Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Romney insults even his supporters
The real Romney revealed himself with comments at a private fundraiser in Florida in May. I was not surprised. I have heard similar opinions expressed since the 1950's, but in 2012 it is an insult to many, and it once again dramatized Romney’s disconnect with the reality of the lives today of most Americans.
His comments:“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 not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives…”(Text source: the Washington Post fact checker blog)
A question to everyone on Medicare and social security, or whose parents can find health and nursing home care because of Medicaid when they outlived their assets : Did you take personal responsibility and care for your lives? Since most of the recipients of Medicaid and food stamps are kids and elderly, are they even able to take responsibility for their care? Did you participate or benefit from these programs because you felt you were a victim? Or did you participate because your income and savings would not sustain you or your family?
Romney deceptively limited his figures to income taxes. According to the Congressional Budget Office all but 10% pay federal taxes in some form, including payroll taxes and contributions toward Medicare and Social Security.
So who do not pay income taxes? Per senior fellows in the Brookings and Urban Institutes writing in the Washington Post: “About half of these households don’t pay federal income tax simply because their incomes are low. More than one-fifth are retirees who benefit from tax breaks for seniors, including an exemption for most Social Security benefits. And another one-seventh are working families with children whose income tax liability is eliminated because of the child tax credit… or the child and dependent care credit. Together, these three groups of taxpayers account for almost 90 percent of the households that pay no federal income tax.”
With these comments Romney brought additional attention to his disconnect with the real life of most Americans. His perspective is stuck in a 1950’s mind set when we could cover medical bills in chickens or even pay out of pocket; the medicine practiced then was unencumbered by expensive life extending modern technology.. Dad could earn enough money for mom to stay home and take care of their aging parents and provide child care. The poor stayed poor, they could not go to college, and they were stuck in an underclass until in the 60’s they exploded when they could not take it anymore. .
To backpeddle, Romney changed his tune. Now he says he cares about the 100’%, but his and Paul Ryan’s plans are not where his mouth is: They propose to cut Medicaid by 30%, Pell grants, Head Start,and food stamps. Catholic Bishops have called these plans to cut the poor’s safety net immoral. The plan to “save” Medicare would, privatize part and eliminate the guarantee the federal contribution will cover future costs..
To reduce the deficit is indeed an important goal, but the Romney and Ryan plans are not the only way to do it. Plans similar to the Simpson Bowles recommendations would inflict less pain on safety net programs and maintain Medicare as we know it. Many alternatives are discussed at http://www.aarp.org/health/.
The above is a version that appeared in today's Sky Hi Daily News