More on the 47%

I’m tired of reading stuff trying to justify Mitt and the 47% garbage.  What he said wasn’t just politically stupid, it’s factually stupid.

He said these 47% are in the tank for Obama, no point in trying to reach them.  Really?  How can he not know that a chunk of the people who don’t pay federal income tax are retirees, living on Social Security and their savings?  And how can he not know that the one group he consistently has been leading among is seniors?  So to say that the 47% are synonymous with Obama voters just makes him look an idiot because so many of them are his freaking base.

And I don’t get the leap between not paying (actually I would frame it as not owing) federal income taxes and seeing yourself as a victim, as not taking personal responsibility for yourself.  I don’t see any connection there, it’s just a non sequitur.

Who are these people who don’t owe on April 15?  As I said, a chunk of them are seniors, which means that they used to work and pay federal income taxes.  They also paid in to get their Social Security and their Medicare.  Yes, some of them will take out of the system more than they put in, but some of them will die before they get their investment back.  That’s what an insurance system is.  And what’s Mitt’s solution here to end their “dependency”?  Does he want people in their 80’s and 90’s to rejoin the work force?

Some of them are students.  They are old enough to vote, and maybe flipping burgers to get through school, but not in their prime earning years.  They have decades of paying federal income taxes ahead of them, and the more education they get, the more they will earn and the more they will pay.

Some of them are low-wage earners because they’ve lost better-paying jobs in the Great Recession; because they lack education and skills; because they don’t speak English well; because they choose careers that don’t pay well, but help other people; because they work part-time so that they can write or paint or spend more time with their kids or do volunteer work.  People are low-wage earners for all kinds of reasons.  Some of them have paid federal income taxes in the past and will do so again in the future.

Just because you’re working a low-wage job (or two or three) doesn’t mean you don’t work hard.  Anyone doing honest work is taking personal responsibility for himself or herself.  The GOP has consistently supported earned income tax credits and child care credits to keep low-wage earners out of poverty and off of welfare, to make work worthwhile.   The GOP has declared this tax policy the path to personal responsibility, and now Mitt is denying his own party’s long-standing beliefs.

It is beyond chutzpah for someone earning $20 million a year and paying 13% in federal income taxes (maybe, assuming we believe him) to bitch and moan about those terrible people making $20,000 a year who don’t pay their fair share.

Listening to that tape, I don’t think this guy is just politically dead, I think he’s brain dead.

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