Doth This Offend Thee?: Romney’s 47% Remarks Explained


I want to address this issue clearly and up front.
Let’s start with what Mr. Romney said:

There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% 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 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.
Okay, now let’s look at this rationally and honestly.
Romney is talking about the bloc of voters who will vote for Obama no matter what. In terms of winning an election, those are individuals that he’ll never be able to win over. He cites them as a group of 47% of Americans. Then he goes on to list their traits of some of their number: those who are dependent, those who feel entitled, those who pay no income tax, etc. These are characteristics of people within those 47%. Not ALL in that 47% exhibit those same characteristics, but those types of people ARE present somewhere inside of that 47%. I believe Romney was expressing his frustration with what I like to call “the leeches of society”.

But let’s get something clear. Romney is NOT in favor of destroying Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. He’s not trying to destroy those programs for those who are in need them now, and wants to make it solvent for people in the future. Social Security is only solvent until 2038. That’s just around the corner for many middle aged workers. What about for people in my generation? The point I’m trying to make is that Romney understands those programs have a place and a use. But his problem is with those that ABUSE that system. Who live off government, leeching unemployment, early retirement, food stamps, etc with NO intention of getting off the programs. They have no goals or ambition to get off the program. We all know people like this exist. I think that’s the disgust Romney was expressing and frankly, I agree with him. I have the same disgust for those who leech off the generosity of others and use tax payers money in selfish ways that provide nothing back to the welfare of the group.

Romney has shown in his life his capacity to serve. He’s helped San Diego fire victims, he’s provided milk to the needy, he’s assisted the Olympic games, served as Governor for a dollar a year. He closed down his business to help an employee find his daughter. He’s raised 5 sons, had the same wife his entire life, and has served in positions in his church that requires enormous amounts of time to be invested for no pay.

Romney does care about the poor and the needy. He wants to help people rise above the situation they are in. He can’t stand those that are willingly bottom feeders who have no drive, ambition, or desire to improve and become less of a burden on society. I agree with him. But that’s not what he was talking about when he said the 47%. The 47% was in regards to the bloc of Americans voting for Obama, and those were some of those voters characteristics. He wasn’t going to stop and break it down into 23% of them are dependent, 12% won’t take accountability, etc. He was making a broad statement, listing some qualities and moving on.

My argument comes down to this: If you think Romney’s comments don’t describe your situation don’t take offense.

Romney knows there are proper uses for government safety net programs. He wants them there. He wants people to get the help they deserve. His disdain was focused on the bottom feeders of society and those who willingly leech off of those who are working hard so they don’t have to. I feel those Americans are immoral and unethical. I think Democrats should feel the same.

Romney didn’t say anything wrong. Fact checks on “Do 47% really not pay taxes” are missing Romney’s argument entirely and it’s a waste of time. Listening comprehension is important and I find it depressing how easily and readily Americans are to take offense.

The only reasons I can believe someone would take offense to Romney’s comments are if they hit home, and people know it’s true, or if they have an axe to grind. If you take offense where non is meant, who’s fault is that?

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2 thoughts on “Doth This Offend Thee?: Romney’s 47% Remarks Explained

  1. Bill says:

    I consider myself a libertarian and a Austrian leaning economist, and I really must plead you stop with this kind of writing. It’s exactly the kind of nonsense rhetoric emblematic of why critics, editorialists and academics think of the logical center-to-right as out of touch–because, in fact, you are out of touch. There’s nothing of substance in your posts. No reasoning based off history, studies, or facts–just talking points.

    The fact that you are trying to combat and defend Romney when he made an inaccurate statement (no matter how far you tried to spin this) says more than your posts ever will.

    In hopes of cultivating a better conservative future,
    Bill

  2. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    Your assertion that a blog is talking points should be self evident. It’s a blog. I’ve never claimed to be a news outlet. I’m explaining the way I see things and the way I believe Romney sees them. You are certainly entitled to thinking I’m out of touch. If you scroll down to my “very poor” article I wrote though, I’m pretty in touch with the bottom feeders of society. I know what it’s like to use several of the programs Romney supposedly bashed and those types of people. Your assumptions that I’m out of touch, I think, are pretty inaccurate and assume a lot.

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