Friday, September 21, 2012

The Real Mitt Romney

Earlier this week, footage came out of Mitt Romney speaking with wealthy donors at a private $50,000 per plate fundraiser. In his talk, he lets them know what he'd rather we did not know: what he really thinks of us.

By "us," I'm not sure if he means just those of us who are voting for Obama or if he means just the 47% of Americans who pay no income tax -- he seems to think the two groups are one and the same, which clearly shows a lack of even the most rudimentary understanding, both of who makes his own Republican party's base and who is included in that wretched, huddled mass of Americans whom he believes yearn to remain on the government dole and are thus a lost cause and of no concern to him. (If you were shocked by his statement that it's not his job to worry about nearly half of all Americans, you weren't paying attention in the primaries when he said he wasn't concerned about the very poor. He wasn't joking, kids.) And he doesn't stop there, he further describes the 47% as dependent on the Government for survival, in other words -- all 47% are not only paying no income tax but refuse to work and are living solely on the Government Dole because they believe they are victims and entitled to a free ride. The lazy moochers!!!

So, to summarize what Mitt said: 47% of Americans are in the tank for Obama, pay no income tax, refuse to work AND depend solely on the Government Dole for survival.

  • Nobody who's in the tank for Obama pays income tax and everybody who pays no income tax is in the tank for Obama.
  • Everybody who's in the tank for Obama is on the Government Dole and everybody who's on the Government Dole is in the tank for Obama.
  • Everybody who's voting for Obama refuses to work and everyone who's not working is voting for Obama.
  • Everybody who's voting for Obama sees themselves as victims and everyone who sees themselves as victims is voting for Obama
Got that? Good.

In case you've forgotten what Mitt Romney actually said and you've bought into his post-outing damage control that he was talking about creating jobs and lifting people out of poverty, here's the quote to refresh your memory:

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 that 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. 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. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
See Full Transcript on Mother Jones

Who is in the tank for Obama?
For starters, lots of us, who are "in the tank" for Obama, DO work and DO pay income taxes AND, unlike Romney, can PROVE IT by producing, as we're often asked to do when we apply for loans or even some jobs, complete tax returns going back multiple years. Mr Romney, who claims to have released two years of his tax returns has, in fact, released only a PORTION of his 2010 returns. Get out your scratch pads & do the math along with us at home, kids: A fraction of 1 return is not only less than 2 years, it's less than 1 year. We have NO evidence Mitt paid any income taxes at all in any of several years leading up to and including 2009... because Romney refuses to provide that evidence

Update: Shortly after this post was written, it was announced that Romney has released his 2011 return as well as statements/summaries (but not the actual returns) regarding several previous years. It is worth noting that Mitt's effective tax rate in 2011 would have been 9%, but he chose not to take his full deduction for charitable contributions, raising it to a somewhat less electorally damaging 14%, but catching himself up in his own claim that if he paid even one dollar more than the law said he had to pay, he'd be unqualified to be this nation's President. Also, if he loses (or even if he does not lose,) he has 3 years to ammend his 2011 taxes to take the full deduction.

Which programs are part of the Government Dole?
That depends on who you ask. Let's be clear about this... Mitt Romney fully subscribes to the Republican Party's definition of "The Government Dole." Their definition includes social programs that assist low income families, like food stamps, Welfare and Medicaid. This is an area that pretty much all of us agree falls under the definition of Government Assistance Programs. But, all of us weren't talking - Mitt Romney was talking and his definiton doesn't stop there, no, his is barely getting started. The Republican/Romney definition also includes SSI disability and Veterans benefits. (That's right kids, he's lumping our Veterans, including our Veterans who were permanently disabled in COMBAT into his detested group of lazy freeloading scum! How very Presidential of him, eh?) Romney and the Republicans also include in their definition things we pay for, separate from our income tax, out of our EARNINGS, through payroll tax and/or our "burden rate" -- things like the Social Security retirement benefits we pay for in advance our entire working lives and the unemployment insurance we pay for and the Medicare premiums we pay in advance all our working lives so that we will have health insurance in our old age. AND, get this, they also include in their definition things we have to pay back to the Government, with interest -- like student loans and small business loans. (Don't worry, if you have a huge, multi-$billion internation corporation or conglomerate that gets $Millions or $Billions in subsidy you don't have to pay back despite paying no taxes in the US, at all, you're a job creator, so you're A-OK with Romney and the Republicans! Yes, you are among the worthiest of the worthies!)

Who's actually ON the Dole?
So, going back to that part of the Government Dole that really does provide assistance to the needy, (Welfare, Medicaid and Food Stamps) who, in this great nation, sucks hardest at the Government teet? Surely, it is the freeloading, scumbag blue states who are in the tank for Obama, right? Sorry, kids. It's the Red States By far. That's right a good portion of those leeches Romney made it clear are a lost cause and not his job to worry about are in the Republican base and in the tank for Romney. Oops. I guess Mitt missed the Tea Party movement, where we learned that a good amount of the markers & poster board used to make those poorly spelled signs railing passionately against Obama and against social programs was actually purchased with welfare and SSI checks cashed by those who held those signs aloft. (But, hey, let's be fair. Many of them justified their Government handouts telling us they deserved that tainted socialist money because they'd paid in to the system at some point prior in their lives -- you know, like everybody else does.)

Who doesn't owe income taxes at the end of the year?

  • About 10% of Americans pay no income tax because they earn under $20,000/yr. - some of these people work and some are out of work -- Maybe you've heard Romney and other Republicans reminding us that we still have 8.1% unemployment? In other words, we don't exactly have more jobs than people to fill them in the wake of the worst recession since the Great Depression, no thanks to the Republican Congress who has blocked the jobs bill despite Republican Speaker Boehner's promise, in 2010, that they would create jobs if we gave Republicans the majority in the House.
  • Lots of hard working families who are raising children and whose deductions and Earned Income Credit and Mortgage Interest credit offset their tax liability.
  • Children who do not work -- because they are too young.
  • Seniors who no longer work -- because they're too old.
  • High School and College Students who do not work -- because they're concentrating on their studies. Note: Neither Mitt nor Ann worked when they were in college, even after they married and began having children.
  • Wealthy people who do not work and who live off of investment income.
  • Millionaires and Billionaires who work, but find creative ways, as Mitt Romney did when he was at Bain to receive compensation that is considered investment income and not earned income.
  • Millionaires and Billionaires who work, but crawl through accounting and financial loopholes to "shelter" their income so it appears they did not earn it in the US or so that it appears they've donated it all to charity - including charities they own and control. Like Mitt does.

Are all of these people worthless moochers who refuse to work? NO! Most of them work for a living - and work hard, at that!
Are all of these people on the Government Dole as defined by Romney, Ryan and the Republican party? No.
Are all of these people in the tank for Obama? NO! A good portion are in the tank for Romney! Some of them might even have paid $50,000 to be in that room with Romney. Heck, one of them might BE Mitt Romney. (He won't release his returns, so we will never know - to quote Dana Carvey's Church Lady character from SNL "Isn't that convenient?")

It's also worth noting, here that most of these people have something Mitt Romney does not have - a job. In fact, Romney didn't have a job until he was nearly 30, long after he'd married and started his family and then he retired in (well, the year he retired is even a question he's answered different ways depending on who's listening, but whatever year it was, it was well before he reached the age most of the hard working people he looks down on as freeloading moochers will have the luxury of retiring.)

Is there any such thing as victims, in a free society?
Yes, kids, sadly victims exist in every society. Are they all Obama supporters? Hardly! The Republicans have tried to turn the word into something dirty, detestable and despicable. They've twisted into a taunt to subdue you into going along with the status quo they want to set and their redefinition intentionally detracts from the real meaning.

If you're not chewing your cud contentedly, like the dumb little head of cattle you're supposed to be, you're crying "victim." Raped and knocked up by your rapist - you're not a victim, you've been blessed and should quit your whining to thank your maker for that brutal assault. Lose your job because some private equity firm bought your profitable employer, leveraged it to the hilt and left it to die an agonizing death - you're not a victim, you're just a lazy bum who doesn't take responsibility for your life, as evidenced by the fact you don't have a job. Right?

Well, here's the thing. If there's no such thing as a victim, there's no such thing as a crime. That's the real definition of victim - a person against whom a crime has been perpetrated. If you honestly believe the Republicans think there's no such thing as a victim, that it's just whining on the part of some worthless drain on society who can't take responsibility for or care for his/her own life, take a good long look at how fast the Republicans are NOT shutting down and dismantling all of our empty prisons and jails.

Their entire victimhood meme is a tactic, not a belief. Certainly, not a fact. There are very real victims in this great nation. We often call them survivors, because of the tenacity and endurance of our not-so-fragile human spirit to survive and thrive against all odds and to triumph over adversity. Changing the meaning of the word as it's perceived by society diminishes those triumphs. Whether someone has been or is a victim has nothing to do with whether they believe themselves to be victims or refer to themselves as victims, it has nothing to do with how strong they are, how smart they are, their wealth or position or success in business and it certainly has nothing to do with their politics. The criminals who perpetrate crimes against others don't ask their potential victims to fill out a demographics survey, first, to screen out the potential Romney voters.

So, to recap: Mitt Romney, who has no job, refuses to provide evidence he pays income taxes every year and who wants you to pay higher taxes to continue funding tax cuts for HIM calls poor people moochers while standing in a room begging rich men for money. Wow. And poor Mitt, all of this came out just as he was about to shake his Etch-a-sketch, wipe down his dry erase board and "reboot" his campaign, yet again. Well, I have a bit of valuable advice for you Mr. Romney:

You can reboot a million times, but it won't change your operating system.

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