“Right now, about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits, in dollar value, from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. So we’re going to a majority of takers vs. makers in America.” — Paul Ryan
Watch a collection of rarely seen video of Paul Ryan, explaining his Ayn Randian view that “many citizens are just takers, parasites who leech off productive citizens, the makers.”
Mother Jones: “Ryan has also warned about President Barack Obama creating “more of a permanent class of government dependents”—language that echoes Romney’s take on the “47 percent who are with [Obama], 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.”
Think Progress: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter to True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht warning her that the Ohio branch of the group, in suing to throw thousands of students, trailer park residents, homeless people and African Americans off the voting rolls, may be violating the law: At some point, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter suppression. If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.
Part of Rep. Cummings letter to Engelbrecht: “True the Vote, its volunteers, and its affiliated groups have a horrendous record of filing inaccurate voter registration challenges, causing legitimate voters — through no fault of their own — to receive letters from local election officials notifying them that their registrations have been challenged and requiring them to take steps to remedy false accusations against them. Multiple reviews by state and local government officials have documented voter registration challenges submitted by your volunteers based on insufficient evidence, outdated or inaccurate data, and faulty software and database capabilities. Across multiple states, government officials of both political parties have criticized your methods and work product for their lack of accuracy and reliability. Your tactics have been so problematic that even Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has condemned them as potentially illegal.”
David Corn says this is the most damning line of Romney’s remarks in the hidden camera video:
“I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
“Here was Romney sharing his view that Americans who don’t make enough money to pay income taxes and his fellow citizens who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, or other government programs are lesser people than he and the millionaires before him. These people, Romney was saying, are not adults; they do not, and will not, fend for themselves or do what they must to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, and care for themselves and their family members. It was an arrogant insult spoken with true detachment. This was 100-percent 1-percent.”
Sorry, Willard. You and your mega-rich friends don’t get to judge anyone.
Sally Kohn in Salon unpacks Romney’s “47 percent” crack, and what it means, specifically, to the Republican Party and their wealthy benefactors:
Now, what’s interesting is that, while complaining that poor people don’t pay enough in taxes, conservatives also complain that the wealthy pay too much. They do this by focusing on the absolute dollar amount paid, as opposed to percentage. So, for instance, when Warren Buffett states that he pays lower taxes than his secretary, conservatives protest. Buffet pays far more in actual dollars, they argue.
Which is, of course, true — 1 percent of $1 billion is $10 million whereas 40 percent of $100,000 is only $40,000. In absolute dollars, sure, the billionaire is paying far, far more than the middle-class family, let alone a poor family. Yes, conservatives are right, the top 10 percent of Americans pay more than half of the nation’s total tax revenues — but that’s because the top 10 percent enjoy more than half of the nation’s income. And that gulf of inequality is only growing.
But does anyone really think the richest of the rich should pay an effective 1 percent income tax rate while the middle class pays 40 percent?
Oh wait, right — Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan think that’s a grand idea! Under Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which Mitt Romney endorsed, taxes for the middle class would go up while tax rates for millionaires and billionaires would be slashed to unprecedented lows. And under this tax plan Mitt Romney, who currently pays a less-than-fair share of 15 percent would pay just 0.82% percent in taxes.
In other words, it appears Mitt Romney isn’t angry that desperately poor people don’t pay taxes — he’s jealous!
The rich work hard at wanting more. And with the GOP, that hard work always pays off.
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?
The last stop for Mitt Romney’s bus tour is his home state of Michigan. But don’t expect a happy homecoming: In addition to arguing that we should “let Detroit go bankrupt,” the policies that Romney is proposing would cut student aid for 337,000 students and jobs for 9,900 teachers. And 510,000 Michigan families would see their taxes go up by an average of $900.
Send this postcard to your friends to tell them what Michigan already knows: Romney economics would be a disaster for our country.
——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
LISTEN TO MITT ROMNEY, he’s telling you everything you need to know about him — “You will hear words from people running for office that sound great. But sometimes what people say is not a perfect example of what they’re going to do.” [...] Romney says he wants to put the nation on a path to a balanced budget while also cutting an array of taxes, building up the Navy and Air Force and adding 100,000 active-duty military personnel. He says he would slash domestic spending and reduce tax loopholes but has offered few details. Cut taxes for the rich, cut spending on investment in people and infrastructure, increase military spending and whammo: balanced budget. – Daily Kos
GOV. JERRY BROWN: the Republican Party is like a cult – On CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday morning, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said that politics had changed a “hell of a lot” since he started his career as a public official. “It’s more polarized, the money is more centrally collected and distributed by the two major parties, there is — particularly on the Republican side — an enforcement of discipline that’s ideological,” he explained. “And as was mentioned today in The Washington Post, it takes on the quality of a cult.” – Raw Story
REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST ALEX CASTELLANOS denied that women make 77 cents for a man’s dollar in the workplace and noted, “there are lots of reasons for that.” “Now we know, at least from both of your perspectives,” [Rachel] Maddow said, pointing to Castellanos and Romney surrogate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), “women are not fairing worse than men in the economy that women aren’t getting paid less for equal work.” “It’s about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don’t believe is happening,” she added. — Think Progress
- The problem of ‘working from different facts’ – There’s simply no shared foundation of reality, which in turn shapes the policy debate in unproductive ways. The left sees gender-based pay disparity and looks for mechanisms to address the problem; the right rejects the existence of the disparity and sees no use for the solutions because, to them, there is no problem.
NEWT GINGRICH will drop out Wednesday — According to Fox News sources, the still technically in-the-running Republican — now without supporters or a security detail — will officially end his campaign on Wednesday. Earlier reports said he would call it quits on Tuesday, but apparently he needs our attention for just a teeny, tiny while longer. — Daily Intel
FLORIDA PASTOR TERRY JONES held another Koran-burning ceremony yesterday in a portable fire pit, despite a Pentagon warning that this could jeopardize American troops overseas… – Gainesville Sun
ROMNEY PERFORMS A TWISTING, DOUBLE, BACKWARDS FLIP FLOP: Romney top advisor Eric Fehrnstrom says that not only did Mitt Romney not oppose auto bailout but that President Obama actually got the idea from Mitt. – TPM
image: Bob Cesca
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
SENATE DEMOCRATS will soon hold a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a senior Democratic Senate aide confirms to me. “This vote is going to happen,” the aide says. The vote means this will likely be the next major battle in the war over women, and it could put Mitt Romney in a delicate political spot. It will force a choice: Either he supports the measure, which would put him at odds with the Senate GOP caucus (which voted against the bill two years ago), or he opposes it, which would put Romney at odds with his own rhetorical support for equal pay for women, potentially damaging him further among crucial female swing voters. — Greg Sargent
ROBERT GIBBS: Romney’s slogan is ‘Obama didn’t clean up our mess fast enough‘ — “I think sometimes you listen to the Romney campaign and they do think a lot people in this country are stupid,” Gibbs told NBC’s David Gregory. “Their message is: You didn’t clean up our mess fast enough.” “The last six months of the Bush administration, we lost three and half million jobs. We know this about Mitt Romney: He’s not a job creator. When he was governor of Massachusetts, they were 47th out of 50 in job creation. His experience is in downsizing, outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies and walking away with a lot of money for himself.” Gibbs added: “His economic ideas are the failed economic ideas that we tried for eight years, tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and letting Wall Street go back to writing the rules all over again. That is the policies that got us into this mess.” – Raw Story
OBAMA SPIKES the bin Laden football — After taking a low-key approach to the killing of Osama bin Laden for most of the past year, the Obama campaign released a video on Friday taking credit for green-lighting the operation and questioning whether Mitt Romney would have made the same call. Conservatives scoffed, claiming that the raid was a no-brainer that any president would have approved. I don’t know who’s right, but if you want to decide for yourself you probably ought to know just how the entire operation was planned and what part Obama played. — Mother Jones
WHAT SHOULD WE DO to help America’s young? Basically, the opposite of what Mr. Romney and his friends want. We should be expanding student aid, not slashing it. And we should reverse the de facto austerity policies that are holding back the U.S. economy — the unprecedented cutbacks at the state and local level, which have been hitting education especially hard. Yes, such a policy reversal would cost money. But refusing to spend that money is foolish and shortsighted even in purely fiscal terms. Remember, the young aren’t just America’s future; they’re the future of the tax base, too. A mind is a terrible thing to waste; wasting the minds of a whole generation is even more terrible. Let’s stop doing it. — Paul Krugman
——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
MITT THE PROBLEM SOLVER! ROMNEY TELLS STUDENTS to just borrow money from their parents. Mitt Romney is the most tone-deaf motherfucker to ever run for president. HANDS DOWN. This afternoon at an event in Ohio—which students apparently were forced to attend, if the gentleman falling asleep in the front row is any indication—Mitt Romney yammered on about class warfare, and how President Obama is always attacking success, and why don’t kids today have the bootstrapitude it takes to up and start a multimillion dollar sandwich chain like Romney’s good friend Jimmy John did by borrowing $20K from the parental units. – ABL: Balloon Juice | read more: ABL: Raw Story
- OBVIOUSLY, THE ADVICE FITS RIGHT INTO THE CHARACTERIZATION that Romney is ‘out of touch’ with regular people. Most students don’t have parents with $20,000 in disposable capital sitting around to give to their kids to start a business. — Think Progress
- REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE MITT ROMNEY campaigned [yesterday] at Otterbein College — a school that benefited from the passage of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus. Otterbein received a grant worth more than $80,000 for a federal work-study program in July 2009. Ignoring that fact, though, Romney proceeded to attack the stimulus in his speech to students. – Romney Attacks Stimulus At College That Took Stimulus Funds
YESTERDAY RUSH LIMBAUGH said Hillary Clinton is just a secretary who needs to wear Spanx. [He] said that Clinton “has reached a pinnacle and all she is is a secretary,” adding that the left has “the strangest definition of success.” Limbaugh then said he was being prodded to talk about Clinton’s need to wear “Spanx,” but suggested she had a greater need for “Spankles.” – Rush Limbaugh On Hillary Clinton: ‘All She Is Is A Secretary’ Who Needs To Wear Spanx || Your “Imaginary” GOP War on Women, people!
Because feminists are dykes. GET IT? — Fox News Douchebag Of The Day
BUZZFEED POLITICS IS TRYING SO HARD to campaign for Romney:
- 11 Reasons President Obama Isn’t As Cool As They Say (all photos shown of Obama are actually some level of ‘cool’ or lovable for his supporters)
- 48 More Photographs Of The Romney Family Looking Perfectly Normal – haha! wat? How many pictures has Buzzfeed politics posted so far of the Romney family trying to look perfectly normal?
MEDIA DARLING SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ) is blasting Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for spending too much time in front of the television cameras. [...] “I have never seen Sen. Schumer address any issue unless it was political in the United States Senate,” McCain told Van Susteren. “Bob Dole once said, the most dangerous place to be in Washington D.C. is between Sen. Schumer and a television camera.” “That holds true today,” he added. But very few, if any, senators in recent years have been given more airtime than McCain himself. [...] Between his loss in the November 2008 presidential election and January 2010, McCain had appeared on Sunday morning talk shows at least 19 times. By March 2012, he had broken former Sen. Bob Dole’s (R-KS) record by appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press 64 times. – Crooks & Liars
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
PRESIDENT OBAMA ON FRIDAY SIGNED an executive order that will help protect veterans from the deceptive practices of some for-profit colleges that seek to take advantage of them. The news was greeted with praise from veterans groups, who have “long felt that student veterans need to have the tools to succeed when it comes to their education.” The American Legion called it “an important victory on behalf of our young servicemembers and veterans who, in seeking to better themselves educationally, have been wrongly and unconscionably victimized by some institutions who see America’s finest as nothing more than a vulnerable market.” — MMFA
- BUT WAIT! FOX “NEWS” has a few things to say about the President helping the veterans: Fox News, on the other hand, found a way to attack Obama over the action, saying the executive order was an “insult to the troops.” On The Five, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle teased a segment on the story by saying: “You’re not going to believe President Obama’s latest insult to the troops.” Read more…
- NOTE: Jan 15, 2012: Romney plugs for-profit colleges, whose leaders bolster his run – Boston.com
- NOTE: March 29, 2012: Donors to Romney super PAC have ties to for-profit colleges – USATODAY.com
- LOTS MORE here…
NEW WEB VIDEO FROM OBAMA CAMPAIGN — ROMNEY’S PRIORITIES: Mitt wouldn’t have killed Osama bin Laden (but remember, he would have let GM go bankrupt) — A new web video from the Obama campaign, featuring former President Bill Clinton, suggests Mitt Romney wouldn’t have made the decision to go after Osama bin Laden almost one year ago today — TPM
- NATURALLY THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN is in hysterics. Chait comments: In 2004, Democrats were furious that Bush used the 9/11 attacks as a political asset. Now, Republicans are indignant that Obama is running on having killed Osama bin Laden. (Of course, the difference is that 9/11 was at best something Bush had no responsibility for and at worst a colossal blunder, while killing bin Laden is an actual accomplishment.)
- GOOD OLD ‘SOUR GRAPES’ JOHN MCCAIN who lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama, harshly criticized him for politicizing the death of Osama bin Laden, which he called the “height of hypocrisy.” – John McCain: Obama Playing Politics With Anniversary Of Bin Laden’s Death
- BUT REMEMBER THE 2008 CAMPAIGN AND JOHN MCCAIN’S ‘SUPER SECRET PLAN’ to capture bin Laden? John McCain says in almost every stump speech that he knows how to capture Osama bin Laden and that he’d follow the al Qaeda leader to the “Gates of Hell.” So Washington Wire was wondering, what does McCain know that President Bush and the Pentagon don’t about how to sweep up America’s most elusive enemy. If there are “certain policies and procedures” that could lead to OBL’s detention, and a president could implement those policies and procedures now, why wouldn’t McCain stop by the Oval Office for a chat with Bush about how best to proceed? By McCain’s own reasoning, it sounds like he’d rather let bin Laden remain free for another year, until McCain and his “own ideas” can get to work. – McCain’s ‘secret plan’ to get bin Laden
Thank God Cantor is there to fight for the rich, the corporate powers, the wealthiest among us, whose incomes have increased three-fold in the past few decades while the rest of us have seen our incomes flat-line or disappear. Cantor is fighting to continue the bottom to top income redistribution that Reagan started and GWB continued:
Last night, President Obama and Eric Cantor exchanged harsh words over the debt ceiling, and on the Senate floor just now, Harry Reid uncorked a harsh attack on Cantor that suggests Dems are embarking on a new strategy: Isolating Cantor as the new public face of GOP intransigence.
Reid’s remarks are worth quoting at length:
Even Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell seem to understand the seriousness of the situation. They are willing to negotiate in good faith, which I appreciate, and the country apppreciates.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has shown he couldn’t be at the table, and Republicans agree he shouldn’t be at the table. One Republican told Politico last night, “he lost a lot of credibility when he walked away from the table. It was childish.”
We had negotiations going here in a room a short jog from here, and he walked out on the meeting…It was childish. Another Republican said Cantor is putting himself first. He said: “He is all about Eric.” End of quote.
The time for personal gain and political posturing are over. It’s time to put our economy and our country first. The risks we face are simply too great. We don’t need to take my word for it. More than 300 respected business leaders wrote to Congress night before last to make it clear how serious this crisis really is.
Accounts of what happened last night vary, but the one thing they all agree upon is that Cantor played a lead role in telling the President that revenue increases simply aren’t going to happen, and that Obama didn’t react kindly to it.
The Daily Beast reports, President Obama pushed back against the mounting menu of spending cuts while the tax column on the negotiating sheets remained blank. He asked the Republican leaders how they expected him to take their proposals seriously.
Is it good faith to suggest all sorts of cuts to services and programs like Medicare, or like students should start paying interest on their student loans while they’re still in school, while you’re demanding the rich not be touched at all, that there is no way the tax cuts should expire on the wealthiest?
All cuts, no new revenue! Adults don’t think like this.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
President Obama is pushing back against a Republican effort to end the in-school interest subsidy on federal student loans, The Daily Beast reports.
According to the news site’s report, the president reacted angrily when the House majority leader, Rep. Eric I. Cantor, proposed the cut during deficit-reduction talks on Tuesday. Sources said the president objected to the Republicans’ growing list of spending-cut proposals and lack of compromise on the tax-increase side, saying, “I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to take money from old people and screw students.”
For you, Eric Cantor: