I disagree with Hightower.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Peter and Paul

There is a tape showing that four months ago Romney, in talking to intimates, made two mistakes.  The first was an error of fact or a slip of the tongue when he said "47% of the people do not pay taxes."  What he was referring to was the people who do not pay income taxes.  [When you include Social Security and state and local taxes (sales and property) almost everybody pays taxes.]

Do you remember how the media rushed to assure us that Obama did not mean "You didn't build that."  instead what he meant was, "You didn't build those roads."  I am sure that all of those media folks will just as quickly insert the missing word for Romney.  Aren't you?

The second mistake was by telling the following truth:   There are a lot of people who are dependent on the government and they are more likely to  vote democratic. Their number is growing.  (He then added some opinion: The democratic party wants a government centered society and the republican party does not.)
The short version of that truth is the old proverb:  "He who robs Peter to pay Paul can always expect to have the support of Paul."

Does Obama really believe in redistribution?
There is a tape showing that fourteen years ago Obama said to intimates: "And my suggestion I guess would be that the trick - and this is one of the few areas where I think there are technical issues that have to be dealt with as opposed to just political issues - I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution - because I actually believe in some redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot."

I agree with both of  them on this issue.


  1. I count different and more troubling mistakes in Romney's taped comments (which are copied at bottom), but I will focus on the main one.

    I understand and have no problem with the political strategy that assumes the race will be won via undecided voters in the middle rather than people who are already locked in one way or the other. That's what he says he was addressing and that seems apparent from the tape. I don't hear many people worked up about that aspect.

    What's not at all apparent is why, in making the above point, you would do so via such a sloppy financial measure and with such disparaging terms to portray nearly half the population. Beyond being a patently false illustration of who's in which pocket (the majority of 47%-ers are in red states… http://www.theamericanconservative.com/where-do-the-47-percent-live/), it's ugly to see your potential president slinging indisciminate slop at voters rather than his opponent.

    Even if you assume/hope (as I do), that Romney doesn't really believe that ALL of those 47% are automatically freeloading leeches, it's still very hard to shake the impression that this man has trouble seeing past dollar signs in the same troubling way that other people have difficulty seeing past one's religion or skin color. I'm sure Mitt would be quick to assure us that some of his best friends pay no income tax, but that doesn't mean his first and strongest assumptions about those who don't aren't grossly and problematically skewed.

  2. For reference:
    "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. My job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."