The political fallout has been nothing short of brutal for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney since a highly controversial statement that he made in a secret video of a May fundraiser was revealed to the public. In the video Romney said this:
“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.”
So according to Romney, about 47% of President Obama supporters are nothing more than irresponsible, big government loving, handout receiving, political hypochondriacs. Or as Romney put it, people “who believe that they are victims” and “pay no income tax.”
Well those are some fairly harsh criticisms that Romney put forth. And with that being said, maybe Romney would like to explain some of his past actions to the vast number of people “who believe that they are victims,” because they have been assisted by or feel the need to be assisted by the federal government.
Because, during his time at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Romney said hosting those games would not have been possible without the “enormous spending and services of the federal government.” It’s a good thing that he doesn’t have to host the Olympics now. After all, surely he wouldn’t want to be forced to think that he too is a victim in the handout line out in front of the White House.
In fact, according to Utah state records, Romney was actually a registered lobbyist for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, who helped to bring in a whopping $1.3 billion in federal money for the Olympic games.
So the question then becomes what qualifies as a handout and who qualifies as a victim to be in the position to have their hand out hoping to receive a handout? So as it relates to being dependent on government, who is more dependent on government than lobbyists?
And although the average lobbyist is financially able to pay taxes, it probably pales in comparison to the ungodly amount of money that they help to allocate—which easily trumps any food stamps or welfare that the overwhelming majority of every day people might receive.
And as far as the issue of “paying no income tax” is concerned, there are quite a few rich people who also pay very few taxes or no taxes at all, and judging by Romney’s elusive, tax returns, he certainly might be one of them. Maybe, the only real victim is his $42 million-dollar, snobby, down-your-nose perspective on anyone who is not affluently relatable to his bottom line—which is so much higher than the average Joe’s bottom line that if it ever did decide to trickle down it would still have to travel at the speed of light for any of us to ever see it within our lifetimes.
The longer this campaign goes on the more that it seems that all of Romney’s horses and all of Romney’s men just cannot find a way to put his Etch A Sketch back together again, to help him understand that the President of the United States and the president of some big money, Holy Rolling Camelot are two totally different things, and the clock is ticking.
In the end, Romney’s statement just goes to show that no amount of money can buy class, because it’s not really about a handout. It’s about whose hand is out!
And apparently no amount of class is an automatic translation into sound arithmetic. As Bill Clinton pointed out so eloquently at the DNC, arithmetic is key, because the 99% is larger than the 1%, even though the 1% is much richer than the 99%. So if Mitt Romney wants to be elected, he’s going to have to do a much better job outside of his coveted top 1%, or the person who will be feeling like the victim will be him on election night.