Mitt Romney: America’s Pain

By Jeffrey Page

The most startling aspect of the Romney implosion is the degree of contempt he reserves for half the population of the country he would govern.

In essence, he dismissed 47 percent of Americans as a bunch of moochers standing around on Saturday night with nothing to do but demand a hot time in the old town, courtesy of the United States treasury. In a line that will live as long as Clinton’s search for what the definition “is” is, Romney told a bunch of fat cats at a $50,000 a plate dinner last spring that people of the 47 percent “believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, [and] believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it…. ”

Let’s see. That 47 percent would include older people, poorer people, sick people, wounded veterans, people who’d like better schools for their kids, hungry people, people who sleep in cardboard boxes in winter, farmers, federal employees who could use a raise. The list of carefree people having a happy time seeking government handouts goes on.

If that weren’t enough to ruin a billionaire’s day, this 47 percent paid no federal income tax last year, Romney says. Which, of course, is at worst a deliberate distortion of the truth, or at best sheer ignorance. The New York Times quoted from a report of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center indeed showing that 46.4 percent paid no federal income tax last year, but noted that most of those people were elderly or low income. However, most of those households paid payroll taxes, which fund Medicare and Social Security.

The inescapable irony in Romney’s complaint about poor people and taxes is his continual ducking of the question of how much income tax he himself paid – if he paid any at all – in the years leading up to 2011, when he had an income of $22 million, or $6,000 a day.

Regarding Romney’s upset with people needing help, we Americans are not so cold that we’ll ignore a man going hungry or a woman seeking emergency care for a sick child. This is what Romney calls entitlements. Is a man entitled to a meal? Of course he is. Is someone entitled to get a child seen by a doctor? By their very membership in the U.S. branch of the human race, they are entitled to such help. Do you agree?

And, to again use that word that Romney and his friends so despise, two people raising a child or two on $25,000 a year indeed are entitled to food and housing assistance precisely because this is America where we can and will help those who are struggling.

This is America where we try to get people off the streets when the temperature drops in winter. This is America where sick people get treated.

It’s America, where Romney the candidate said of the 47 percent, “My job is not to worry about those people,” leading any reasonable person to understand that Romney the President would say precisely the same thing.

After the tape of Romney telling his pals about the 47 percent, he found his face covered with a half dozen eggs and called a 10 p.m. news conference this week – he rarely speaks directly with reporters – to inform any and all that he wants it both ways.

–1. He stands by his dismissal of half the country.

–2. But his comments were “not elegantly stated.”

–3. Although he had been speaking off the cuff.

–4. In any case, he wishes “to help all Americans – all Americans – have a bright, prosperous future.”

–5. That’s all Americans in case you missed it.

Question: Does any member of the 47 percent believe him?

Question: Does any member of the 53 percent believe him?

Romney fails to understand the Declaration of Independence’s noting that “all men” – not just the ones whose daddies ran a big car company – are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And he doesn’t get it, that “life” is not merely the opposite of death but an ongoing qualitative term. No one enlisted in the Continental Army to fight for life the way it used to be.

Romney further fails to understand that in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and promote the general welfare, as the Constitution claims as its raison d’etre, a nation and its leaders must be ready to stand with the poorest as well as the richest.

America gets it. Would-be President Romney does not and as a result, ought to do the country a favor and step aside. He’s not qualified for the office.

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One Response to “Mitt Romney: America’s Pain”

  1. Marshall Rubin Says:

    Before watching the videos of Romney’s disasterous speech in front of a group of millionaire donors I was a bit apprehensive about the possibility that he might win the presidency (not that I’m crazy about Obama). But the speech did more to expose his, and the GOP’s outright meanness and lies than all the negative ads the Democrats could ever air.
    Mitt did us a great favor, and for now at least, Democratic candidates including a good number of progressives are surpassing the GOP in the polls.
    I think the upcoming presidential and V.P. debates will nail the coffin in the GOP. Thanks, Mitt!

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