Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney's comments: insensitive or the plain truth?

The Obama Campaign--and its cadre of sycophants in the mainstream media--is all abuzz over a leaked video, wherein Mitt Romney talks about that portion of the population that pays no income taxes:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the 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. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

David Corn--writing at Mother Jones--describes the remarks thusly:
During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them.
Admittedly, Romney's off-the-cuff remarks sound pretty harsh. Democrats and pundits are calling them insensitive, uncaring, and the like. Corn, for instance, says they show Romney's "disdain" for half of America.  But is that what they show, or do they show a profound unhappiness with the current state of the nation, a deep disappointment with what America has become, across the last 50+ years? Because the real question is, are Romney's words accurate?

Remember the kerfuffle over Obama's comments about the private sector, how it was "doing just fine"? Court panegyrists like the two Jonathans--Chait and Cohn--were falling all over themselves in trying to defend Obama's comments, even though Obama quickly walked back his claim. But even with Obama's correction in place, the witless dupes in the media continued to maintain that what Obama initially said was wholly accurate.

Hands up. who thinks this same crowd of know-it-alls will go down that same road with Romney's comments? Well, let's check in with Chait and see what he has to say on the matter:
Romney repeated the wildly misleading but increasingly popular conservative talking point that 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes. The federal income tax is, by design, one of the most progressive elements of the American tax system, but well over 80 percent of non-retired adults pay federal taxes... 
The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock. I have never hated Romney. I presumed his ideological makeover since he set out to run for president was largely phony, even if he was now committed to carry through with it, and to whatever extent he’d come to believe his own lines, he was oblivious or na├»ve about the damage he would inflict upon the poor, sick, and vulnerable. It seems unavoidable now to conclude that Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryanism is born of actual contempt for the looters and moochers, a class war on behalf of his own class.
Huh, color me shocked. Chait makes no effort to investigate the truth or lack thereof of the comments, just dismisses them outright, then proceeds to infer that Romney and Ryan are full of contempt for the lower classes.

Now, the truth is that the 47% figure is misleading. Somewhat. Because there are indeed people who pay no income taxes for very valid and very defensible reasons. That said, the percentage of the overall population that pays no income taxes has been increasing for some time now, as this chart from Heritage--that I've discussed before--clearly shows:

Remember all that talk from the President about "skin in the game"? Well, it seems obvious that more and more people don't have any. The percentage of the population not paying income taxes--after falling under Reagan--has been rising ever since. Chait calls Federal income tax a "progressive element," "by design," but neither he nor any other pundit who is scoffing at Romney's remarks has bothered to explain why the percentage of people not paying income taxes is rising so quickly. Because--as the chart shows--the rise is not wholly related to the economy, given that people were leaving the tax rolls in droves under Clinton when the economy was booming.

Romney is right: we are becoming a nation of freeloaders. But no one--especially the freeloaders--wants to hear that truth. Saying it is insensitive. Truth doesn't matter, only feelings. And with another four years of Obama, we'll get another four years of coddling, of denying the truth, and the number of people with "skin in the game" will keep going down as a permanent dependent underclass continues to grow, as America continues to weaken. Happy days are here again.

Cheers, all.


  1. I wonder what did these commenters say about Obama's comment on those to "their guns and religion"?

  2. Supposed truth is always okay when it comes from the Left, Dm.