From Minnesota Public Radio, a great election story catch:
Lee Byberg, the Republican candidate in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District (challenging Collin Peterson), is embracing Republican Mitt Romney's comments at a private fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans 'believe they are victims' and are entitled to help from the government that permeates their lives...WHAT? "Limited to temporary support?" No Medicare? No Medicaid? No Social Security?
"Romney was merely stating the obvious," Byberg said in a statement. He added that he believed any criticism of Romney "missed the point."
"The welfare state is not only unsustainable financially, but morally as well. A dependency culture undermines human dignity. Government aid should be limited to temporary support, and for those truly unable to care for themselves..."
In a follow-up interview, Byberg said he was referring to people who are not paying federal income taxes and wasn't referring to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid when defining the "welfare state."Wow! Is that the fastest conservative "about face" in the press on record? This guy agrees with Romney, realizes what he said to the press, pees his pants, and runs back to the reporter. He runs back to single-handedly redefine the welfare state--to exclude welfare state programs (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) Byberg realizes the election consequences, withdraws his opposition to those "immoral big government programs."
It's magic. In just a paragraph, an outspoken principled conservative turns into a tower of quaking Jello. He denounces the welfare state and then claims he supports its backbone: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Doesn't matter how he tries to spin it. A person who defines the American "welfare state" in a way that excludes Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is stupid or deeply dishonest--maybe both. Those three "big government programs" depend on wealth redistribution; screwing around with those government guarantees would break the financial backs of working families.
Can you imagine a conservative in office announcing that working families were suddenly entirely responsible for all the medical bills of their senior members?
The reason the "welfare state" continues to exist is 1) Americans want it to exist, and 2) working people in America need it to exist.
Romney and Byberg statements make it clear (despite Byberg's nonsensical re-definition.) The conservatives and GOP--despite all their protestations about "saving" Social Security and Medicare--want to gut those programs.
Why? We always knew, but now we've got the smoking gun evidence, the Romney 47% video: they consider Americans who need Social Security, Medicare, etc.--to be leeches.
It's funny: Reagan and Bush used to proudly trumpet the roll back of federal income taxes for American employees. But when they think the mikes are off, today's GOP doesn't even bother to pretend they give a shit.
Byberg acknowledged that nearly two-thirds of households that don't pay federal income taxes do pay payroll taxes, but he said that's not the same.No, it isn't the same: it's Americans who work for a living, paying their payroll taxes. Mostly in red/Republican states. Americans of all different colors and creeds, working for a living, paying federal payroll taxes all the time...According to the right and the GOP: these Americans are leeches.
Now you know why it is so easy for Romney's company to eliminate American jobs paying decent wages, so easy for Romney to ship jobs overseas. The Republican leaders who back Romney believe American employees are the dirt beneath his feet; useless "dependents" and "victims."
And Byberg, this guy running against Peterson in Minnesota--agrees with him! Romney's recorded remarks have been met with a chorus of conservative agreement. No one with more than half a brain can still believe that the GOP has any interest in helping working American families attain the American dream.
Trot this stuff out every time you hear any Republican talking about how their economic policy scams will bring broad prosperity. Romney and his Republican supporters make it clear: 47% of American doesn't deserve prosperity--they're dependent leeches.
Capitol Roundup at MPR, and Byberg's contempt for Americans: