Posted on 18-09-2012
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

The political world is buzzing with the scoop by David Corn of Mother Jones, who posted video of Mitt Romney unplugged at a fundraiser.  The video below has attracted the most attention.

 

 

At some level Mitt Romney’s disdain for the economically underprivileged is hardly surprising.  Republicans and other defenders of the “suffering” wealthy have been peddling the silly statistic peddled by Romney above.   Ezra Klein notes just how misleading this statistic it.  Also see here.  The 47% Romney casts as moochers on the public dole are succinctly broken down by the chart below from the tax policy center.

 

 

It is troubling that a man whose candidacy is based on his alleged knowledge of the economy gleaned from a very successful career as a tax arbitrage corporate raider is so clueless about this basic issue, or perhaps does not give a damn.

A few of interesting oversights by Mr. Romney must be noted here.  28.3% of the mooching 47% pay payroll tax.  As a result they probably pay a higher tax rate than the plutocrat running for President – Romney’s tax burden is paid largely through capital gains tax and he likely paid no payroll tax the last few years.  And seriously, does Romney really mean to tax the elderly living off their savings/and or social security to further reduce taxes for people of his class? Given his vague plans sprinkled with pixie dust, who knows.

Speaking of handouts, the reason Romney pays so little in taxes is because of a sweetheart handout granted by the government to people like him for the management of venture capital firms.  It is also a bit rich for a man who said it was a qualification for the presidency to not pay more taxes than due to denigrate the poor for not paying taxes when they had no capacity to do so.

Sensing trouble for an already reeling campaign, Romney tried to dismiss this as speaking off the cuff in a hastily convened press conference (consisting of three questions and a hurried retreat from journalists). Video below:

 

 

This is the latest bout of condescension from a fabulously wealthy candidate who has shown no ability to relate to people outside his economic class. The partisans committed to removing Obama may not care, but I wonder how this will play with independents.

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