As you have probably heard, Mitt Romney was secretly recorded at a fundraiser saying this:
“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. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
It is, in fact, true that around 47% of Americans don’t pay income taxes, though they do pay payroll and sales taxes, among others. I pose to you two possible reactions:
(1) This is terrible! Everyone should pay something, if only a little, to make them full stakeholders in America. These people who pay nothing are the constituency for raising taxes on everyone else!
(2) This is good! The government takes too much of people’s income in taxes as it is. We should increase the number of people who pay nothing, to the point of eliminating the income tax altogether.
Which is the more conservative reaction?
Of course, it’s another matter to say that this same 47% is also dependent, entitled, irresponsible, and the rest of Romney’s insinuations. I know quite a few of these folks who aren’t that way. Many of them are staunch conservatives.
Does this statement show that Romney feels contempt for almost half of the nation that he aspires to lead? Does this statement–another example of his proclivity for undiplomatic, undisciplined, and careless statements–show him to be undiplomatic, undisciplined, and careless? Do this make you think he is less than presidential material?