I try very hard to keep my political arguments civil. I have been known to fire back with a little hostility at times in threads that became insulting, but it is never my intention going in to get nasty, quite the opposite actually. I do research, I don’t accept rhetoric from either side at face value and I at least attempt to give a discourse credibility and an open minded perspective.
I’m sure everyone is aware of the story of the day that revealed Romney, privately recorded, saying, “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’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.”
Let’s be very clear here. 47% includes social security, Medicare, and unemployment benefits. I have to ask, “Is Romney under the impression that people on social security are waving the ‘victim’ flag, or people on Medicare…or that people who lost their jobs during the Great Recession and are desperate to put food on the table are merely uninspired or lazy?”
Romney says that his message is to inspire Americans to “take personal responsibility” in order to become a contributing part of our system. Apparently, this lesson includes the elderly, the sick, and the unemployed,
This is insanity. It is perverse. It is unethical. And it is the position of the entire Republican Party. Even the ones who are part of the 47%!
Admittedly, I recently wrote on my blog about what I view as an epidemic in America to feel “victimized.” I stand by that position but I must clarify that the victim-mentality that I’m speaking of extends to all of us. My point was that there is a nation-wide deterioration of fortitude and resolve and, yes, that can create a sense of entitlement to compensation but that check is being cashed by as many conservatives as liberals; and as many rich people as poor people.
Show me a wealthy person who doesn’t take advantage of shelters, tax breaks, subsidies and grants, and feel entitled to the riches produced often by doing nothing more than calling their broker. The 100 billion dollars (plus) that we pay for corporate welfare comes out of our pockets. That’s a welfare horse of a different color but its welfare all the same.
Back to the Romney quote. One can never be sure what statistical analysis Romney is using to make his points. He famously includes the month before Obama was sworn into office as part of Obama’s unemployment numbers so we can never rely on his blanket statements. The truth is, 47% is usually the percentage Republicans attribute to the number of Americans who don’t pay taxes. Relevant welfare numbers, meaning food stamps or cash assistance, is closer to 8%.
My guess is that Romney keeps hearing “47%” regarding any number of things, including the percentage of times his wife Ann drives one of her Cadillac’s to the club compared to being driven, and parrots that statistic any time he needs one.
Many times on Facebook threads, here on my blog, and in arguments around town I will hear a Republican use that 47% figure (or say “half of America”) when pointing out how many American’s “don’t pay taxes.” Their point, and it is Romney’s point, as well, is that these people love being on the dole and want to keep things that way; they are freeloading Americans who will vote for Democrats because that’s how they can keep getting money for nothing!
Don’t argue with me, Republican friends, that is exactly what you are saying.
This is where I get angry. Are you saying that half of America loves not making enough money to have to pay taxes?
Are you saying that they pity the Mitt Romney’s of the world who do? (We will assume Romney pays since we can’t see his returns).
First of all, the figure of “47% not paying taxes” is false, since nearly everyone pays regressive taxes, but for the sake of argument we can pretend that the Heritage Foundation (or chose the conservative publication of your choice) assertion is true.
Let’s look at a hypothetical to illustrate why many people don’t pay Federal taxes:
A couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax. “Subsistence” is the key word in that sentence.
Low incomes account for fully half of the people who pay no federal income tax.
A second reason is that for many senior citizens, Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes. That alone accounts for around 22% of the people who pay no federal income tax.
And there is a third reason and this is one that sticks in the craw of revisionist Republican policy makers. Written into the tax code is the earned income tax credit, child credit, and childcare credit for low-income families with children and that accounts for another 15% of the people who pay no federal income tax.
The gall of those liberals wanting to provide sustenance to children of low income homes!
But here’s the part that really gets my dander up—-
Mitt Romney’s thinking is absolutely sick! The idea that working people needing tax assistance, to allow for basic costs of living, are not taking “responsibility,” or worse are “lazy” is sick and offensive.
And when you consider that its people like Mitt who are the ones actually taking advantage of our progressive tax system with loopholes and shelters allowing them to pay rates 10 to 15% LESS than most taxpayers, you may realize they are the real freeloaders. People, like Mitt, who smugly conceal their Cayman bank accounts, write-offs and sheltered investments and do nothing to create liquidity in our economy, and justify their accumulation with, “I haven’t done anything illegal.”
Perhaps they haven’t, but neither has the family making less than $26,500 and just getting by.
If you can accuse the poor of using welfare to buy Cadillac’s and flat screen TV’s – at least they are spending! That’s not even meant to be a joke! The money, dear Republican friends, which your precious tax dollars use toward cash assistance programs, is going into the hands of people who SPEND it! When the Bush tax breaks of 2001 and 2003 put more money into the hands of the wealthiest Americans do you know what they did? They kept it. They increased their personal holdings. The “job creators” didn’t create jobs.
According to Mitt, spending money is not taking responsibility, HAVING money is what he’s sees as being responsible.
The brain twist that I get into at this point becomes too much. There is no arguing logic with an ideology that prides itself on having a lack of it.
So…I stand down. For now. I’m sure something will get my goat before the day is over so maybe I’ll avoid the news. In fact, I’m going to audition for the Community Playhouse production of “White Christmas” today.
I’m a liberal so I might try to get them to change the lyric to, “I’m dreaming of a multi-colored Winter solstice…”