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Mitt Romney: Half Of Americans Are Hopeless Losers That I Don’t Need To Worry About

In a surreptitiously videotaped talk with major donors in Los Angeles, Mitt Romney said that nearly half of Americans are dependent on government and will vote for President Obama regardless of what he says:

Mitt Romney described almost half of Americans as “dependent upon government” during a private reception with donors earlier this year and said those voters will likely support President Obama because they believe they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

The blunt political and cultural assessment by the Republican presidential candidate offers a rare glimpse into Mr. Romney’s personal views as the campaign enters its final 50 days. Liberals quickly condemned the remarks as insensitive and Mr. Obama’s campaign accused him of having “disdainfully written off half the nation.”

The recordings surfaced even as Mr. Romney sought to retool his campaign message amid internal campaign sniping and calls from Republicans outside the campaign for him to be more specific about how his policies will fix the nation’s economy.

The video clips raised the possibility that his campaign would once again be sidetracked by Mr. Romney’s own words, a problem that has plagued the former Massachusetts governor since his hard-fought battle with Republican rivals during the nominating contests earlier this year.

The video of Mr. Romney making the comments was posted on the Internet Monday afternoon by Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, which said it had obtained the recording and had confirmed its authenticity. The magazine said it was concealing the identity of the person who took the video and the location and time of the recording.

(…)

In one video segment, Mr. Romney described how his campaign is writing off “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what.” He adds that those people “are people who pay no income tax” and says “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.”

Mr. Romney said that “my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

The comments by Mr. Romney were more stark than usual, though he typically talks in public about supporters of Mr. Obama wanting big government to take care of their problems. He often accuses Mr. Obama and his supporters of wanting to bring a European-style socialism to the United States.

In the videos, Mr. Romney says that his campaign is concentrating on the “5 to 10 percent in the center” whom he describes as “thoughtful” when it comes to deciding who to vote for.

Jim Messina, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, said in a statement Monday evening that it was “shocking” that Mr. Romney would “go behind closed doors” to describe nearly half of the country in such terms.

“It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation,” Mr. Messina wrote.

Gail Gitcho, the communications director for Mr. Romney, said in a statement that Mr. Romney 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.”

Here’s the video:

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

Romney is correct that there are about 47% of Americans who don’t pay Federal Income Taxes, but as Kevin Drum reminds us, there’s a very good reason that:

Is it true, as Mitt Romney says, that 47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax? Yes! That’s mostly because they’re either poor, elderly, or take advantage of tax credits for low-income workers. Details here. But why do these people pay no income tax? Ezra Klein breaks it down into Twitter-sized chunks:

  • Rs have spent years cutting income taxes and increasing things like the Child Tax Credit. This means fewer people pay income taxes.
  • So whenever you hear a stat like “47% don’t pay income taxes,” remember: Reagan and Bush helped build that.
  • These tax cuts for the poor were partly in order to make further tax cuts for the rich political palatable.
  • But now that fewer people pay income taxes as a result of GOP policies, they’re being called lazy and dependent.
  • And thus the GOP’s tax cuts are being used to make a case that the rich are overtaxed and that the less-rich are becoming dependent.
  • Which thus leads to a policy agenda of tax cuts for the rich and cuts to social services for the non-rich.

That pretty much sums it up. These people don’t pay income taxes because they don’t earn enough money to pay income taxes, thanks largely to policies that Republicans themselves proposed and passed into law. Moreover, as I’ve noted before, this entire argument ignores the fact that these people do, in fact, pay taxes. If they are working, they pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. They pay state and local sales taxes. If they own property, they pay property taxes. The only reason they don’t pay income taxes, or in some cases pay very little income taxes is because of policies that Republican Presidents and Congresses supported. Indeed, the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is the primary reason that most low income pay zero net incomes taxes, is based on an idea that Milton Friedman proposed back in the 1970s called the negative income tax. The more important point, of course, is that you cannot get blood from a stone. Poor and lower middle class people don’t earn a heck of a lot money to begin with, and the added tax revenue the government would get by increasing their tax burden is infinitesimal compared to the costs that the taxpayers themselves would incur.  It’s also worth noting that the vast majority of this 47% that Romney speaks of are in predominantly Republican states.

Policy arguments aside, though, one has to wonder if this is going end up becoming yet another distraction that will drive the news cycle this week and cause the Romney campaign to yet again lose the week because of a really dumb mistake. Josh Barro, for one, thinks Romney lost the election with this comment:

This is an utter disaster for Romney.

Romney already has trouble relating to the public and convincing people he cares about them. Now, he’s been caught on video saying that nearly half the country consists of hopeless losers.

Romney has been vigorously denying President Obama’s claims that his tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class. Now, he’s been caught on video suggesting that low- and middle-income Americans are undertaxed.

(That one is especially problematic given the speculation about what’s on Mitt’s unreleased pre-2010 tax returns.)

Conor Friedersdorf compares this to Obama’s 2008 “clinging to guns and religion” moment:

[I]t also reminds me of Barack Obama’s infamous statement during the 2008 election that rural voters “get bitter, they cling to their guns or religion.” Those words were also said to donors at a private event, and broadcast only when a secret recording was made public. Rural voters aren’t 47 percent of the electorate, but folks who like guns or religion are a rather large demographic.

These sorts of remarks do double damage.

They needlessly insult some people whose votes the candidate would like to win. And beyond the particulars of what is said, they remind voters that candidate’s public persona is phony and affected.

Four years ago a lot of people felt they got a glimpse of “the real Obama.” They certainly saw a side of him that he hid when speaking to general audiences, as opposed to urban liberal supporters.

People will react the same way when they see this Romney tape. They’ll decide, first of all, that he thinks a surprisingly broad swath of America is composed of losers who won’t take responsibility for themselves. As damning, they’ll see that the Romney of debates, speeches, and TV commercials speaks differently than the Romney who gets together with his moneyed backers.

On some level, Americans know politicians are phonies.

But you can’t help liking a candidate less when you see that there really are rooms full of rich people where he seems to level with everyone much more than he does with the average American. You think, His opponent is right — he really is hiding his true opinions!

Marc Ambinder, who is back to regular political blogging at The Weekalso thinks Romney made a fatal error:

Let’s disregard the factual inaccuracies here, and there are many to disregard. It should be axiomatic that presidential candidates never, even in private, ever insult half of the American people. It should be double-mega axiomatic that he never do so in a room full of people.

Barack Obama, during the primary season in 2008, referred to rural voters who are “bitter” and “cling” to their guns and religion because they had deep economic anxieties. The remarks hurt Obama in the subsequent Pennsylvania primary, and Republicans (like VP nominee Paul Ryan) still use them today to bash the president as insensitive and out of touch. There is a grain of truth in these charges, which is why they’ve stuck.

This video is far worse on its face. Obama was, in a patronizing way, trying to explain why voters in certain areas voted against their economic interests. Romney is simply insulting half of the country in a way that right-wing talk radio show hosts do out of habit. If there is linguistic coding in his speech it is not very subtle: He’s playing on the resentment that many conservatives have for the Obama coalition, and the idea that those who receive government aid don’t deserve it; those who receive our money are moochers. And they of course happen to be disproportionately black and brown. (Disproportionately, maybe, but a majority are white; of the people he actually describes, half probably actually vote for Republicans. Think down-scale whites and seniors. Whoops!)

Does Romney believe this? Was he playing to the crowd? It sounded like he really believed it.

As if to prove Ambinder’s point, conservatives seem to absolutely love Romney’s comment, which he apparently considers too inflammatory to actually say in public:

“Dammit! I’m just now seeing these Romney secret videos,” RedState founder and CNN contributor Erick Erickson said on Twitter. “We need that guy on the campaign trail!”

“In the battle of caught-on-tape scandals, I’ll take Romney’s (accurate statement) over Obama’s (promising Putin) any day,” Brady Creemens, a writer for the Right Sphere, tweeted, referring to a hot mic Obama promise of post-election “flexibility.”

Creemens continued, “Oh, Romney doesn’t much care for those who benefit from the system without contributing? Good. Me neither. I think I’ll vote for him.”

There are more back-slapping, high-fiving reactions at the link, but I’m sure you can figure out what they all say without even looking.

Politically, I cannot see how this works to Romney’s advantage at all. As Marc Ambinder pointed out, he’s basically just pissed off pretty much half of the American population in an election year in which he is trailing the incumbent President with less than half the vote. Not just that, though, his statement was also an implied judgment on the people who voted for the President in 2008, a not insignificant number of whom he is going to need to persuade to vote for him if he’s going to have any chance of winning in states like Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa. It’s a monumentally dumb thing to say, which is why we’ve never heard Romney say anything like this in public.

It’s public now, though, and I cannot see how this doesn’t hurt the Romney campaign. For one thing, it’s going to be the talk of the day in political circles at least for tomorrow, and possibly longer depending on how the campaign handles the fallout from this. Just as, last week, the news cycle got eaten up by Romney jumping on top of the riots in Egypt and Libya and making a statement that the majority of Americans now view negatively, this week could end up being eaten up by Mitt Romney essentially saying that half the American population is sitting fat and happy, living off the government dole, and not really his concern.  Additionally, the comment simply reinforces the meme that the Obama campaign has been building all summer about Romney that he’s a detached rich guy who can’t relate to the average American, and doesn’t care about them. It was a dumb thing to say, it was wrong on the facts, and I think Romney’s going to pay a price for it.

Update: In an obviously hastily arranged late night press conference, Romney responded to this story:

I don’t think he helped himself.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Argon says:

    Get the popcorn out!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 2

  2. Laurence Bachmann says:

    Considering the little we DO know about this dumb ass’s taxes (he pays less then half what most middle class Americans pay) you would think he would be smart enough to shut up. Not to mention the 30 million welfare handout to Bain by the Feds. Do republicans ever look in the mirror?

    –and now his supporters will SWEAR the number is true. Because they heard it from Limbaugh.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 5

  3. David M says:

    I can’t see this playing well either. Maybe Andy Borowitz is right, and Romney’s campaign needs something bold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  4. DC Loser says:

    I hear the fat lady is getting ready to go on stage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  5. Rafer Janders says:

    Herman Cain almost has to be looking pretty good to some of these Republicans by now, doesn’t he….?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  6. Rafer Janders says:

    Romney is correct that there are about 47% of Americans who don’t pay Federal Income Taxes,

    Sure. He’s one of them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 2

  7. Mark says:

    It just reenforces the image of Romney as an asshole. I mean he basically called my father, who has worked his entire life and is retired on SS and Medicare, a moocher who didn’t earn the benefits he’s paid into for 45+ years. What a jackass.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 72 Thumb down 3

  8. Gustopher says:

    We still don’t know that Romney hasn’t been a member of that 47% of Americans who are freeloaders.

    His overall tax burden is less as a percentage of income than most of them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  9. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Man, Romney is really looking out for me! My job gets really stressful in the Fall, but the Romney campaign has been making sure to give me plenty of comic relief and is helping me sleep better at night knowing that Obama is increasingly likely to get reelected.

    Thanks Mitt!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  10. Jr says:

    He is toast.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Hmmm, I’m a little confused. I’m sure I recall both voting for Barack Obama and having a much higher tax rate than Mitt Romney. I guess not. I wonder if Warren Buffet pays taxes? Or Jay Z? How about Google’s Eric Schmidt? George Clooney?

    Mitt Romney is just a complete tool, isn’t he? He may be the completest tool ever to run for president.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 1

  12. It strikes me, both in the Libya thing and this, that Mitt thinks he can talk like a commenter on the blogs. Yeah, Obama had his “god and guns” moment, but it was more a lapse than a theme. Self-control and self-awareness are missing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  13. Herb says:

    And it’s only Monday……

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  14. (I wonder if broadly speaking the Obama campaign had this video and chose this moment for the coup de grâce.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  15. bookdragon says:

    Unbelievable.

    You know who doesn’t pay taxes? My parents. Because at age 70, after paying their whole adult lives, they deserve to get to retire and live off SS and a modest pension. But apparently Mr. Romney considers them losers, moochers who he doesn’t have to care about.

    Well, I’ve paid taxes ever year since started working at 16 and I’ll be voting for Obama.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 1

  16. Franklin says:

    Compared to Obama’s “cling” quote, I actually think they are quite comparable in terms of how people will respond. But Obama’s comment was during a primary that he had almost locked up, and by the time of the general election it seemed like old news. I don’t think this was good timing for Mitt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  17. just me says:

    While I like to see Romney channeling his inner Rush Limbaugh, this has got to be the most tone deaf of all the tone-deaf things any tone-deaf loon has ever said. It may be a long time before anyone tops this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  18. two timer says:

    I can’t help myself. The first five paragraphs of the first blockquote are repeated are repeated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. michael reynolds says:

    Mitt Romney to America: “Fwck half you people! Vote for me!”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  20. Franklin says:

    @two timer: You said rape twice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Bleev K says:

    Uncle Scrooge is running for president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  22. @two timer:

    My apologies. Copy/paste error that I didn’t catch. Fixed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. raoul says:

    Romney’s macaca moment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  24. michael reynolds says:

    By the way Marc Leder was the host of that Romney fundraiser. Just a couple quick grafs about Leder for your entertainment.

    It was as if the Playboy Mansion met the East End at a wild party at private-equity titan Marc Leder’s Bridgehampton estate, where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat.

    The divorced Sun Capital Partners honcho rented a sprawling beachfront mansion on Surf Side Road for $500,000 for the month of July. Leder’s weekly Friday and Saturday night parties have become the talk of the Hamptons — and he ended them in style last weekend with his wildest bash yet.
    Russell Simmons and ex-wife Kimora Lee attended a more subdued party thrown by Leder — who’s an event chair for Simmons’ Art For Life charity — on July 29 together. But the revelry hit a frenzied point the next day before midnight when a male guest described as a “chubby white meathead” and a “tanned” female guest stripped and hopped into the pool naked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  25. LC says:

    First, I don’t think this is a case of “mis-speaking” or playing to his audience. I have no doubt that Romney believes what he said. In fact, I suspect he thinks most Americans are moochers.

    But I don’t see how this hurts him. Forget the characterization of the 47%. For months now, we have known that the country is pretty much split 50-50, that when one looks at the electoral map, only a few states are in play.

    We can assume that those committed to Obama aren’t any more likely to switch to Romney than they were before this. I think we can also assume that those committed to Romney (even if they, in fact, are part of that 47% who get some kind of government assistance) will change because of this video. After all, their support for him proves that they are not “moochers”.

    So, we’re left with the maybe 5% who are undecided, who have always been undecided, and I can’t see how Romney’s words will affect them in predominantly one direction or the other. OTOH, some may move toward Romney because they believe him or want to prove to themselves that they are not “moochers”. OTOH, some may move toward Obama because they dislike what Romney said about half of Americans.

    In short, in spite of all the Liberal glee over this video, I simply do not see how it makes much difference with respect to the race.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 23

  26. Gerry says:

    @DougMataconis:
    Could you please highlight the portion of the video where Romney says, and I quote ” Half Of Americans Are Hopeless Losers That I Don’t Need To Worry About.”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 36

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @LC:

    1) It blows another news cycle where Romney’s message is eaten alive by Romney’s assholery.
    2) It confirms beyond all doubt that Mitt Romney is in fact an as$hole. This will in fact bother some people. Don’t forget: those people he’s talking about? They include a hell of a lot of Florida retirees.

    Hey, grandpa, just because you fought in Vietnam, worked all your life and now you’re disabled and in a wheel chair, that doesn’t mean you’re not a moocher according to this privileged, rich as$hole.

    Now do you see where it might hurt him?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 2

  28. rodney dill says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    (he pays less then half what most middle class Americans pay)

    His 2010 returns that I found shows he paid about $3,000,000.00 in taxes. You think most middle class Americans paid twice this amount by your own statement. That summarizes the intelligence of many commentors on this post.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 61

  29. john personna says:

    @LC:

    There were fixed boundaries but recent news might change that. This is the kind of thing that might dislodge marginally attached voters.

    Remember the stories of working folk not sure they could trust the rich guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Jeremy R. says:

    Halperin:

    Why This Is Bad for Romney

    This story has secret video (not all of which has been aired yet!); ridiculous, explosive soundbites; controversy; an outraged opposition; and a lot of spinoff angles …

    This is politically devastating because it plays into people’s preconceived notions of Romney as Monty Burns+Thurston Howell. And the bigger potential problem is that the right (Limbaugh, Ingraham, Erickson) will love what Romney said and if he walks it back they will savage him as being a weak-kneed and caving to liberals and the media.

    Still, as I see it, Romney’s only chance to try to stem the damage is to do an abject apology, but that really isn’t his style. He’s up to his eyeballs in the Freak Show now. There is a difference between what is and what ought to be — and Romney has a heap of trouble tonight.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  31. Me Me Me says:

    I wonder what percentage of our enlisted men and women don’t pay income taxes due to their low wages/qualifying for credits. Is that why Romney didn’t mention them in his acceptance speech – not because he forgot to, but because he thinks of them as the government-dependent-losers who don’t interest him?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  32. LC says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Wish I could believe you, but I suspect those Florida retirees don’t see themselves in that 47%, even though they get social security and medicare. Remember those Tea-Party signs in the crowds protesting Obamacare? The ones that said “don’t touch my medicare”.

    While watching the town meetings during the health care debate, I saw more than one questioner admit that s/he had received unemployment insurance or disability pay or some other government payment but s/he didn’t want big government health care.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that some part of Romney’s support comes from people who do receive, or have received, some kind of government aid. But it doesn’t register with them that it is just that type of assistance that Romney opposes because they know they are good, hard-working, Christian people as opposed to all the lazy, atheist slobs that Republicans want to get off the dole.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  33. BottiS says:

    It depends how much play this gets but he’s making it easier and easier for people previously inclined to view him charitably not to refrain from voting but to vote for President Obama who, day by day, strikes one as the better man.

    You know we move the Country forward one problem and one step at a time.

    The step we need to take right now is repudiate these values of Romney, Ryan and the Right and deny them both executive reach and congressional power.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  34. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    A retreat to regressive tax systems will not save Mitt. No.

    Lol, going back to a 1905 argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @rodney dill:

    As a percentage, genius.

    I pay a far higher tax rate than Mitt Romney as a percentage. As an absolute number I pay a far higher amount than the average GOP voter.

    You are shilling for a guy who thinks people like you are nobody. Who hides his money in off-shore accounts. Who had his entire life handed to him by a rich and famous father. Is there a tax credit for toadies?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 2

  36. michael reynolds says:

    @LC:

    I don’t doubt that a lot of people are just that clueless.

    But we don’t need a lot of people. Just one more in Virginia, Ohio and Florida than Romney gets.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  37. Herb says:

    @rodney dill:

    “That summarizes the intelligence of many commentors on this post.”

    Oh, I don’t know about that…..

    It’s entirely possible Laurence was talking about the tax rate, not the total amount of taxes paid. After all, that’s usually the metric used in such discussions, the rate. What you’ve found is inartful wording, not necessarily a lack of intelligence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  38. Ben says:

    @rodney dill:

    You are either being deliberately obtuse or are insanely dumb to not realize that he was talking about percentage (which is the only measurement that means anything to anyone), not absolute dollars.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  39. john personna says:

    Think how much better you’d be if you managed to pay Mitt’s special rate all your life!

    You didn’t deserve it of course because the most dangerous and dirty job you had was not as good for America as the carried interest frat party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  40. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds: I heard the news clip they played on TV tonignt. It didn’t sound like someone who didn’t care about 47% as people. He doesn’t care about pursuing them as voters. Which still could be a political mistake at the 47% keeps changing. Representing that he paid less than half the taxes most Americans paid is incorrect. If the rate was meant (and the effective rate, not the top rate) then state it. My top rate is at the top end, but my effective rate due to kids it college, etc… is closer to Romney’s rate. (…and I make a hell of a lot less than him)

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 20

  41. LC says:

    @john personna:

    marginally attached voter

    But do we know why they are “marginally attached”? As I said before, I can see reasons why Romney’s statement could push them in either direction depending on certain predispositions.

    I think many, if not most, liberals would agree that all Americans deserve decent health care, food, housing. We argue about how to provide such basic necessities but not the fact that they are basic human rights.

    Conservatives do not believe this. They believe that people get, or do not get, what they deserve. Wealth is proof that a person is deserving. Poverty is proof that a person is not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. rodney dill says:

    @Herb: It was very plausible that he was talking about the rate, but intentionally in a manner that looked otherwise. Especially considering the top rate versus the effective rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  43. michael reynolds says:

    I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.

    VO: Speaking to a group of supporters, Mitt Romney described 47% of Americans as people who took no responsibility for their own lives.

    Romney: “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

    Florida retiree 1: “I worked for 35 years in a shop and raised three children. Now I’m on disability. I paid taxes all my life. But now I’m on a fixed income.”

    Florida retiree 2: “Mitt Romney doesn’t think I cared for my life? I was a medic in Vietnam, and retired after 30 years active duty. I cared for my life. And the lives of others, too. ”

    Retiree 1: “Mitt Romney thinks I didn’t take personal responsibility?”

    Romney: “They believe they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

    Cut to Obama. “Do you believe what a cwnt this guy is?”

    Okay, maybe change that last line.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 2

  44. john personna says:

    (My misfortune was to have my best years in the dot.com, back when real men paid taxes.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  45. Stephen1947 says:

    @michael reynolds: If by tool you mean a hammer, or maybe a sack of hammers. Yes, he is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. rodney dill says:

    @Ben:

    he was talking about percentage (which is the only measurement that means anything to anyone), not absolute dollars.

    Then send OTB $50,000.00 to be paid to me. Its not a percentage so it won’t mean anything to you.

    (OK, don’t take that too seriously)

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 26

  47. john personna says:

    @rodney dill: Seriously, only people pretty far right ever hear it that way. Giving you the best benefit I can, I’ll call it a subconscious defense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    His 2010 returns that I found shows he paid about $3,000,000.00 in taxes. You think most middle class Americans paid twice this amount by your own statement.

    This is pretty dense even from you dude.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  49. Tillman says:

    Whoa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:

    It’s fun to watch them flail, isn’t it? I feel almost bad, like I’m being a sadist, taking pleasure from watching them writhe and squirm.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  51. @LC:

    Here is the bit that sprang to mind:

    Sheryl Harris, a voluble 52-year-old with a Virginia drawl, voted twice for George W. Bush. Raised Baptist, she is convinced — despite all evidence to the contrary — that President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is Muslim.

    So in this year’s presidential election, will she support Mitt Romney? Not a chance.

    “Romney’s going to help the upper class,” said Harris, who earns $28,000 a year as activities director of a Lynchburg senior center. “He doesn’t know everyday people, except maybe the person who cleans his house.”

    We discussed it somewhere here at OTB. The original source is here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  52. LC says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Just one more in Virginia, Ohio and Florida than Romney gets.

    From your mouth to their votes. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  53. David M says:

    No one ever talks about taxes in absolute dollars, pretending otherwise is deliberately missing the point.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  54. Herb says:

    @rodney dill:

    “It was very plausible that he was talking about the rate, but intentionally in a manner that looked otherwise.”

    Yeah, but I’d play this like I’d play a stranger in poker. Assume they’re smart and competent, that they know what they’re doing and might even be better than you. If they prove themselves otherwise, that’s when you pounce.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  55. Anderson says:

    John P – I’ve been wondering the same thing about what oppo tidbits Obama has been sitting on. And if this came from the Dems, it wasn’t even good enough to save till October. That should give the Romney staff the shudders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  56. Facebones says:

    Is this the campaign reboot Mitt was talking about today?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  57. Ben says:

    @rodney dill:

    OK, so deliberately obtuse it is! Thanks for your contribution to the discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  58. raoul says:

    Dill: Sounds to me you pay a smaller rate than many moochers (oh that’s right you were not really saying that, really)- your intelligence is well north of a pickle-love to see inarticulate people complain about other’s inarticulateness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  59. @Anderson:

    Good timing, to blow up the “reboot.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  60. Latino_in_Boston says:

    And now he’s come out to talk about the video in a press conference and of course, it’s classic Romney. I stand by it, sort of, as long as you, viewer, don’t think that I really said is not really what I said, and if you do, it’s because you’re wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  61. Gawker is also blowing up the “sex party” story. That’s just mean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  62. mantis says:

    Shorter Rodney Dill: You dopes don’t know the meaning of money. .1% of Romney’s income is more than you moochers will ever pay, so he shouldn’t have to pay even that much.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  63. gVOR08 says:

    @Stephen1947: Is this a great country or what? Donald Trump made a billion dollars (or enough to pretend to a billion) and he’s too dumb to realize Obama could produce a birth certificate any time he wanted to. I’m beginning to think Romney’s no better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  64. Man, Jan sure called the “liberal psych-opts!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  65. Scott F. says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Who had his entire life handed to him by a rich and famous father.

    Alas, Michael, Romney doesn’t see it that way. Later one the video comes my favorite quote…

    “I have inherited nothing. There is a perception, ‘Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.’

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  66. mannning says:

    Perhaps Romney is confused by the difference between the plus or minus 47-odd percent that say they will vote for Obama, and the 47-odd percent that don’t pay income taxes or pay very little. He seems to equate the two. Considering only the current 47-odd percent that support Obama, whose composition is not exactly clear, Romney is quite right to say they are a lost cause in this election for him, and that he needs to hold the 47-odd percent he has, and work to earn the majority of the remaining 6 percent or so to win a majority, which is true.

    But, as for the composition of of the 47-odd percent that do not pay income taxes or pay very little, he is condemning quite a few of his own current supporters. Not a very wise thing to do. I suggest, however, that his current supporters in this group will understand rather instantly that Romney is not targeting them at all, will vote for him, will encourage him to continue to go after the undecideds, and will hope for a 51-49 split or better popular majority win for him.

    It would seem, then, that the impact of this speech largely falls on the undecideds, perhaps influencing who they will vote for, and perhaps not. It could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, or it could be ignored in favor of more weighty issues. We shall see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  67. dennis says:

    @Ben:

    You are either being deliberately obtuse or are insanely dumb to not realize that he was talking about percentage (which is the only measurement that means anything to anyone), not absolute dollars.

    Ben, preemptively confessing to be somewhat inflammatory and not altogether on topic: the only time I find conservatives loudly touting percentage rates as opposed to actual numbers is when they are demonstrating Black crime as a higher statistic in terms of percentage, rather than actual numbers, which show higher crimes committed and incarceration actuals by our White population, which is natural by virtue of the fact that it is the majority.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  68. Andre Kenji says:

    @Bleev K:

    Uncle Scrooge is running for president.

    Yes, I always thought that. I imagine that Mr. Romney must like to swim in pool of money every morning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  69. Ron Beasley says:

    The Democrats don’t have to pay people to write campaign advertisements – Romney does it for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  70. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Half sounds about right. 40% voted to reelect Carter, thereby setting the minimum number of the truly hopeless. Since then the public has gotten a lot dumber and more dependent upon the government too. 48% voted for Kerry. 53% voted for Obama last time around, although a decent chunk of those people had buyer’s remorse from minute No. 1. So, again, half sounds about right. I guess the truth hurts.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 40

  71. @Ron Beasley:

    That was the theme on SNL, the Obama player saying “I don’t need to worry, I got this guy”

    … cut to Romney

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  72. gVOR08 says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: No. The number of truly hopeless appears to be 27%. And you would be very unhappy to know where that number came from.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  73. dennis says:

    @mannning:

    Hello, manning. Hope you’ve been well.

    During the 2006 Congressional elections, I thought for SURE America would not return control of the Congress to the Democrats, so “weak” on the WOT (which I confused with opposition to the Iraq war). I mean, I was CERTAIN of it. Know what I learned? Do not underestimate the fickleness of American voters, cuz just when you think you have them figured out, they switch the flip on you, and leave you standing there wondering what the hell happened . . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  74. Ron Beasley says:

    Poor Mitt – he just can’t seem to hide the fact he is a sociopath. The good old days are feudalism and Romney would be the lord of the manor. A cynical and robotic smile for the serfs now and then. I am old enough to remember his father – a decent guy. In Mitt’s case the apple has fallen far from the tree.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  75. BottiS says:

    From David Corn and Mother Jones’s expose:

    “At the dinner, Romney also said that the campaign purposefully was using Ann Romney “sparingly…so that people don’t get tired of her.” And he noted that he had turned down an invitation from Saturday Night Live because such an appearance “has the potential of looking slapstick and not presidential.”

    I agree with using Ann sparingly. Nice face, worthless conversation.

    Who needs SNL when you have quotidian Mitt? “Wouldn’t be frugal!”

    Remember Conard? He wanted the US Treasury to make Equity firms whole by insuring against bank runs by the little riffraff guy.

    And what about Ryan’s plan to bring back jobs? It’s known as the “territorial taxation” plan.

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  76. dennis says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Poor Mitt – he just can’t seem to hide the fact he is a sociopath. The good old days are feudalism and Romney would be the lord of the manor. A cynical and robotic smile for the serfs now and then.

    You know, Ron, I used to dismiss this language as hyperbole; but, I think you guys have been on to W. Mitt Romney from the jump. So, an admission to being a bit slow on the take, and apologies for blithely dismissing what has apparently been a truism for quite some time . . .

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  77. al-Ameda says:

    Mitt Romney described almost half of Americans as “dependent upon government” during a private reception with donors earlier this year and said those voters will likely support President Obama because they believe they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

    Seriously, I had to double check to be sure that Doug wasn’t linking Romney’s quotes to a Saturday Night Live skit.

    I had no idea that Romney was like … this. I thought he w.as just a stiff plutocrat, maybe a little awkward. It turns out he’s all of that and … less

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  78. al-Ameda says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Yes, I always thought that. I imagine that Mr. Romney must like to swim in pool of money every morning.

    Brings to mind the movie “The Magic Christian,” around 1969 with Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  79. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @rodney dill: OK! We get it! You are a master of deconstruction; now, move on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  80. michael reynolds says:

    @dennis:

    I’ve followed the same path from thinking Mr. Romney was just a basic, of-the-rack money Republican who would probably not do too much damage. To a growing sense of unease that there was something really off about the guy. To now seeing him as a really appalling person utterly unsuited for office.

    I probably got there a couple months earlier than you did, but then I’m fairly obsessed with politics. And by “fairly obsessed” I mean I check the RCP, Talking Points, Pollster.com and Nate Silver polling pages every eight seconds. My day is like this: Write a page, check five political sites, write another page, check the other political sites.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  81. jan says:

    @mannning:

    “But, as for the composition of of the 47-odd percent that do not pay income taxes or pay very little, he is condemning quite a few of his own current supporters.”

    Romney’s initial words are being interpreted that way.

    However, in Romney’s impromptu press conference, he said he hoped that the leaker of the video would offer the full video so that the context, including the question being asked and his full response, would be included. Romney does not seem flummoxed or back-pedaling on his comments, saying they were elicited by a question from donors inquiring about the ‘process’ of the campaign, as to how he intended on winning the election, which included who he thought would be his cemented base. But, he broadened these remarks by saying his intention is to appeal to that 47%, currently dependent on the government through food stamps etc., by giving them jobs and a greater opportunity to becoming self-supportive.

    That was the gist of the flow of that statement.

    Of course it will be thrown to the liberal base, to be regurgitated as something ultra inflammatory and insulting. That is to be expected. However, what may be unexpected is how well it seems to be received by more sane, reasonable people out there (perhaps independents without a partisan viewpoint always grinding around), who do view entitlements as a big stumbling block to deficit reduction and putting this economy in a healthier position.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 26

  82. Moderate Mom says:

    @michael reynolds: You also pay a higher dollar amount (and percentage) than the average Democratic voter. So do I. So what? We’re both in the top 1 or 2 percent and we pay accordingly, as wage earners. If my income came from investments instead, I’d be thrilled to pay a smaller percentage in taxes. Especially if the principal that I invested had already been taxed at the rates levied against wage income. Hell, I’m not angry about the fact that Romney’s effective rate is around 13%. I’m jealous!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 32

  83. Hal 10000 says:

    I’ll repeat what I said the other day: could we please have a Presidential candidate who can go more than 24 hours without stepping a rake on hitting himself in the face?

    And to think, Romney was the best option in the GOP field. Sigh.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  84. john personna says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Back when I paid my much higher dot-com taxes we had a budget surplus. Coincidence?

    Or did giving 15% to Mitt and friends break the bank?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  85. Anderson says:

    Oh yeah, Jan. Context. That’ll do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  86. mantis says:

    @jan:

    he broadened these remarks by saying his intention is to appeal to that 47%

    Mission accomplished!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  87. john personna says:

    (Talk about realities that we hope are not true, I really hope conservatives are smarter than “no one should pay tax.”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  88. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    That is to be expected. However, what may be unexpected is how well it seems to be received by more sane, reasonable people out there (perhaps independents without a partisan viewpoint always grinding around), who do view entitlements as a big stumbling block to deficit reduction and putting this economy in a healthier position.

    They’re not going to get savings out of cutting Social Security and Medicare, they’re going to have to close “loopholes”. And really, I can’t wait until Romney and Ryan explain to the public that the only way they can project no deficits is if they eliminate the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  89. dennis says:

    @jan:

    Romney’s initial words are being interpreted that way.

    Oh, please. You take out that one statement from mannning’s post and commence to making a disjointed, nonsensical argument out of it. I debated mannning once on an unrelated issue. His intelligence and thoughtful responses belie your feeble inference that he doesn’t understand the nuances of what’s currently going on. [Apologies, mannning, for presuming to speak for you.]

    But, he broadened these remarks by saying his intention is to appeal to that 47%

    Which completely contradicts, unsurprisingly, his original remarks which you, astoundingly but not surprisingly, failed to grasp in your partisan, myopic psychology.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  90. john personna says:

    Apparently the fantasy budget cuts off the freeloaders, lets the rich enjoy 15% tax, and working slobs pick up the rest.

    No wait that was too hard on the rich, Ryan drops them to 1% or so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  91. dennis says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I know, michael, but I’m learning . . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  92. michael reynolds says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Good job on the delivery of that pathetic talking point. I believe you have now totally turned this around for Mitt Romney. Now people will love him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  93. dennis says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    MM, who is the “average Democratic voter?”

    (Don’t look at me; I’m registered Republican.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  94. anjin-san says:

    his father – a decent guy

    I know my father had a pretty high opinion of the elder Romney. Mitt turned out the be just another silver spoon jerk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  95. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Unfortunately I’m guessing that my Florida retiree mother, who lives off of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and food stamps, will still vote for Romney instead of the Kenyan usurper.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  96. angelfoot says:

    @LC: Well, right, maybe, except for motivating Obama’s base to get out the vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  97. SJ Reidhead says:

    I could not have said it better. To me, what a disconnect to reality this shows. No matter what a person purchases in this country, there is a tax, somewhere.

    SJR
    the Pink Flamingo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  98. jan says:

    For the most part, liberal democrats see life differently. Drudge has some cogent headlines up:

    GALLUP: 67% OF DEMS SAY GOVT — SHOULD DO MORE!

    Major Partisan Divide on Appropriate Role…

    8,786,049: Yet Another Record for Americans Collecting Disability

    Each of these stories details these differences. Dems basically see the role of government not only as a temporary safety net, but more of a permanent parenting role. The numbers dealing with record disability claims only mirrors those for food stamps, indicating more and more people relinquishing self reliance and yielding to being a cog in government assistance programs.

    It reminds me of the dust bowel era, when farmers, beaten down by the harshness of the environment finally succumbed to becoming ‘hires’ for the government in order to make ends meet.

    Without jobs to break the cycle, government assistance becomes a curse creating a generational cycle in families, in which there is an acceptance to one’s lot in life with no motivation to look for or assume there is anything better out there.

    I think this leaked video at least points to the enormity of the entitlement entrenchment in this country — and how can one half of the country expect the other half to carry such a weight indefinitely.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 26

  99. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    Tell you what, Jan, I’ll just paste in a quote from a reader writing in to Andrew Sullivan:

    That Romney quote about people in the 47 percent not taking responsibility for their lives made me so angry I almost cried. I’m in that 47 percent. My household hasn’t paid income taxes in ten years – not since my husband became seriously disabled and could no longer work. How dare Romney tell me I’m not taking responsibility. I’ve been nothing but responsible – responsible for raising three children and caring for my husband for five years until he died, through some very tough times. I worked part-time through much of this, but SSDI and private disability insurance made it possible for my family to survive financially. My two sons received federal loans for college. One is now a public school teacher, and a darn good one – a worthwhile investment, I’d say. The other is still in college. My third child is disabled and continues to receive SSDI, and I’m still responsible for her. I work full-time, pay payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes. But I work for a not-for-profit and don’t receive the kind of salary people of my abilities earn in investment banking.

    The stuff that happened to me – a spouse who died prematurely, a child with a genetically-based disability – these things can happen to anyone. Anyone.

    By the way? Combat soldiers pay no federal income tax. You remember them, right? The moochers your candidate forgot to mention at his convention.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 1

  100. dennis says:

    @jan:

    Without jobs to break the cycle, government assistance becomes a curse creating a generational cycle in families, in which there is an acceptance to one’s lot in life with no motivation to look for or assume there is anything better out there.

    jan, have you ever been on govt assistance? If yes, your statement makes you a blind, self-deluded hypocrite. If not, you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  101. john personna says:

    Basically Jan justifies Mitt using bubble reality, just as Mitt speaks to and from bubble reality.

    Your poignant story is from another universe, Michael.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  102. mantis says:

    @michael reynolds:

    By the way? Combat soldiers pay no federal income tax. You remember them, right? The moochers your candidate forgot to mention at his convention.

    And as has been noted, a very big portion of the people paying no income tax are old folks on social security, which they paid into all their lives. Moochers. Jan despises them for their dependence on the government, which you and I would recognize as collecting what they have earned, saved through a system established to make sure people do not die in poverty after a lifetime of work.

    Most of the rest who pay no income tax are the working poor, earning wages too low to tax without contributing to the workers and their families’ destitution. They should appreciate how lucky they are.

    You’re full of shit, jan. Top to bottom.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  103. Herb says:

    @dennis:

    who is the “average Democratic voter?”

    It’s a code word. I think we know who it’s supposed to refer to, but no need to say it out loud.

    Problem is, though, as Daniel Larison points out, Romney’s comments are also directed at “the average Republican voter” too.

    What makes this stand out as exceptionally arrogant is the fact that he clearly has contempt for many of the people who were likely to vote for him.

    I think my morbidly obese stepmother, who’s been on SS disability for years, will still vote for him.

    But then again…she’s an idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  104. anjin-san says:

    The stuff that happened to me – a spouse who died prematurely, a child with a genetically-based disability – these things can happen to anyone. Anyone.

    I can vouch for that. I had a severely disabled relative who passed away recently. Birth defects, catastrophic illness or accidents, these things happen every day. I grew up in a family that had none of these challenges, but over time, I got educated.

    Thanks to a HUD subsidy, my relative had a nice apartment that was fitted a wheelchair. She had a nice little garden off her bedroom, and the last decade of her life was spent in clean, safe surroundings that provided as much dignity as possible. She did not ask for what happened to her.

    Of course in Mitt Romney’s eyes, she was just a bum.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  105. Jr says:

    Without jobs to break the cycle, government assistance becomes a curse creating a generational cycle in families, in which there is an acceptance to one’s lot in life with no motivation to look for or assume there is anything better out there.

    I love it when conservatives act like government assistance is some sort of luxury……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  106. mantis says:

    I think I just figured out what the Romney/Ryan campaign slogan should be:

    You know what this country needs? More slums!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  107. Ed in NJ says:

    I’ve seen multiple references to Obama’s “guns and religion” statement in ’08 as some point of comparison. But it’s a false equivalence, part of the rush to “both sides do it!” journalistic laziness. First of all, Obama won in a landslide, because only those who do cling to their guns and religion took offense to it. But more importantly, it was true, while Romney’s statements are not. The reality is that Republicans have fomented bitterness in many areas by focusing on issues like gun control and religious freedom that Obama has never campaigned on or proposed policy on. The gun control issue has already been won by the right, yet the NRA still robocalls voters claiming that Obama is coming to take their guns. Now compare this to Romney’s “47 %” claim, which is not only exagerrated (the numbers are from 2009 at the height of the recession, but as Doug references and Kevin Drum spelled out, it’s an outright lie. Not to mention those who don’t pay income tax do pay payroll taxes, a point that Republicans purposely leave out.

    It’s over for Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  108. anjin-san says:

    Obama’s “guns and religion”

    We do have Florack to provide proof of concept on this one…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  109. C. Clavin says:

    I guess Jan is ready to give up the housing subsidy she receives from the Government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  110. David M says:

    @jan:

    Your posts indicate you really don’t understand who doesn’t pay federal income tax or why they don’t have to pay income tax, so I’m curious about the following.

    **Do you think seniors should pay more income tax on their social security?
    **Do you think the Child Tax Credit should be repealed so parents have to pay more income tax?
    **Do you think single people making under $9k / year should paying more income tax?
    **Do you think couples making less than $19k / year should be paying more income tax?
    **Do you think you should be paying more income tax?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  111. Lynda says:

    Isn’t one of the key Republican messages meant to be that people know how to spend their money better than the government therefore they should keep more of it?

    If you believe that then surely having 47% of the population not paying federal income taxes is a feature not a bug? Shouldn’t they be celebrating the 47% and working to increase their ranks rather than calling them losers?

    Of course that is if you actually believe the Republican talking points…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  112. Steve V says:

    OMG I just flashed back to Craig T. Nelson complaining about all the mooches sponging off the government, unlike him, who, when he was going through hard times and living on food stamps, he didn’t look for a handout from anybody. Oy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  113. jan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So, what’s your point? That suffering happens? Of course, people are dealt blows at different points in their life, many times through no fault of their own. That’s who and what public assistance programs are truly meant for. If this woman, though, wants to feel like Romney is specifically referencing her circumstances, causing her to take this taped statement as a personal affront, then that’s her prerogative. But, she was neither the targeted audience for that speech, nor was there any intended implication of disrespect or lack of empathy for people in that 47%. It was meant as a statistical demographic as to the built-in constituencies who Obama appeals and panders to in his rhetoric.

    Like I said earlier, though, this is just another emotionally charged cameo, taken out of context, which serves the progressive liberals’s marquee, nicely compartmentalizing Romney into the image they have been carefully crafting of him for public consumption — an uncaring member of the upper class. However, nothing could be further from the truth when looking at this man and his family’s numerous acts of kindnesses throughout their life. I would love to see such voluntary deeds expressed among some of the more sanctimonious liberals here and let’s say in Obama’s own life experiences.

    Furthermore, a friend of mine used to capsulize one’s existence as “Life is hard, then you die.” And, for most, life is difficult, you get through it the best you can, and then you die. But, to politicize a person’s misfortunes and adversities, like so many dems do during an election season, is abysmal, trite and superficial, in my POV.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 23

  114. David M says:

    @jan:

    Romney disagrees with you:

    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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  115. jan says:

    @dennis:

    I have worked as a public health nurse, witnessing and serving those caught up in the cyclical generational aspects of public assistance programs, as well as how the system oftentimes prevents those wanting to get off the dole, by a host of disincentives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  116. mantis says:

    @jan:

    But, to politicize a person’s misfortunes and adversities, like so many dems do during an election season, is abysmal, trite and superficial, in my POV.

    Yes, much better to dismiss those people as worthless scum.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  117. mannning says:

    I must add to my comment that I am on Social Security and Medicaid, have two pensions, and a nest egg. I am very appreciative of these government aids and do not consider them fundamentally flawed, merely financially deficient and in need of fixing to be an aid not a final payall solution as was originally intended, with obvious exceptions for those that cannot pay their way.

    As I stated before, other Republicans and conservatives in a situation similar to mine that have a modicrum of sense, will not be all that offended by this Romney bit and will vote for him mostly on ideological grounds, and mostly against Obama and his administration, which is by far the determining factor in my opinion.

    I am quite mindful of what dennis said about our voters, and he may well be right. But I am stuck with my opinions.

    (Glad to see you, dennis!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  118. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    Then why don’t you explain who you think the 47% are. Because here’s who doesn’t pay federal income tax in this country: Poor people, sick and disabled people, combat soldiers, old people on social security. Most of those people do pay SS and medicare taxes.

    But of course what Romney defined as the 47% was anyone who voted for Obama. I voted for Obama. You think I don’t pay taxes? I doubt you make as much as I pay in federal income tax.

    So no matter how you twist it, Romney was wrong. He was factually wrong. And he was contemptuous of the American people.

    And one other thing? He was a gift from God for Obama because Mitt Romney is the most fwcktastically incompetent presidential candidate in my lifetime. I mean, wow. Thanks. Not sure we could have won against someone marginally competent. Or, you know, human.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  119. David M says:

    Seniors are more likely to vote than the students or working poor, so I wonder exactly how the vote would break down between Romney and Obama for the 47%. Not that it really matters, as common sense tells us the time spent not paying income tax is temporary, and the vast majority of people end up paying income taxes in between school and retirement.

    I wonder why Romney just didn’t come out and say that he thinks retirees and young college students should pay more income tax?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  120. He’s screwed.

    There’s simply nothing more to say. He’s screwed. If this was the primary, he’d be pulling out tomorrow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  121. Mr. Replica says:

    I having a hard time on this.

    Either Mitt Romney is the worst presidential candidate in the history of this country (to my knowledge, at least).
    Or
    He is a ringer/plant to make sure Obama wins a second term. Willing to make himself look like the worst presidential candidate in the history of this country, for a ginormous payday. e.g. this whole “secret” camera is a set up and Mitt is just saying what he is being payed to say.

    I have zero doubt that the latter will be a popular conspiracy meme in the future. If it isn’t already…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  122. jan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The ‘facts’ are that Romney was making a general statement dealing with a much bantered around statistic relevant to the percentage of people receiving entitlement benefits. He neither excoriated nor showed disdain for them. He simply felt that most included in that audience would most likely be Obama supporters.

    Obviously from what Manning said about his own government benefits, he was able to separate the wheat from the chafe, and not read into Romney’s remarks more than was there. You, OTOH, are so caught up in your own ideological hatred for the republican party and this man, in particular, that it is relatively easy for you to parse and gnash your teeth over everything remotely associated with whatever he says or does.

    To dennis:

    Besides having a background in public health nursing, my own history is far from silver-spoon material.

    My parents came from poverty. Our life though better, being more blue collar, was nonetheless very austere. My mom worked until 2 AM almost every night. My dad was in poor health most of my childhood. I did babysitting and odd jobs when I was 11 to earn extra money, and the day I turned 16 started working in a rest home, full time. I basically was self supporting from that time on, working and putting myself through school. My husband and I have become successful, but it has been a challenging life getting here.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 17

  123. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    No, Jan, those are not the facts. They aren’t anything like the facts. And Manning is an idiot. Now, there will be plenty of other idiots who will buy the transparent bullsh!t you and Manning are selling. But as I mentioned above: we don’t need a lot. We’re already ahead in VA, OH and FL. All we need is a bit of an edge to overcome the efforts of your party to subvert democracy by depriving people of their right to vote.

    You came back too soon. You ran a way when the polls went south and you thought because Rasmussen showed an edge for Romney it was safe to come back to the fray, didn’t you? Bad timing, kid.

    We’re going to re-elect Obama. And we’re going to keep the Senate.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  124. Irony Abounds says:

    @Moderate Mom: The problem is a good chunk of Romney’s income is likely not to have been taxed before but rather represents the favored income tax rate for carried interests, which is nothing other than income for services rendered that is magically given capital gains rates because the private equity lobby is so strong. Romney still gets income from Bain Capital and a fair chunk of its income is carried interests.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  125. David M says:

    @jan:

    The ‘facts’ are that Romney was making a general statement dealing with a much bantered around statistic relevant to the percentage of people receiving entitlement benefits. He neither excoriated nor showed disdain for them. He simply felt that most included in that audience would most likely be Obama supporters.

    His facts are nonsense and it’s virtually impossible not to see Romney’s remarks are insulting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  126. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    He neither excoriated nor showed disdain for them.

    Right.

    I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

    Do we really want a man with this much contempt for half of America to be President?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  127. anjin-san says:

    You think I don’t pay taxes?

    Yea, I keep coming back to this too. We probably pay more than 90% of the people in this country, but Mitt has me down as a freeloader.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  128. Mr. Replica says:

    In one video segment, Mr. Romney described how his campaign is writing off “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what. He adds that those people “are people who pay no income tax” and says “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.”
    Mr. Romney said that “my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

    Jan:

    He neither excoriated nor showed disdain for them.

    Disdain definition.

    dis·dain/disˈdān/
    Noun:
    The feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect; contempt.

    Writing of a large portion of the electorate because Romney feels they are not worthy enough for him to worry about? Sounds like disdain is certainly a word I would use.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  129. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    I would love to see such voluntary deeds expressed among some of the more sanctimonious liberals here

    Well, before we met, my wife single-handedly pulled her entire family out of poverty. Since we have been married, I estimate we have spent north of 200k helping out people who have trouble taking care of themselves, and while we are pretty well off, we are not rich – that is real money to us. I spend about 10 hours a week helping these same folks out in person, and my wife does more. This is on top of 50 hour work weeks. We have not taken an honest to goodness vacation in 10 years.

    Really Jan, take YOUR sanctimonious attitude and stuff it. How pathetic is it that your partisan hatred paints someone like my wife (she loves Obama), who has been called a saint by more than a few people, as some sort of parasite with an entitlement complex? Meanwhile you are ready to vacuum weld your lips to Romney’s ass because he can be generous from time to time. I have news for you, it’s easy to be generous when you are rich.

    You have a lot of nerve trying to claim any moral high ground in here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  130. Stonetools says:

    @jan:

    Jan, if you are OK with the statements your candidate made in that video, great. I WANT him to keep making such statements. If things are as you say, these statements will only help him in his quest to get elected. We’ll see in November what the pubic likes these statements as much as you do.
    By the way, did you and your parents rely on any government help during your struggle up from the working class? If so, you should understand that Romney is talking about YOU.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  131. superdestroyer says:

    I believe that 47% of those who filed a federal income tax form end up paying no income taxes. In reality, more than 47% of adults in the U.S. do not pay incomes taxes.

    What most people seem to fail is that the number of automatic Democratic Party voters is probably near 47% and there is nothing that the Republicans or any conservative party can do to get their voters.

    The most important question for politics in the long term is what happens when the number of automatic Democratic Party voters goes over 50%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  132. superdestroyer says:

    @rodney dill:

    for all of those who claim that Outsidethebeltway is not a liberal site. A comment that called Romney an Asshole gets 26 up votes and a comment that points out that Romney actually pays more income taxes than almost all Americans get 36 down votes.

    This is a good point that as the U.S. becomes a one-party-state that the daily two-minute-hate will replace discussion on political issues. This is a good lesson for anyone who is interested in politics that one has no agree to a very narrow spectrum of political beliefs or one will have no future in politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  133. C. Clavin says:

    Look…Jan and Romney hold the same core belief…that the sick and the poor and the elderly are lazy good for nothing’s who take no responsibity for their own lives.
    Which simply means that neither Jan or Romney are qualified to be the POTUS.

    Of course it was Reagan and Bush who gave these reprobates the tax credits that allow them to not pay their fair share of their under $20K income in the first place.

    This story does two things:
    It reinforces Romney’s image (and Jans) as a spoiled rich kid who has no idea about the struggles
    of the poor and the sick and the elderly.
    And it is one more week that Romney loses control of his message.
    When was the last time Romney won a week?
    Worst. Campaign. Ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  134. MarkedMan says:

    Mitt Romney is an un-American a*hole of the highest order. Mitt Romney thinks my Social Security drawing father is a parasite? My father, who immigrated to this country and then proceeded to wake up at 4:30am every morning for the next 40 years until he stopped working at the age of 65 because he had two heart attacks, who worked 7 days a week year after year after year, who took a week vacation in the summer to stay home in bed because of horrible allergies but wouldn’t call in sick because he didn’t want anyone to see him as weak, who paid into the Sears pension plan for 20+ years only to see the one of Romney’s fellow sleaze bags “invest” the funds back into the company, drain it dry with bonuses and then leave my father with nothing, but who can still now live in a comfortable and very modest retirement at 89 years of age with SS and Medicare standing between him and what would be a soul crushing dependency on his children. That’s the guy this Romney d*bag thinks is a parasite?

    Man, you Repubs are making me sick today. This is your candidate?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

  135. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Anyone who believes that Romney has the worst campaign ever has already forgotten the campaigns of Dukakis and Dole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  136. sam says:

    @rodney dill:

    Representing that he paid less than half the taxes most Americans paid is incorrect.

    I’d bet that he paid 0 — Z-E-R-O — federal income tax in 2009.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  137. PJ says:

    Romney: Palestinians Don’t Want Peace, Two-State Solution Not Possible

    Romney’s fund raising rider has now be updated, it now states that the people catering at these events has to be searched for any recording devices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  138. Nikki says:

    I predicted once before that Obama will win in a landslide. My prediction still stands.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  139. jw says:

    He is stating the facts as he sees them and as they are reported. Your headline of Romney calling them “LOSERS” are NOT his words. Shame on you for your headline wording!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  140. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    But, she was neither the targeted audience for that speech, nor was there any intended implication of disrespect or lack of empathy for people in that 47%. It was meant as a statistical demographic as to the built-in constituencies who Obama appeals and panders to in his rhetoric.</

    It's been interesting watching you and other right wingers trying to reinterpret what Romney said to make it palatable. But, having seen the video and heard Romney's tone, it's clear that he's contemptuous of the people he describes as Obama voters. Equally amusing, you are the same right wingers who jumped all over Obama's guns and G-d comments, even though Obama went on to explain that Democrats needed to go out and talk to these people and try to win them over. Romney simply dismisses them.

    I think this video, more than anything else we've seen on the endless campaign, shows the real Romney. He was clearly in his element talking to a room full of Randian fat cats, far more so than he's ever seemed out in public with the regular folks. He's lived his life in that bubble with few people to challenge him or his authority. I don't know whether this video will be the final nail in his coffin, but I do think a lot of people will find it offensive and that it will reinforce the impression people have of him as an out-of-touch plutocrat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  141. @mannning:

    Manning makes the right observation that Romney has confused the “two 47s”, the 47 percent not paying Federal Income Tax and the 47 percent voting Obama, but he’s too generous about that error.

    As someone on the Internets points out, it’s “empty chair” thinking, and instead of investing ones fears and prejudices in “invisible Obama” it’ is unloading them on full half the country.

    It’s 150,000,000 empty chairs, occupied by invisible moochers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  142. bill says:

    i think it’s more like those who got used to not paying fed taxes want more gov’t. programs that they don’t pay for?! the Bush tax cuts were supposed to be short term, eventually we need to pay our way or get leaner- just how it works. but in reality, once you give someone something it’s hard to take it away- we learned that in kindergarten.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  143. john personna says:

    @bill:

    Dude. An all I need to know I learned in kindergarten doesn’t help right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  144. Tony W says:

    If I pay 35% and he pays 13%, who is the freeloader again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  145. bill (and idiot downvoter), do you know what would be an adult argument?

    One would be if you named an actual federal benefit which you thought was overpaid under a specific criteria. Say the food stamp eligibility for a family of 4 starts at $2,422 gross income. If you have a study that setting it at $2,200 saves money and doesn’t harm the genuinely hungry, etc., it’s all good. You’ve saved money without removing the safety net.

    What’s not good is just saying “everyone is a moocher” or “we should roll back food stamp spending to 2007 levels, recipients be damned.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  146. Rob in CT says:

    Another point I haven’t seen made (or not made enough): there is churn. A person who doesn’t have federal income tax liability one year might have simply lost a job, but later get a job and start paying again. Then add in retirees, active duty military, workers who simply don’t earn enough to owe (qualifying for the EITC – a GOP program, remember?), etc.

    Meanwhile, I and many other liberals here pay income taxes. In fact, I pay a higher % rate than Mitt (Mitt pays mostly cap gains, I think, resulting in the ~14% he paid in 2010). Plus I pay FICA taxes, which you don’t pay off cap gains. And, while I will throw a 3rd party vote out there ’cause I can, I certainly want Obama to beat Romney. But I’m a lost-cause moocher.

    You know who Mitt Romney is? MITT ROMNEY IS SUPERDESTROYER. “Oh, boo hoo, all these moochers and looters won’t ever vote conservative… they’re unreachable, because Democrats give them goodies… waaaah…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  147. PJ says:

    @bill:

    the Bush tax cuts were supposed to be short term

    No.

    Both laws were passed using controversial Congressional reconciliation procedures.

    The Bush tax cuts had sunset provisions that made them expire at the end of 2010, since otherwise they would fall under the Byrd Rule.

    The Byrd Rule is a Senate rule that amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to allow Senators, during the Reconciliation Process, to block a piece of legislation if it purports significantly to increase the federal deficit beyond a ten-year term or is otherwise an “extraneous matter” as set forth in the Budget Act.

    If the Republicans had had the 60 votes needed in the Senate, they would have made them permanent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  148. rodney dill says:

    @Tony W: Seriously? If you divide the taxes you actually paid by your Adjusted Gross Income, you get 0.35? You must be way up in the top quintile, with mostly earned as opposed to unearned income. Life has been good to me, I’ve bounced in and out of the top quintile for about a decade. I don’t have a mortgage anymore so I mostly only have the standard deductions, with some credits/deductions due the helping my kids through college. My actual percentage of taxes paid seems to stay in the 11-14% range. Granted it will go up in a year when I lose my last deduction.

    Someone paying $3 Million a year (based only on 2010) in taxes isn’t a freeloader, though personally I wouldn’t mind seeing people with high unearned income paying more. My bigger concern is over how would additional revenues be spent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  149. Rob in CT says:

    Rodney Dill,

    Yes, it’s unlikely that someone pays a full 35%. Triggering the 35% marginal rate != paying 35%. Agreed on that. I think my household paid ~17% last year, and we do very well.

    I would agree that paying 14% doesn’t make you a freeloader. It also doesn’t make you a martyr, beset by leeches. And it’s pretty clear that’s how a good chunk of our elite sees things. Remember, the plan here is to cut that 14% more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  150. Rob in CT says:

    Damnit. That last was supposed to be italicized, not struck through.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  151. @rodney dill:

    My federal tax rate in 2000 was 35%. Add in a state tax of 10% and you’ve got a pretty good slug. I didn’t really like paying that, especially because I knew it was going to be the best year of my life.

    Looking back though, it was when the budgets worked.

    The real flaw in comparing “Jim’s taxes versus Bob’s taxes” today is that it in a totally unsustainable environment. Chances are everyone needs a tick upward (rolling back part or all of the Bush tax cuts) to make a rational, adult, budget.

    Pretending that everyone can or should pay some small friendly number is BS. And yeah, if you’ve got a trillion dollar deficit, then a guy paying a few million can be a freeloader.

    It’s called arithmetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  152. @Rob in CT:

    Seriously Rodney, tell me you aren’t living in Moderate Mom’s fantasy world where we would just all pay Romney rates and it would work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  153. (sorry, missed on the link)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  154. rodney dill says:

    @Rob in CT: Fixed it for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  155. Tony W says:

    @rodney dill: No debt, kids raised, great income from earnings rather than investment –> high taxes

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  156. J-Dub says:

    Listen to Romney as he was taped talking about the 47% then listen to his press conference. In the first his speech was un-halting and fluid, like a person speaking with conviction. In the press conference he was stumbling and pausing to try and find the right words.

    Now tell me, in which one was he being truthful?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  157. mattb says:

    @LC:

    In short, in spite of all the Liberal glee over this video, I simply do not see how it makes much difference with respect to the race.

    Here’s an argument for why it *may* make a difference where Obama’s “Clingers” comment did not:

    This is a GOTV election. Its been more or less accepted that Obama won’t have the same level of support he did previously. Further, it’s well accepted that a lots of Republicans are voting *against Obama* versus necessarily for Romney.

    The this video crystalizes is a reason for on the fence Democrats and Independents — the ones that Obama was most likely going to lose this cycle either to Romney or simply to not voting — to vote *against Romney.*

    This is a GOTV video.

    The any effects the Obama video had were either (a) erased because of how much earlier that video surfaced, or (b) completely missed due to the large level of democratic turn out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  158. mattb says:

    To great thoughts on this via American Conservative:

    Scott Galupo:
    In the video, Romney is expressing a deeply ingrained belief among the Republican rank-and-file. The party is now virtually defined by reverse class warfare. It decries the “victim mentality” — yet it claims victimhood at the hands of the poor. It exudes contempt and disdain for fellow citizens — yet it accuses the president of “pitting Americans against each other.”
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/mitt-romney-just-another-crude-reverse-class-warrior/

    And, via Rod Dreher:

    Ramesh Ponnuru from last year:
    The 47 percent figure does not mean we are near a tipping point. Most of the people included in that figure do make financial contributions to the federal government, and there is no reason to think that nonpayment of income taxes is turning millions of Americans liberal. The bad news is that worrying too much about this number will lead conservatives down an intellectual and political dead end.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/283265

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  159. Rob in CT says:

    @rodney dill:

    Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  160. rodney dill says:

    @john personna: I’m not actually addressing whether Romney’s rate is enough or if its appropriate. Nor am I pretending everyone should pay some small friendly number. I am pointing out that most wage earners (probably 4/5th or more of them) are or are capable (with certain available deduction) of paying a “small friendly” number, in your terms. A “small friendly’ rate that is probably less than Romney’s effective rate. Comparing Romney’s effective rate to the 35% top rate is mostly just a campaign ploy.

    I agree a tick upward will probably be necessary, and will likely occur at some point, regardless of who is president.

    (And … you must’ve had a very good year in 2000, must be nice.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  161. mattb says:

    One more with reading at the American Conservative:
    The 53 Percent Are at the Trough, Too
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-53-percent-are-at-the-trough-too/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  162. DRS says:

    And looky, looky, Mother Jones has another video out from the same event. This time Mitt does his bit for Middle East peace by chucking 30 years of bipartisan concensus out the window:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/romney-secret-video-israeli-palestinian-middle-east-peace

    If he can do for Isreali/Palestinian relations what he did to unite the Brits behind their Olympics, then I think we have to conceded he’s made an impressive contribution to history. But personally I’m thinking it ain’t gonna happen like he thinks. You decide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  163. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    Obviously I am sensitive to different vibes.

    I think much of the conservative message depends on how taxes feel rather than how budgets work.

    The GOP primary cycle was full of small friendly numbers, 9-9-9 etc. Even Romney’s reduction to headline rates are about that. Make the numbers smaller, insert magic. None of that is useful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  164. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    BTW those of us doing that web revolution did it at the old tax rates that are suppose tp make jobs creators give up and go home.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  165. Rob in CT says:

    I also don’t think we can intelligently discuss taxation w/o bringing increasing income disparity into it.

    We know that those at the top have been pulling away. Even if you had a static tax structure (say you took the 1986 reform, indexed everything to inflation and called it a day), the share of total taxes paid by the top 1% of filers (particularly the top .1%) would still have risen… because they were taking home a bigger share of the total. Thus, others – who still worked hard and paid taxes – would be carrying a lower share of the total tax burden. Did they suddenly become irresponsible leeches? Obviously, I don’t think so. Neither did the folks at the tippy top become more virtuous. There are economic forces at work here that really don’t give a damn about your personal ethics (in some cases, a lack of ethics is clearly helpful).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  166. Paul L. says:

    So when is Mother Jones going to follow the standard they demanded of the Acorn videos and release the full video?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  167. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Too funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  168. rodney dill says:

    @Paul L.: Doesn’t appear to be soon according to this link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  169. sam says:

    @bill:

    eventually we need to pay our way or get leaner- just how it works. but in reality, once you give someone something it’s hard to take it away- we learned that in kindergarten

    Can you hear the squeals of outrage if that carried interest scam is done away with?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  170. Rob in CT says:

    @sam:

    Or if the (multiple, over the past decades) capital gains tax cuts are reversed?

    Or if the military budget is cut?

    Heck, we have Linda McMahon running commercials here in CT arguing that her opponent (Chris Murphy, as a member of the HoR) voted for military budget cuts and, therefore, was a job-killer (as usual, government spending doesn’t create jobs, unless it’s military spending, which is magical). And she is hawking a tax cut plan.

    That’s some belt-tightening right there, eh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  171. Bill says:

    @David M:

    Romney’s campaign needs something bold.

    Like him stepping aside because Romney don’t have a chance in November? My wife the die hard Republican doesn’t even like him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  172. sam says:

    Here’s the Plato of Tennessee on the video:

    Hey, the only way Mitt can get any press is if he can convince them that he’s committed a gaffe. Since this is a story that actually helps him, but that the press is dumb enough to think looks like a gaffe, I suspect the campaign was behind it, somehow.

    I don’t think the folks who write The Simpsons or The Family Guy could come up with a goofier character than Glenn Reynolds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  173. Rob in CT says:

    @sam:

    Ha.

    Haha.

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Delusion, or playing to the delusions of his audience?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  174. Bob2 says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Well…
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/08/comforting-little-lie-seniors-all-tell-themselves

    It’s the other 53% that mooches as well. They’re just better at denying that they get government benefits via crony capitalism or medicare/medicaid/SS, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  175. MarkedMan says:

    Please, please, please don’t fall for the phony baloney Repub BS that the only rate that matters is Federal Income tax rate. The government extracts money from us in many different ways. Don’t want to have a tax hike? User fee. Gas Tax. Sales Tax. Property Tax. Water Tax. FICA. SS. And on and on. Don’t let the Randian Repubs play you for a sucker by accepting that only Federal Income Taxes matter. If the government reaches its hand into my pocket it really doesn’t matter what it is called.

    Lies. Disenfranchisement. Trying to snooker the poor into supporting the rich. The Republican party has gone from clueless to un-American.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  176. Barry says:

    @Gerry: Gerry, please go to Wikipedia, and check out ‘I am aware of all internet traditions’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  177. slimslowslider says:

    @Barry:

    I wish I had but more likes to give, Barry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  178. jukeboxgrad says:

    Yes, me too. I thought I was aware of all internet traditions, but I hadn’t run into that before.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  179. LC says:

    Yikes! Woke up this morning, fired up the Fire and discovered that I had turned pink. On OTB. Pink!?!? Fear, uncertainty, doubt. Was I incoherent? Were my arguments really that awful? Does this mean I have gained Conservative Cred? Was it that “Liberal glee” that did me in?

    While I try to recover my battered self-respect, I do want to thank (no, I am not being ironic) all the commenters who have pointed out, directly or indirectly, that Romney conflated groups that are, indeed, not the same: the 47% who don’t pay income taxes; those who, Romney says, “believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it” (i.e., moochers who want to live off taxes paid by hard-working people); and Obama supporters. We don’t know, or I haven’t been able to find stats on, the percent of Obama supporters who don’t pay income taxes vs. the percent of Romney supporters who don’t pay income taxes, but if one looks at a 2010 map from the Tax Foundation, once can tell that there is a pretty high correlation between states with the highest percentage of “nonpayers” and Republican (Romney) states.
    Non taxpayers by state

    Then, there is this IRS data reported by Bloomberg (10/1/2010) on one kind of “entitlement”
    “According to U.S. Internal Revenue Service data, 2,840 households reporting at least $1 million in income on their tax returns that year also collected a total of $18.6 million in jobless aid. They included 806 taxpayers with incomes over $2 million and 17 with incomes in excess of $10 million. In all, multimillionaires reported receiving $5.2 million in jobless benefits.”

    And, a final example, the more than 35,000 people with income of more than $200,000 in 2009 who paid no federal income taxes.

    What exactly, from a moral perspective, is the difference between a young, healthy person who can work, doesn’t work, somehow manages to get government benefits, and is happy to do so (a vanishingly small number I suspect) and multi-millionaires or billionaires who hire firms of tax-accountants to ensure that they pay little or no money in taxes to the country that provided the conditions that allowed them to accrue (or inherit) such wealth?

    Romney’s characterization of the 47% of voters who support Obama is, on its face, inaccurate and insulting. But perhaps the undecideds in this election should focus not just on this particular gaffe, or on any of Romney’s numerous gaffes (starting with that $10,000 bet), but on the sum total. When a U.S. President says something, it gets broadcast around the world, it has an effect. Romney’s performance to date makes Bush 43’s “heckuva job, Brownie” look good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  180. Moderate Mom says:

    @dennis: Michael stated that he paid more in taxes than the “average Republican”. I just pointed out that he also paid more in taxes than the “average” Democrat. Like him, I also pay more in taxes than either the average Democrat or the average Republican. Why do we both pay more? Because both of us are in or close to the top tier of wage earners insofar as our tax brackets are concerned. We are both quite blessed in that regard. My hope is that more people can join us in that fortunate group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  181. two timer says:

    @Moderate Mom: We are both quite blessed in that regard.

    Mom I have to ask you:
    Just what does it take to be “blessed”?
    This clearly implies some sort of supernatural activity. Do the invisible angels among us favor some with their pixie dust and not others?
    What chimera have you dreamed up that would ever bless Reynolds?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  182. rodney dill says:

    @two timer:

    What chimera have you dreamed up that would ever bless Reynolds?

    If its based on need, she may be on the right track.
    😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  183. mattb says:

    @Paul L. & @rodney dill:
    For the record, Mother Jones did publish the entire video:
    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/mother-jones-posts-full-video-of-romney-fundraiser?ref=fpblg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  184. Tom says:

    I live in an area where there are people that are on welfare that COULD work, but wont. He didn’t say anything that was not the truth, if you think its any different you’ve been under a rock. He spoke from a strategic point of view on what it will take to win the election and there is NOTHING that he said that I have a problem with.

    Move along,
    These are not the driods your looking for…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  185. dennis says:

    @jan:

    Okay, jan, I grant you that the system is capable of rat-holing people into its stranglehold. And I don’t know if that is particular to rural areas that have very few, if any, jobs; if it’s due to the laziness of beneficiaries of govt programs; or is typical across the spectrum of receivers of govt assistance programs. I’d suspect that it encompasses a variety of people for a variety of reasons.

    But, you said “. . . in which there is an acceptance to one’s lot in life with no motivation to look for or assume there is anything better out there.”

    And I’m wondering how do you know that if you haven’t lived on the dole? I have, and I’ll tell you, it’s a shame and an embarrassment growing up on welfare. You don’t want to bring your friends to your home because eventually, someone’s going to see the welfare peanut butter and block govt cheese, and you’ll be the brunt of jokes at school the next day. All you want to do when you’re on welfare is find a way to get off it!

    So, when you make the claim that “generations” are stuck in the cycle and simply lay down and accept it, you ought to make sure you know what you’re talking about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  186. David M says:

    @Tom:

    The 47% number includes retired seniors and members of the Armed Forces serving in combat zones. Why do you think they should pay more income tax?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  187. mantis says:

    @rodney dill:

    I guess Hell froze over, eh Rodney?

    Oh, but I forgot. ACORN Ayers Kenya, you win. Because Nazis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  188. rodney dill says:

    @mattb: Darn, spoils a perfectly good joke.
    @mantis:

    I guess Hell froze over, eh Rodney?

    Heh, the weather in Michigan is so unpredictable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  189. Moderate Mom says:

    @two timer: I consider myself blessed, but with Reynolds in mind, perhaps “lucky” would have been a better word. ; )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  190. black onion says:

    @Paul L.: @rodney dill:

    There it is. I guess they are playing hockey in hell now, eh?

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/watch-full-secret-video-private-romney-fundraiser

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  191. grumpy realist says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I voted to re-elect Carter.

    Thank you for showing what you think of me, even though you have absolutely no knowledge of what I think or who I am, aside from what I’ve commented on this blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  192. mannning says:

    One vote is all I have, and, fortunately, one vote is all that Reynolds has too, thank God. So, Michael, bask in the certainty that your vote will be canceled by mine.

    But, I may be wrong! Perhaps he is another of those who vote early and often, as is being uncovered in many districts lately. It will be a bit more difficult here in Virginia, since we now have a voter ID law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  193. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: To my great shame, I did not vote to reelect Carter. In my first presidential election I threw away my vote on third-party candidate John Anderson, and thus helped make possible the mass murder of unknown thousands of innocent citizens of right-wing dictatorships in Central and South America, as well as the beginning of the destruction of America’s middle class through Reagan’s perversions of the tax code.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  194. anjin-san says:

    as is being uncovered in many districts lately.

    Proof?

    Guess you are warming up the ol’ “Obama won because black folks cheated” excuse…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  195. mannning says:

    @anjin-san:

    In a tossup like this, who knows the winner? I am beginning to believe that we are screwed either way, just a lot harder and faster under Obama. At least Romney is saying things I think are important to the economy, and Obama is simply doubling down on failures. “Forward” into the fray rides the 600! Didn’t two or three of them survive that ride?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  196. mannning says:

    There have been two or three articles lately that claim rather significant exposure of voter fraud. When I get a chance I will link them, perhaps tomorrow night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  197. rodney dill says:

    @black onion: You’re a little late to the game there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  198. rodney dill says:

    @rodney dill: oooo… that’s a good double entendre…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  199. anjin-san says:

    There have been two or three articles lately that claim rather significant exposure of voter fraud.

    Yea, and theres that video of black folks in line at a polling post that Fox has shown about a billion times when they are railing about vote fraud. I am looking forward to links from credible sources.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1