Skip to main content

Video of Mitt Romney's hastily arranged press conference on video
So late Monday night Mitt Romney responded to the secretly recorded video of him telling wealthy campaign contributors that his "job is not to worry" about the "47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what" because those people "are dependent upon government" and "pay no income tax." His basic message: I was right to write off nearly half of all Americans.
I believe the point I was made is that the president starts off with a large number of the voters, 47, 48, 49 percent, something like that. These are people who are in his camp and, uh, they will vote for him almost no matter what. [...]  I point out I recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47 percent of Americans, I’m not likely to be highly successful with the message of lowering taxes. [...] And so I then focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be able to be pulled into my camp and help me win the 51 or 50.1 percent that I need to become the next President.
Romney said that his remarks were "not elegantly stated," but added that he won't back down from them. "It’s a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry," he said.

I don't know if there's anything else he could have said in his response, but let's be clear: Romney's position is as false as it is heartless. He's not just disparaging and writing off half of Americans, he's accusing them of paying "no taxes." That's just not true.

The reality is that most of Mitt's alleged moochers actually do pay federal taxes (see below for details), and virtually all of those who don't still pay state and local taxes. Moreover, many of the people he accuses of being moochers are actually part of his coalition—most of the people who pay neither federal income nor payroll tax are elderly voters, who represent Romney's strongest age demographic. And in 2011, 7,000 millionaires paid no income tax. Surely, Romney could squeeze a few votes from that group.

What this comes down to is that Mitt Romney said something that was not only demonstrably untrue, not only wildly offensive, but also made no sense as political analysis. It was the worst of conservatism jam-packed into a 60 second soundbite: an insulting argument completely disconnected from reality that wouldn't even achieve the stated goals of conservatism were it allowed to prevail. And presented with the opportunity to divorce himself from his statement, Romney decided it would be better to double down than to admit he was wrong. It was simultaneously ignorant, obnoxious, and counterproductive. And Romney's response: no apology.

* The fact is that more than 80 percent of Americans pay federal taxes. 46.4 percent don't pay federal income taxes, but 61 percent of those people do pay federal payroll taxes. Those who don't pay payroll taxes are primarily elderly retirees, many of whom support Romney. Also in that group: the poor and disabled.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site