Saturday, September 29, 2012

Romney's Gaffe


As far as I can find out, here is the full text of Mitt Romney’s remarks about the 47% that have caused such a furor.

"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 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. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So 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 they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to is convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not."
Even though his remarks were off the cuff, let’s analyze them almost sentence by sentence. In the first place, no one can quibble with the observation that 47% of the people will vote for President Obama no matter what. That statement is very accurate.
However, he went wrong when he confused the 47% diehard Obama supporters with the 47% of the population that pays no income tax. A large percentage of diehard Democrats are not only taxpayers but also considerably wealthy. The tip of the Democrat iceberg is made up of wealthy plutocrats like George Soros and George Clooney. Right beneath them are a whole host of entertainers or commentators like the women who appear on “The View”. Beneath that elite group is a substantial lesser aristocracy of aging baby boomers who have made it in America. You only had to look closely as the cameras scanned the delegates in the background at the Democrat convention, to see the same fine clothing and jewelry that were evident at the Republican convention.
I know many of these people even though I find it hard to understand their politics. I live in Connecticut’s Fairfield County, one of the most well to do counties in the country. Parts of it are staunchly Republican but it will be very hard for Romney to carry the County and almost impossible for him to carry Connecticut, one of the most reliable blue states.
On the other hand many of the 47% who pay no federal income tax, do pay state and local income taxes, as well as considerable real estate taxes here in Connecticut. I believe that a large percentage of these people, many of whom are Senior citizens, vote Republican year after year. 
Although his off the cuff message was garbled Romney was correct to point out that there are many people who have become so dependent on government largess, that they can indeed be called victims. Take my neighboring town of Bridgeport, for example. It has been dominated by a Democrat political machine ever since I moved to Connecticut almost 50 years ago. Today it is one of the poorest cities in the state. The schools are in chaos, the murder rate is shocking, and even though taxes are high, the city has not been able to cover the cost of its own schools for years.
Despite poor conditions in cities like Bridgeport, its citizens will most certainly continue to vote Democrat. That is why Romney saw that there would be no point for him to try and gain their votes. When he said that it was not his “job” to be concerned about the dependent class, he was merely stating the obvious. He believed that nothing he could do to gain such traditional Democratic votes. He saw that he must concentrate on the so-called independents.
Even though I support Romney, I believe that he and other Republican politicians are wrong to write off the people who have been victimized by years of Democrat failed schemes and policies—people who have been victimized by party machines that enrich the few local politicians at the expense of the many. Why try to eke out a narrow victory when you can demonstrate to people the inadequacies of the policies of the past. Why write off states like New York and California where the poor labor under years of Democrat misrule?
I know people in Bridgeport who are trying to get out of the dependent class. It’s true that many live in subsidized housing and qualify for Medicaid and are also going to school on subsidized loans. But many go to school to get a better life for them and their children. Mitt Romney has succeeded at practically everything he has ever attempted. He was correct to argue that lower taxes mean little to the poor, but poorly performing schools, unsafe neighborhoods, and record high unemployment rates do matter to that section of the 47%. 

Romney's message could be simple. "We are the United States of America, not the Divided States of America. President Obama has been one of the most divisive Presidents in history. He has tried to divide the country in so many ways. He has pitted class against class and race against race. He has pitted Washington and the Federal government against the States of the Union. He has attacked and demonized anyone who has dared to oppose him. We are all in this together. My job is to get elected but once elected my job will be to once again unite this country and be President of all the people." ###

No comments:

Post a Comment