Mitt Romney really steps in it at May fundraiser

Yeah, Republican presidential nominee Mitt “.1%” Romney is a real man of the people.

During a private fundraiser on May 17 of this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don’t assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them.

When asked by a donor at the event in question about how he could prevail in November, Romney said,

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent 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 the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Romney went on to say that it wasn’t his job to worry about “those people,” because he’d never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Here’s some video of Romney’s comments.

There’s been no word (at least not that I’ve seen) from Mitt Romney’s campaign as to whether or not Mitt Romney considers the 7,000 millionaires who paid no income taxes in 2011 to be among the 47 percent of Americans that he feels he could never convince to take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

In other news relating to the May 2012 fundraiser at which Mitt Romney made his comments, May Mother Jones is reporting that the fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of private equity manager Marc Leder, who according to Mother Jones has a history of hosting risque parties at his Hamptons estate.


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14 thoughts on “Mitt Romney really steps in it at May fundraiser

  1. Much to flesh out here. First, Romney’s contempt for average people should come as no surprise. In Romney-world, they are average or below average whereas Romney is not. He is among the meritorious profiteering free marketeers. He and those in Romney-world value people and rank people according to wealth not upon their worth as individuals or by their very nature – as human beings. His audience for this comment is Romney-world, the creators and perpetrators of his Right Wing message: That 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes – implying the tax burden in this nation falls upon the wealthy (a message which also diminishes the significance of the negative tax burden on corporate non-people).

    Which taxes are in question here? Is he making the argument that Congressional GOP extremists have made in the recent past? If he is, then he’s flat out lying about those 47% not paying any taxes at all. Two-thirds of them still paid payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and a slew of other taxes.

    If he’s actually referencing the people in this country that pay no taxes at all then he’s really proven himself to be a cad and unfit to govern. If it’s the latter then he’s talking about college students; the working poor earning under $20,000 a year and the working poor earning $30,000 or less with children – those tax credits and exemptions going mostly to the children of the working poor; the impoverished poor; the elderly, retired and collecting social security; Americans with disabilities of varying degree and kind; and the unemployed who are unemployed due to the inherent flaws within his precious “free” market, these people will pay more in taxes if and when they are gainfully employed. There’s your 47% who don’t pay taxes.

    Of course, Romney doesn’t include in this group the 7000 millionaires who pay $0.00 in federal income taxes.

    Romney neglects to mention that the bulk of those who don’t pay taxes and are not millionaires are clustered into the red states, in other words those states that are most likely to give Romney their electoral votes. The blue states most likely to vote for Obama have the lowest percentage of “entitlement” disbursements and the highest amount in taxes paid.

    To be fair, his strategy of reaching out to the so-called “independent” voter is Obama’s strategy as well. As the lesser of two evils Obama has had his own variety of pretty offensive rhetoric that doesn’t stray too far from Romney’s point. Obama’s stump speeches have often spoken to those “people who work hard,” he’s more than once addressed college students “challenging them to work hard.” Obama’s rhetoric implies whereas Romney just states it flat out – average Americans aren’t “succeeding” because they’re not “trying hard enough” or “working hard enough” or “putting in enough effort.”

    Nothing could be more offensive. Americans work longer and harder for less than most of the advanced nations in the world. American college students juggle employment and studies and they live like paupers enduring untold stress when their time and attention should be devoted to study. 50 million Americans live in poverty because they are not working hard enough? They aren’t innovating entrepreneurs? They’re just sitting around and waiting for those “job creators” to create jobs? 2 million people in this country don’t pay taxes and are homeless because they don’t have enough “umph?”

    Romney’s comments are those of a savage fiend, there’s no doubt about it. But Obama isn’t far behind if he continues to defend an untenable economic system which he does at every turn. Obama does no one any service by not advocating and creating a vigorous government when Anti-Government elitists like Romney are using everything at their near limitless disposal to end government. Obama will likely denounce Romney as callous and out of touch but I doubt he he will round out his message by taking the position that the “free” market that Romney claims will liberate those “dependent” upon government is the very force that created the conditions for their “dependence.” I doubt Obama will have the courage to say that the “free” market as it stands does not empower people, does not foster financial independence and economic liberty, and is not an appropriate paradigm for a democratic society.

  2. Let’s talk about the “7000 millionaires.” The article you cite claims there are three reasons “those people” were able to drastically reduce income tax liabilities:

    1) “Tax tricks.”
    2) Relying heavily on investment income.
    3) Loss, catastrophe, etc.

    The first is an issue Romney has addressed stating that he will close the loopholes that one would fall under the “tricks” category.
    So that leaves the other two. Would you prefer we go after investment income more? Do we really want to discourage investment at a time when the economy has become stagnant under Obama?
    Lastly, do you want to eliminate the breaks for those people facing illness or some other personal devastation?

    The article you cite falls more in line with Romney than with the divisive brand of rhetoric from Obama.

  3. I’m trying to find a map that I saw not that long ago that showed where most of the people on food stamps and welfare live (majority white, BTW). Guess what? They live in red states, and they vote Republican cuz they luv thar guns. These are the folks that really are the majority of GOP voters, and they completely ignore that reality. SO SICK of the GOP acting like welfare and food stamps make people victims.

  4. I wonder if PJ were a speech writer tasked with ensuring President Obama’s reelection would commit to The President saying “the ‘free’ market….is not an appropriate paradigm for a democratic society?” Because that is all most people would hear. Just askin’.

  5. Liberals are upset not at what he said but the fact that someone is finally willing to tell the truth about Democrats and the entitlement society they are trying to create. Just amazed at the fake outrage about the truth.

    1. jwayne,
      Your persistence is admirable, but your propagandism still clear as an un-mudded lake. You know as well as anyone which side of the political isle manufactures rage – it is the right wing side of the aisle. You have not been above the feigned outrage yourself. The truth is Romney’s entire campaign is layered lies and stratified mendacity repeated over and over and over again. I don’t see any liberal anger here on this thread or elsewhere, but I do see a lot of gobsmacked Conservative commentators outside of the Right Wing propaganda machine. Liberals aren’t angry, jwayne. But you just go on and consign your head deeper into the sand with your woozy-addled analyses.

  6. LZ Granderson at CNN found the demographics I was looking for:

    “Eight of the 10 states with the highest percentage of filers who didn’t pay federal income taxes are red states that voted for John McCain in 2008: Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Idaho. Only New Mexico and Florida voted for Obama. Conversely, of the 10 states with the lowest percentage of filers who didn’t pay federal income taxes, seven voted for Obama. Only Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota voted for McCain.

    So if you were at that May 17 dinner at Marc Leder’s home in Boca Raton when Romney said all of these people who don’t pay income taxes voted for Obama — he lied, or didn’t know his facts.”

  7. The fact that Mr. “Rockerfeller” Romney feels no need to disclose how his tax reform will affect the lower and middle class is a true testament to his loyalty to the 1%. I’m sure that he didn’t factor in many of those recipients who would rather not be in an entitlement program, but I digress. The irony is that instead of apologizing for potentially offending those Americans which, in his mind, he’d rather not serve, he tries to clean it up by saying it wasn’t “elegantly stated”. What in the world is that?

  8. Remember when the right wingers mantrawas Obam’s eliitist?……… Time to turn tables on these dudes. Hammer it home.

    Oh wait. Corporations are people too, aren’t they? 😉

  9. It’s important to note that of the 47% of Americans who don’t pay taxes as cited by Mitt Romney, just over 10% of those who don’t pay taxes are actually senior citizens.

  10. I think the worse statement is that Romney “doesn’t have to worry” about people who don’t pay federal income taxes. He’s literally telling 150 million Americans that they don’t matter, and that their needs are irrelevant and will be ignored. That should get him disqualified on the spot.

    And Zach- To go a step further, a majority of those 47%ers DO pay payroll taxes like Social Security and Medicare, and a big reason they don’t owe federal income taxes are work-encouraging programs like EITC and the Child Tax Credit.

  11. Roland,

    I didn’t cite an article. We can discuss the one you cite if you wish, if so provide the link. I did find one that looked like the one you’re referring to:

    If this the article you are referencing? If so, I could certainly see how you could conclude that it supports Romney’s position.

    To my knowledge, Romney hasn’t disclosed precisely which loopholes he is committed to closing. He hasn’t put those specifics together into a plan where, as Ryan might put it, he’s “run the numbers,” so Romney hasn’t addressed #1 as you suggest. Nor do we know how Romney would pay for the undisclosed tax cuts which is equally important. If he has provided a detailed plan, that would be the best document to work from. That way we can see how the specifics in Romney’s plan impact those 7000 millionaires.
    Do you have a link for Romney’s detailed plan we can work from? If you do, perhaps you could send it to the Tax Policy Center so Romney’s plan can be independently analyzed. Thus far they’ve run what numbers they could per Romney’s broad strokes and broad goals, and per his own instructions; and any way the numbers go, it is a disaster for the middle class and the poor. Here’s a link to the analysis:

    Romney’s plan doesn’t cut taxes for the 47% he so disdains, it raises their tax burden simultaneously lowering it for households making $200,000 or more.

    As to discouraging investment: the Bush tax cuts didn’t encourage investment as they were intended to do so you are operating under a false premise to begin with. Investment and GDP have historically been higher with higher top tax rates. Dividends, capital gains etc. should be taxed as regular working income. You’re working from a “pre-creation” thesis which upturns who job creators really are. The GOP’s notion of “job creators” aren’t “job creators” until they actually create jobs. Can’t call them “job creators” until, not before, they create jobs. Those “job creating investors” aren’t job creators. The actual job creators are consumers who create demand.

    Here’s a graphic to put the concept of higher tax rates in perspective. G.W.’s tax breaks resulted in the worst growth rate in GDP compared to every other president in the modern world. Romney and the GOP suggest those tax cuts should be made permanent. Vigorous investment doesn’t occur with lower marginal tax rates.

    As to investment losses bringing taxable income from 1 million or more to 0 – kind of defeats the purpose of risk doesn’t it? In the article you cite, Robertson Williams from the Tax Policy Center indicates that loss from investment boils down to individual choice: “relying heavily on investments.” He says “You can attribute some of those 7000 non-tax payers to investment choices they made…” There’s no reason for the American people to subsidize investment risk for investment gamblers. After all, shouldn’t those gamblers be taking personal responsibility for themselves? Isn’t that what capitalism is all about – winners and losers? Isn’t that Romney’s overall message? Why should those who take investment risks and lose be subsidized for their losses by the government, by the American people? Williams doesn’t actually break down those numbers so there is no way to analyze the ratio of loss to remaining income. Therefore it still falls into category 1: tax tricks. If taxable income is reduced due to misfortune then we have to discuss the lost wealth of those in the lower tax brackets due to the crisis of 2008 – that’s a huge sum and would need to be figured in for reasonable analysis and a comprehensive solution.

    Perhaps you should think about reentering our universe. If it wasn’t obvious before (and it was) the 47% video is clearly demonstrative of who is the divisive candidate – it’s Romney. As much as the Right Wing propagandasphere would like to spin it otherwise, Obama is not the one who is waging class warfare. That is being effected by Romney, the GOP, and its allies. As Jonathan Chait points out “The Real Romney Caught On Tape Turns Out To Be A Sneering Plutocrat.”

    I’m not an Obama supporter, but I will defend him against unjust nonsense like the kind you are peddling. He hasn’t done what I’d like to see, but for the most part he has tried to represent all Americans. Romney does not and would not were he elected president.

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