Mitt Romney’s America

Or is that “Amercia”?

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40 responses to “Mitt Romney’s America

  1. Here’s a short analysis mentioning that the perfect nuclear family of GOP dreams needs to have its breadwinner make more than $21.75/hour (and take no more than the minimal deductions) or else they’re irresponsible deadbeats.

    Or, at minimum wage, the breadwinner must work 24 hours a day, five days a week.

    http://squashed.tumblr.com/post/31757816989/mitt-romney-thinks-you-need-to-take-responsibility-for

  2. Yet another hockey stick! :)

  3. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt over the “middle class” definition, but in the light of this, I guess I was wrong.

  4. Is that 47% that Romney was talking about even close to accurate? The right wingers love to talk about people they say “pay no taxes”.
    Sometimes, when questioned closely, they’ll clarify they mean those who pay no FEDERAL income tax.
    There’s a big diff between paying no Fed income tax and no tax at all.

    • There’s a breakdown of how that stuff pans out here -> http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505

    • It is those who pay no federal income tax. Along with those who are retired and living off social security with any side income they make being low enough that they don’t pay taxes (about 1/4 of that 47% – old people are mooches and should just suicide, eh Mitt????), that includes college students who (say) work part-time but don’t make enough to pay taxes.

      And then there are poor families and the unemployed …

      The percentage has gone up in recent years due to the recession … more people out of work, and more people working for wages so low they don’t pay federal income tax (they do pay FICA, of course).

  5. Funnily enough, many of that 47% pay a higher rate of tax (via payroll tax) than does noted moocher Mitt Romney.

  6. Yes, the important thing is to give more money to people who already have more than they could possibly spend, cut services for everyone else, and spend more on weapons.

  7. David Brin weighs in on the statistics: No Record to Run on?

    “… Ask your adamant-ostrich friends to name one unambiguous statistical metric of national health that went up as a direct result of Republican rule.
    They cannot. So, what is the GOP sales pitch? It amounts to ” Okay we’re terrible! Insane and corrupt. But Democrats are worse! So hire us again, no matter how awful we were!”

    Only parts of that pitch are at all true. But it is one heckuvan interesting sales campaign.
    == The story that statistics tell ==
    … let’s start with some basic comparisons of how markets, GDP and all that do under the two parties. I have asserted that the capitalist economy of the United States nearly always does better under Democratic presidencies and congresses than it does under Republican ones. This flies into the face of the common propaganda nostrums credited by Fox viewers. But see for yourself….”

  8. Surely the biggest chunk of that 47% of Americans Mitt thinks are dead beats and lack any sense of personal responsibility are (aside from students studying to be tomorrow’s middle class) seniors who’vel worked all their lives and rural working class – ie Mitt’s core audience.

    • Yes, indeed. He knows who his “base” is in regard to those who are in his own social class. He doesn’t seem to understand that his *political* base includes a large portion of the 47% who he has put down.

      • The real question is whether his less affluent supporters understand where they fall. I remember a conversation I had in a rural N. Carolina town with a gentleman who had considerably more tobacco than teeth in his mouth. It was an election year, and both of us were lamenting the state of US politics–something we could agree on. Suddenly, he said, “There’s just no place in America for the white man anymore.”

        I wanted to say, “Wow, we have nothing to talk about!” And yet, there really was no place for him–a white man with no education and few teeth. He just utterly failed to comprehend the reasons why he had no future.

        I suspect most of Romney’s supporters are similar–they see the problems. Hell, they live the problems. However, they don’t understand the why of things. They just know Obama is different from them.

      • Indeed, a quarter of those non-payers are over 65 years old.

        But I don’t think it’s that Romney doesn’t understand that. I think he understands it but doesn’t care because most of those 47% don’t think of themselves as belonging to that group in the first place. It’s always someone else who is the real problem.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Anonymous Howard,

        I fear you are right. Everyone still has to file a tax return so even if they get all of the income tax withheld from their paychecks back, by god, they still had to pay income taxes!

  9. I would like to point out that, in Québec, which is the jurisdiction with the most generous social system in North America (AKA communist using the American political nomenclature) , around 40% of the population do not pay incomes taxes.

  10. Having done the first two, they will definitely need the third.

  11. My wife and I have paid federal income taxes in every single year of our 32-year marriage. It’s a lot of money. I can’t even comprehend what the dunce is saying. The reason for the 47% is legislative. It was the choice of the morons who wanted lower and fewer marginal bracket, which has resulted in an unmotivated, lazy wealthy class. When the top bracket was ~93%, men of my father’s generation got off their lazy butts and figured out how to make a whole bunch of extra ~7% bucks. Now they have ~ 66% bucks, so why should they bother?

  12. Take a look at the original data from the Tax Policy Center. Those irresponsible deadbeats are actually spread across the income spectrum. Turns out, 7000 people with more than a million dollars in annual income have no federal income tax liability.

    It’s too bad Mitt Romney will never convince those millionaires they should take personal responsibility and care for their own lives.

  13. You know, the thing I hate most about the current political climate in the US is that it makes discussion of the truly serious issues facing the nation impossible by reducing all the races to simple namecalling.

    There is room for discussion between those advocating smaller government and those who feel government needs to be sufficiently large to deal with the challenges facing it.

    There is certainly cause to be concerned with the sustainability of the fiscal trajectory on which we find ourselves.

    Instead, it is the shrillest voices that prevail. It is a shame.

  14. @MorinMoss: About 46% of filing households “will” not pay income tax in 2011 (per a mid-2011 Tax Policy Center document http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/1001547-Why-No-Income-Tax.pdf).

    As a number of news reports have pointed out, Romney seems to conflate this group of taxpayers with the ~47% or so polled “approval” rating of Obama (or likely voters, or whatever). These are not the same people.

    See the article for why some folks don’t pay income taxes. Mostly, they do pay other taxes — for social security & medicare, sales taxes, state income taxes, and the like.

    ST

  15. Maybe he had second thoughts and decided he really does not want to become president, what with this publishing his recent years tax returns, of which apparently he or his spouse said to paraphrase “Had I/We known that, we’d never gone for the candidacy”.

  16. Man, I feel bad for you guys.

  17. The hell with all this. I just want to see his birth certificate…

  18. Ah, the joy of good data visualization!

  19. This latest “gaffe” is of course illustrative of the man, regardless of whether he believes the “no skin in the game” argument or is just pandering to the crowd. That said, he doesn’t define the middle class as only those making between $200,000 and $250,000.

  20. The Economist published Elite Defection, an article that mentions that Romney has alienated many right wing opinion leaders over this. Quote:

    “Key centrist-Republican signaller David Brooks turned furiously on Mr Romney in his column Tuesday, writing that the statements suggest he “doesn’t know much about the culture of America”, “has lost any sense of the social compact”, “knows nothing about ambition and motivation”, and that his comments are “a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.” Ross Douthat wrote that “by branding himself as a generic Republican with no particularly unconventional ideas of his own, he’s managed to associate himself with all the party’s Bush-era failures, while imitating none of its success.” Conor Friedersdorf said the comments encapsulate the dynamic of the flawed campaign, in which “the base of the conservative movement develops a message that plays well internally, and inexplicably thinks it’ll be persuasive to the general electorate if only it is trumpeted. Mitt Romney slavishly conducts himself as the base wishes. And the talking points turn out to be as unpopular with swing voters as you’d expect.” Bill Kristol called them “arrogant and stupid”. And so forth.

  21. Certainly the objections of Bobo, the overpaid NYT clown, and Frum the dumb are strategic rather than substantive in nature. Willard Mitt didn’t really say anything they find objectionable, it’s just that “democracy” requires some pandering to the masses. Just ask Coriolanus.

    More importantly, CNN’s John King was visibly angry. I would suggest that when the Republicans have lost John King, they are in trouble indeed.

    I suppose it’s too much to ask that this might mark a moment of change in the swing of the American political pendulum.

  22. Nice addition adding the deadbeat bar by the way….

  23. Actually, I think Obama has handled this pretty well. As President, he has to appear above the fray. Maintaining focus on substantive issues while surrogates ensure Willard continues to twist slowly in the breeze is a good strategy.

  24. Brooks, Kristol at al hate being made to look stupid, and Mitt has done that to them. It’s always about them.

  25. “I like to be in Amercia”
    — by Horatio Algeranon (based on the song from West Side Story by Stephen Sondheim)

    I like to be in Amercia
    O.K. by me in Amercia
    No tax on me in Amercia
    Bailouts are free in Amercia!

    Caviar and veal in Amercia
    Billions to steal in Amercia
    Money-greased wheel in Amercia
    Very big deal in Amercia!

    Dollars they flow from Amercia
    Many suppose in Amercia
    Nobody knows in Amercia
    No RICO woes in Amercia!

    I like offshores of Amercia
    Comfort is yours in Amercia
    Locks on the doors in Amercia
    Keep out the boors in Amercia!

  26. Romney’s master plan for America:
    1) cut taxes for the ultra-wealthy and major corporations
    2) raise taxes on everyone else
    3) eliminate workplace and environmental business regulations
    4) slash federal economic assistance for struggling middle class families and the socio-economically downtrodden (Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants, school lunch programs, etc)
    5) privatize Medicare and Social Security
    6) repeal the ACA
    7) make voting in national elections a privilege for the privileged few
    8) make English the official language and Christianity the official religion of the United States
    9) financially gut the public school education system
    10) outlaw public labor unions
    11) outlaw abortion … period, and eliminate all federal funding for women’s preventative health care
    12) increase defense spending and invade Iran
    13) drill, baby, drill
    14) stand back and marvel at the results — a regression of American society back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution

  27. Sorry Tamino, for a little bit of offtopic. But I cannot help myself. What I was contemplating it is the idea of free market. I won’t say that free market is good or bad, but actually, is there real free market when larger players have much more access to advertising ? Not to mention, as in case of GW, to “transfer” negative externialities to all of the rest and take a profit out of that ? I personally do think that free market and democracy are good ideas – but, with all the money involved, could it be that some back redistribution (e.g. social transfers) would actually enhance free market in terms of being correctly informed ?