Cold-Hearted Politics

In a “secret” taping of a speech to a group of fundraisers which everyone and his dog has heard about by now, Mitt Romney revealed a side of himself that he might not want us to see. As I say this, I am aware that he makes no apologies so I guess we must conclude that he is proud of his lack of concern for nearly half of this country’s voting public — the poor half who “pay no taxes.”  Consider the two following paragraphs from Yahoo News if you will:

[In explaining his position] Romney seems to be referring to the estimated 47 percent of Americans who did not owe federal income taxes in 2011 because their incomes were so low that they qualified for a tax credit, or because they didn’t work at all. Last year, 22 percent of people who didn’t owe income taxes were elderly people on Social Security, and an additional 17 percent were students, disabled people or the unemployed. More than 60 percent of the group were low-income workers, many of whom qualified for the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit. (These workers did pay payroll taxes for Social Security and other programs.)

Romney campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho released a statement about the video Monday evening. “Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy,” she said. “As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.”

The second paragraph was written by a Romney “spokeswoman,” not Mitt himself. She gets paid to help Mitt get his foot out of his mouth. It’s getting to be a full-time job! But Mitt sticks by his guns. He cares not in the least about the poor in this country — we must believe this because this is what he keeps saying.

There are a number of problems with this scenario, of course, beginning with the cold heart that leads anyone to brag about the fact that he doesn’t care about the many poor people in this country — despite what his spokeswoman says. And it’s not just the poor vote he ignores, his policies are also designed to bypass the poor and favor the wealthy. But the attitude reflected here is not peculiar to Mitt Romney, sad to say. It is shared by a great many other people who see the poor as bloodsucking leeches who simply take and take and never give back. These stereotypes are more prevalent than we might like to admit in a country in which millions of Christians embrace the New Testament which preaches compassion for the poor.

But more to the point is the fact that the stereotype is built on a half-truth. To be sure, there are those in this country who have become dependent on the largess of the government and who will vote for a Democratic candidate in the hope that they continue to receive benefits from the large hand of the government. But there are also many poor — growing numbers in fact — who are in want not through any fault of their own, but because things simply didn’t go their way in an economy that is struggling.

But even if this were not the case, how can we condemn those in need for wanting help from their government when so many of the very wealthy receive even greater handouts in the form of tax breaks, bailouts, and subsidies that allow them to expand and protect their immense wealth? Talk about “paying no taxes”! And the people in this group are able to directly affect the way the government is elected in ways the poor simply cannot — by buying themselves politicians who are then obliged to see to it that the rich be allowed to continue to amass great wealth and avoid paying their fair share of taxes to help the poor and educate our children. Those people Mitt apparently cares about.

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9 thoughts on “Cold-Hearted Politics

  1. Lest Mittens Romney forget, in 2010, GE had $14billion in profit, and not only paid zero taxes, it received a $2 billion tax refund. Is this one of the 47% Romney thinks is a poor victim and doesn’t think about?

  2. Will be very interesting to see if he backs down today from his much softened comments in a speech last night, claiming we need to be concerned with the 100% and giving some positive spin to the Mass. health care plan.

  3. You are right. But so many people in need are going to be unable to vote given the id requirements being put in place around the country. Besides, the fact is that many people who are accessing government services are conservatives. Crazy and completely against their own self-interest, but a fact. And many people in poverty are unlikely to be registered to vote in time to be abe to actually vote. Our voter registration requirements really act as a deterrant to voting – especially for people who are more concerned about how they are going to provide food and shelter for their kids than whether or not they sent a campaign donation to DC or whether or not they are registered to vote!

  4. Great post. Romney’s spokesperson can try to perfume this pig all she wants, but these comments are consistent with his platform and earlier speeches. These comments are unlike the “I like to fire people” comment which was taken out of context. These comments are a spotlight into what Romney and the GOP are all about. The fact he has not “walked them back” as the spin doctors like to say, shows that they are entirely in context. So, they are fair game and show precisely why he should not be elected. He cannot understand the travails of people unlike himself. Well done. Best regards, BTG

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