Last May, Mitt Romney talked to a room full of wealthy donors about the leeches on the American system. The video has just surfaced and it has put Mitt Romney further on the defensive.
Romney criticized the forty seven percent of Americans that pay no federal income taxes for being people that take no responsibility for their lives.
It should be noted that about 60 percent of the no good bums that pay no federal income taxes do pay federal payroll taxes.
Most of the forty seven percent are elderly or disabled or poor – especially the 18 percent who pay no payroll tax either. No doubt even that 18 percent of the poorest Americans pay some form of state or local taxes.
But Romney’s construct is important: it is federal benefits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit that push low wage earners into the forty seven percent.
Other deductions push Americans tax burden lower – like the deductions for student loans, home mortgages, health care costs and charitable deductions. I guess that makes us all subsidized Americans. But better Americans because we pay some federal income tax.
Romney was mute on how he applies this construct to others that receive government subsidies like the residents of the state of Alaska or farmers.
Clearly by Romney’s definition these are people to look down on as well since they are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their lives either and chose a life of dependence on government checks.
This view of America is complete madness. Today’s GOP is engaged in the worst of all possible forms of class warfare. They have derided and written off half of America, which is unbelievable for a presidential candidate, and cast stones from their expensive glass mansions.
What makes this statement so much worse is the hypocrisy and the arrogance.
No one makes out as well in the rigged tax code as Mitt Romney, and people of his ilk, that are able to hide their money in the Cayman Islands and Swiss bank accounts with drug dealers, terrorists and money launderers.
Romney benefits from treating his income in a way that is taxed at a lower rate than a coal miner’s. He even claims his dressage horse as a deduction. An $80,000 deduction.
In his business life, Romney profited from bailouts from the FDIC and from the Federal Pension Guarantee Corporation as well as the protections that bankruptcy courts provide corporate raiders like Romney to make billions while running a company into the ground.
Mitt Romney, if you want to talk about mooches and freeloaders that take advantage of the system then grow a spine and show America your tax returns. Let’s see what you really pay as a percentage. Let’s see what deductions you take. Let’s see how addicted to federal benefits you are.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.