All the Romney haters are jumping on the bandwagon criticizing him for honest comments about the composition of the voting population in this country.
The remarks in question were made at a “private” fundraising event in Florida. In a hopless effort to defuse this absurd brouhaha, I am going to analyze each of the elements in Romney’s statement that have gotten so much attention from the media and the Obama campaign. I have referred to PolicyMic Editor Jake Horowitz's description of Romney’s comments in his daily roundup. (Note: The following items are not exact quotes.)
1) There are 47 percent of Americans who will vote for Obama under any circumstances. There is nothing controversial about this comment. The people being referred to are those who do not pay taxes. Obama is their advocate and their votes are locked in assuming that they actually go to the polls.
2) These people are dependent upon government spending. If they pay no income taxes then other citizens are subsidizing them for all the services that are funded by income tax receipts.
3) These people believe they are victims. Most downtrodden people believe they have been dealt a terrible life.
4) This group believes the government has a responsibility to care for them. Whether or not the government has an obligation to support those in need is debatable. Nevertheless, most Americans want to help those in need and all those who cannot survive on their own; it is a moral obligation.
5) The group believes they are entitled to health care, food and shelter. Once again, most Americas do not have a problem supporting those who cannot work. Many Americans are not happy about supporting able-bodied people who can work. Having said this, the government must be focused on providing jobs by stimulating the economy and/or establishing work programs.
6) Government support is an entitlement and should be provided to the needy. Nothing controversial here. In fact, Romney is being generous about using taxpayer resources for those who need it.
7) There are people who pay no income taxes. Romney was specific in this comment. The backlash included arguments that many poor Americans pay withholding tax and sales tax. No argument. But, Romney indicated only income taxes in the clip.
8) Romney’s job is not to worry about this group of people. He will never convince the group that they should take responsibility and care for their lives. Romney is not worrying about this group relating to the election because he believes they are solidly behind Obama. To suggest that he does not care about 47% of the population of the country is idiotic. The final part of this comment is troubling, however. If Romney is elected president, motivating this group of people to work and provide for their families should be among his most important priorities. Romney is a proponent of free enterprise, and this philosophy is insistent that working people are happier than non-workers.
In a nutshell, Romney’s comments were totally blown out of proportion. His comments were not a definitive statement about his ambivalence towards people who do not pay income taxes. Of course, the liberal media and the Obama campaign, in their efforts to avoid discussing the president’s abysmal record, have spun this for all it is worth. It is a sad commentary for American politics. Two of the most biting attacks by the Obama henchmen were that Romney is “insensitive” towards 47% of the country, and he has “disdainfully written off half of the nation.”
Instead of discussing global chaos, nuclear proliferation, a dearth of jobs, energy policy, educational policy and Middle East issues, we are parsing a speech made in private by Mitt Romney. I only wish the American public would recognize the fact that the Obama administration is running from its record as hard as they can with distortions.
One final point, this tactic by the Democrats and their media co-conspirators will definitely have an impact on the presidential race.