Get your jacket – let’s go for a walk.
Get your jacket – let’s go for a walk.
From the always and forever awesome Charles P. Pierce:
…Got a little secret for you all. I don’t care if I win. I never did. Oh, I want the job because I’m entitled to it. It’s the inexorable next step in my golden existence. But it’s not like I actually wanted to do the job. It was a prize, something to hang over one of my mantlepieces or another. But, you know what happens the day after I lose to Obama? A whole bunch of you start typing your resumes, and writing your essays about how I fked the whole thing up six ways from Sunday, and Whither The Conservative Movement? and all that malarkey. Maybe I take some folks from Congress down with me, and they all go to the Fox studios and run around the set of Hannity’s program until the music stops, and one of them doesn’t find a chair, and that one has to go home and do morning drive in East Jesus, Florida.
Me? You know what I do? I go to Malibu and I ride the car elevator up and I look at the sun go down over the Pacific. And then I do the same thing the next day. And the day after that. And do you know what my great-grandchildren are going to do, while yours are groping through the Cormac McCarthy novel that President Paul Ryan’s two terms have left them after 2026?
The same thing I did.
I’m bulletproof, motherfkers. My money is safely tucked away not in Switzerland, or in the Caymans, but in the corners of a distant future. My money is beyond the physical limits within which the rest of your scratch out your lives. My money is infinite. It is beyond time and space. It is transcendent. It is an immortal being, the next step in human evolution. It lives, but it has no need for a fragile, corporeal shell, not even one as obviously perfect as my own.
So go ahead, have your fun this week. Hell, have your fun all the way through November. You need a little amusement in your drab little lives and I’m happy to oblige because, when it comes right down to it, you will all die but I will not because my money will not. It lives forever, and therefore, I live forever and because, well:
I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.
Steve Benen cautions those on the right who’d very much like to compare Romney’s caught on camera “47 percent” comments with Obama’s caught on camera “cling to guns and religion” comments. Benen says the only thing they have in common is that both were unaware of being recorded at the time:
It’s been four years, but if you go back and look at Obama’s comments, the then-senator was talking about white, working-class voters who feel politically skeptical as the economy has left them behind, but he told his supporters that he intends to fight for these voters’ support anyway. Obama defended these folks, said they have a right to be “bitter,” and explained why he felt like his plan would meet these voters’ needs.
Romney’s comments, meanwhile, offer an entirely different perspective — instead of defending those who may skeptical of him, the Republican is writing them off, chastising them for considering themselves “victims” and failing to “take personal responsibility.” While Obama’s comments show his desire to fight for every last vote, even in communities where he wouldn’t expect to be popular, Romney said, “[M]y job is not to worry about those people.”
They offer fascinating bookends that tell us a great deal about these candidates’ values, but to see them as similar is a mistake.
Jonathan Chait adds: “Obama was aspiring to become president of all of America, even that part most hostile to him, in the belief that what they shared mattered more than what divided them. Romney genuinely seems to conceive of the lowest-earning half of the population as implacably hostile parasites.”
barackobama: Memo to Mitt Romney: President of the United States isn’t really a job you can do by halves.
Jonathan Chait says the hidden camera video that went viral yesterday exposes Mitt Romney “as a far more sinister character than I had imagined. Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party. He believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit. Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it…”
“The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock. I have never hated Romney. I presumed his ideological makeover since he set out to run for president was largely phony, even if he was now committed to carry through with it, and to whatever extent he’d come to believe his own lines, he was oblivious or naïve about the damage he would inflict upon the poor, sick, and vulnerable. It seems unavoidable now to conclude that Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryanism is born of actual contempt for the looters and moochers, a class war on behalf of his own class.”
There’s inequality all right, but it’s certainly not being felt by the one percent who secretly deride half of America for being lazy, shiftless bums.
think-progress – the bottom 95 percent of Americans have $1.48 in debt for every $1 in earnings. The top 5 percent, meanwhile, have 64 cents in debt for every $1 in earnings.
Here is a link to some of those videos that Maddow is talking about: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChMTCCC6dzR-VkgTDWo7H_A/videos?flow=grid&view=0 (thanks John Roach!)
Steve Benen reports that last night, the Republican candidate delivered a brief statement, hoping to quell the controversy:
“…the full transcript of his comments is available, but the key part of the statement is the fact that Romney simply endorsed everything seen in the clip. He conceded his recorded comments were “not elegantly stated,” and were delivered “off the cuff,” but nevertheless recommitted himself to the underlying sentiment.
“As a reporter asked, “Governor, are all of the things you said in the video things you believe? Are those core convictions?” Romney walked off the stage.”
David Brooks in the NYTimes: “Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.”
“The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view — from the Reaganesque language of common citizenship to the libertarian language of makers and takers. There’s no way the country will trust the Republican Party to reform the welfare state if that party doesn’t have a basic commitment to provide a safety net for those who suffer for no fault of their own.
“The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation. The formula he sketches is this: People who are forced to make it on their own have drive. People who receive benefits have dependency.
“But, of course, no middle-class parent acts as if this is true. Middle-class parents don’t deprive their children of benefits so they can learn to struggle on their own. They shower benefits on their children to give them more opportunities — so they can play sports, go on foreign trips and develop more skills.
“People are motivated when they feel competent. They are motivated when they have more opportunities. Ambition is fired by possibility, not by deprivation, as a tour through the world’s poorest regions makes clear.”
It’s interesting that some Catholic leaders have spoken out about Paul Ryan and how his love of Ayn Rand’s economic philosophy (screw the poor) actually conflicts sharply with the ethics of Christian behavior.
I wonder if the LDS Church will ever speak out about Mitt Romney‘s embrace of the same libertarian philosophy? Or his campaign of lying daily? Especially since he represents their religion so publicly.
My guess would be no – they will never speak out against Mitt. The Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would never allow that. In fact I’m sure they’re even willing to overlook the money he made with Stericycle, as long as they received the required tithe from any profits made.
This is Ayn Rand thinking. The Makers and the Takers.
“Well, the president has his group. I have my group. I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle.” — Mitt Romney, addressing his hidden camera comments, dismissing the more negative tone — and sharper messaging — in the closed-door fundraiser, chalking it up to talk about “process.”
Or you could say those millionaires / billionaires who evade taxes with offshore bank accounts in the Caymans, Switzerland, and Bermuda are actually the ones who feel “entitled” and feel like “victims” and pay no income tax. Aren’t those people mooching off the system, off the federal government? They get all the benefits without the same financial investment that’s being made by working and middle class people.
Meanwhile John Green has an excellent summary of who doesn’t pay federal income taxes and why:
How many people don’t pay federal income tax in the US?
Lots of people. The 47% stat is accurate, as long as you only count federal income taxes. (More than 85% of Americans under 65 pay either income tax, federal payroll tax, or both—and almost all Americans who own land and/or buy things pay state and local taxes.)
Who are these people?
Many elderly people who live off social security pay no income tax (social security benefits are only taxable if your total income is over $25,000 a year). Only about 25% of Americans over the age of 75 pay federal income tax, but it’s important to remember that most of them did pay federal income tax when they were working.
Also, many young adults pay no income taxes, because they are full-time students or have very low incomes. You can see a chart here that shows that about 30% of 18-year-olds pay federal income tax, while over 65% of people in their 40s do.
People living in poverty are also unlikely to pay federal income taxes. A married couple filing jointly making under $18,700 annually pays no income taxes. But it’s worth noting that in 1996, 99.5% of all nontaxable returns came from people making less than $30,000 a year. Today, that number is closer to 76%.
The fastest growing segment of Americans who pay no tax are those who earn between $75,000 and $100,000 each year. As explained here, there’s been a 12,000% increase in nontaxable returns in this income category thanks to middle income tax cuts and tax credits introduced by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
I would say bull to that one, though. Or, I wish — because it isn’t true in my situation. And btw, if Romney-Ryan get their way, all those tax credits and cuts would go bye-bye in order to finance the expansion of tax cuts they’d like to give the wealthy (which also happens to include themselves). More John Green:
[...] This is the case for most Americans: Romney’s comments implied that the same 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes every year. In fact, the members of that 47% are constantly changing as people age into and out of the work force.
[...] In fact, the number of Americans who feel the government should provide health care and food to those in need is much higher than 47%. 76% of Americans (including a majority of Republicans) favor medicaid, the program that offers health care to the poor. A majority of Americans also believe medicare, the program that offers health care to the elderly, is worth its cost. And more than three quarters of Americans support the federal food stamp program that provides food to low-income and elderly people.
And here are more facts that are also relevant to Romney’s claim: Mother Jones: In light of Mitt Romney’s now-infamous statement about the “47 percent,” it’s worth taking a look at which states actually benefit the most from federal taxes.
Which states? Yep, the Mitt Romney supportin’, GOP lovin’ Red States. Why won’t they take more personal responsibility?
In a hastily called press conference Monday night, Mitt Romney dismissed the viral video that shows him telling attendees at a closed-door fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government checks and “believe that they are victims” and therefore will vote for President Obama.
Romney took only three questions at the presser, and dismissed the remarks as “off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated.” He also claimed the video spreading across the internet didn’t quote him in full context.
“My heritage… my dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico … and, uh, had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico…. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.“
[h/t on video: reader John Roach]
Sidenote: WHY WAS Romney’s father born in Mexico? George Romney was born in Mexico and was 5 years old when a revolution forced his family members in 1912 to flee their Mormon colony and seek refuge in the United States. The Mormon exiles lost their homes, farms, and most of their belongings, were welcomed by the United States, and benefited from a $100,000 refugee fund established by Congress. But there are other elements to the Romney story that may explain why he doesn’t tell the full tale on the campaign trail. The reason that George was born in Mexico is that his grandfather – Mitt’s great-grandfather – had taken refuge there in order to escape US laws against polygamy. It was this family patriarch, Miles Park Romney, who established the colony and lived there with four wives. Mitt Romney has decried what he has called the “awful’’ practice of polygamy and has never visited the colony, even though several dozen of his cousins continue to live there.
“It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.” — Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, commenting on the hidden camera video showing Romney talking disparagingly of 47% of all voters. (via: callmeclinton)
“Just curious, Mitt. When you say there are 47 percent of the people who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, are you talking about the auto industry that Obama bailed out or the Wall Street that Obama bailed out or the bankers that Obama bailed out?” — early-onset-of-night
liberalsarecool: That liberal media with their recording devices to report what people say. Such a bias over the GOP’s completely making shit up.