by Cynthia McCabe | September 18, 2012
It was the tape Mitt Romney didn’t think any of us would ever see. Courting donors at a $50,000-a-plate dinner, Romney said the following:
“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 [sic] 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.”
Let’s start with how wrong he is about that income tax number. According to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, 81 percent of Americans pay federal income and payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. Which of the remainder are “dependent upon government,” as Romney asserts? Maybe he’s talking about Retired seniors, members of the military serving in war zones, and the working poor.
And it’s not just Romney’s failure to grasp the facts that is so shocking. The taped remarks released by Mother Jones magazine show clear evidence that Romney – a billionaire who refuses to release his own tax records and does his banking in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – is unashamed to show his personal contempt for working families and the poor who are paying all the taxes they owe under the law.
Then there’s the matter of a candidate for the presidency of the United States asserting that food and health care are privileges, not necessities that our society has always sought to provide for those who are unable to provide for themselves. It should come as no surprise given that the Romney-Ryan ticket has been open about its plans to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act if elected. Under Obamacare, 32 million people who didn’t previously have insurance will be covered by 2014.
So out-of-touch was Romney’s assertion that even conservative columnist David Brooks responded in the New York Times, saying that the candidate who hopes to lead the U.S., “really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits,” that he “doesn’t know much about the culture of America,” that “he has lost any sense of the social compact” to protect Americans in need and that he “knows nothing about ambition and motivation.”
We’ll let Brooks close us out:
“As a description of America today, Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.”