Five Lies in Romney's War on the "47 Percent"

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Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

... Romney's mean-spirited, callous dismissal of nearly half the nation -- as recorded at an August fundraiser hosted by a 1 percenter with a penchant for orgies -- was filled with both blatant lies and slander by innuendo. [...]

Romney's Five Lies and Opportunistic Innuendoes

1) ...Romney's base electoral block fits to near perfection his disparaging rant about those "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." [...]

So, if we take at face value Romney's sneering disregard for not representing the 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes, then he is dumping on his mother lode of electoral votes in the South.

2) Romney clearly and categorically stated that the so-called 47% are people who "will vote for this president [Obama] no matter what." [...]

A significant number of low-income whites, in particular, vote Republican for reasons of socially conservative issues and white identity politics.  Romney just wrote these people off as individuals he would not represent as president.

"[M]y job is not to worry about those people," Romney was recorded as saying. "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

It also means he apparently wants their votes but doesn't plan to represent them.

3) A CNN article points out that more than 40% of the 47% who don't pay income taxes include those who pay their 7.6% obligation to cover Social Security and Medicare; seniors on a low-fixed income; and on-duty military.  Less than 7% of the 47% don't pay because they are working age and poor. As Paul Krugman states, "in middle age, close to 80 percent of the population pays income taxes." [...]

So this is not as Romney later claimed in his remarks an issue of more people working (although that affects a percentage of non-income tax payers), but primarily a problem of people not making enough money, not being able to work, or being retired, but still paying other taxes (retail taxes in most states for one).

4) Among those who don't pay taxes according to CNN are at least 4000 millionaires, maybe including Romney in some post-2000 tax years. Indeed, Romney with his offshore accounts, payment of taxes to foreign governments (to reduce his US income tax liability) and Swiss bank accounts is exhibit number one in how the wealthy reduce their taxable income to below what many in the middle class pay, if someone like Romney pays income tax at all in some years.

5) As part of his "47 percent" remarks at the fundraiser, Romney said, "And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years."

As proven earlier in this commentary, many likely Romney voters fall into his "moocher" category.  [...]

But the most basic insidious lie to the above statement is that the rich are proud of paying income taxes, as long as you attach the oxymoron assumption that they want to pay as little as possible – and, as cited above, this includes the estimated 4000 millionaires who don't pay any income tax. [...]

This is perhaps the biggest and most dangerous lie of all, that the wealthy want to support the United States when they are takers not creators.  What they create is their own vast income and wealth.  Some may create jobs, but so many of them, like Romney, nowadays are vulture capitalists or Wall Street gamblers on abstract financial products that threaten the economy, not benefit it.

You can read the entire post here.

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  • http://twitter.com/whatsamatta_u Paul W

    I'm astounded that he actually feels kinship with 53% of Americans.  I keep hearing that people who get to know Mitt Romney don't like Mitt Romney.  Now that number's increased to 140 Million and rising.

  • David G

    Sadly, the one trump card that seems to be part of the Romney miracle -- the miracle being that he's even keeping this close in the polls to Obama -- is the tragic commentary on this country.  As a huge block, there are those who vote color over conscience.  Obama, if he was white, would be leading by 25 points.  But Romney and the Republican party will do anything to stop anyone who's not white from being elected to the highest office.  It hurts to think this, but it's true.  Color still is a barrier -- and the Republicans are purveyors of this ill will.  There are few exceptions.  To those few I salute you.  DG