Leave it to a secret recording of Mitt Romney giving a speech to wealthy donors to teach us more about the man behind the Etch-a-Sketch. If what he said is to be believed as genuine thought then I’d have to say the leaders of the Republican Party haven’t grown in intelligence since George W.
First off, in the speech recorded secretly at a $50,000 a plate Florida fundraiser back in May he said “There are 47 percent who are with him (Obama), who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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.”
He wasn’t done; “Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people.”
Romney doesn’t seem to understand two things; first, everyone pays taxes. The 47% he mentions has been a conservative pundit talking point for years, but it cloaks the real truth. Close to 2/3 of the 47% pay a pay-roll tax. A family of five making fifty grand a year only pays this pay-roll tax and its percentage is usually higher than Mitt’s capital gain tax. The other 1/3 is made up of senior citizens or the disabled collecting social security and those whose income is below $20,000/year.
Second, and I wonder if Romney realizes this, but the States where people are disproportionally dependent on the government for handouts and “don’t pay taxes” are all Republican controlled States with only one exception (Idaho). That’s right; Romney is insulting the very base of his supporters, lucky for him most of these voters are uneducated, uninformed or too religious to vote for a democrat. Republicans have a history of getting people to vote against their interests going back to Nixon.
The second item in Romney’s speech that caught my ear was his little tale about his trip to a Chinese factory back in the nineties. He talks about the factory having one little bathroom at the end with maybe ten bedrooms. The rooms had 12 girls each with three bunk beds on top of each other. Around the factory was a huge fence with barbed wire, and guard towers.
Romney said “Gosh, I can’t believe that you, you know, you keep these girls in.” The tour guide said that the barbed wire and guard towers were there to keep other workers out and Romney bought it. The guide also told Romney that the girls leave during the Chinese New Year and some save up enough money so that they don’t come back. It never occurred to him that the New Year is the only time they’re permitted to leave and they don’t come back because they don’t like working with a gun in their back for a dollar a day.
Regardless, if you’re as gullible as Romney or if you’d prefer to take the guide at his word, the point to this lies on Romney’s appreciation of the situation. No one knows if Mitt purchased this particular factory, but it appears as though the visit inspired him to buy one just like it while at Bain Capital. Romney told this story to explain a comment he made that “95 percent of life is set up for you if you’re born in this country (the US)”, born with a silver spoon that is.
The last thing I should mention about the speech is Romney’s almost unthinkable prospects for Middle East peace. He said “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel”. That might be true, perhaps if he were talking about Iran or Hamas, but the majority of Palestinians want peace as much as most Israelis, they want security as much as Israelis, they want a country like Israelis and have for decades.
What kind of potential leader of the free world goes and dismisses the prospects for peace and just hopes that something good happens? Are you fucking kidding me? What leadership! He then goes on to say “the only answer is to show your strength. Again, American strength, American resolve, as the Palestinians someday reach the point where they want peace more than we’re trying to push peace on them”
Say what you want about Palestinian ideology, politics or tactics, the only way America or Israel has pushed peace on them is by imprisoning their citizens, dropping bombs and by blockading, annexing and occupying their land for 45 years. How much more does the US & Israel have to “push”?
Well there you have it, but what do you expect from a man so ignorant and out of touch that he believes that the average middle class family earns $250,000 a year. Romney was mocked during the primaries as someone likened him to an Etch-a-Sketch for his flip-flopping nature, a contrast that has since faded. I believe that the Etch-a-Sketch label is still a valid comparison, the only difference being that the Etch-a-Sketch is permanently erased.