agree with absolutely everything you said EXCEPT that I believe Mitt Romney speaks for many. I have been up close and personal with that crowd and they are just a bunch of bottom-line henchmen.