Romney Doesn’t Care About Half of America—The GOP Half!

Romney Doesn’t Care About Half of America—The GOP Half! September 18, 2012

Lots has been said and lots more will be said about the glimpse into Romney’s soul we got from his candid remarks at a closed door fundraiser.  It’s mind-boggling and scary that anyone hoping to be President of the United States would be willing to so absolutely dismiss half of America as lazy victims who will never be able to be “convinced to take personal responsibility of their own lives.” 

There are so many problems with that statement that I could never hope to tease them all out in a single post.  It shows us what Romney really thinks about regular workers and families, and it’s scary.   But what is perhaps most disappointing about Romney’s prejudices and dismissal of regular Americans–and especially American families struggling to make ends meet—is that he is just completely wrong in his assumptions.

The group he is dismissing as politically unimportant and socially worthless is mostly Republican!  With the exception of swing state Florida, the top 10 states with the highest percentage of the population not paying income taxes are the reddest states in the country.  And when you look at who doesn’t pay in Flordia (retirees and lower-income workers in the panhandle), most of them are Republicans too.  The red states in the map below aren’t  “Red” because they are so Republican.  They are red to show they are the states with the most families Romney doesn’t believe its his job to worry about and who will never be convinced to take responsibility for their own lives.  If you look closely, you’ll see that the trend continues with states 11-15 and so-on as well.

The reason Romney’s political geography is so badly skewed is that his understanding of who these “dependent victims” are is so off.  First and foremost, they are human beings…children of God, with hopes and fears, trying to make it and care for their families.  They are not statistics or problems or worthless.  They are our neighbors.  They matter and have worth.  But since that argument is not likely to break through with the heartless Ayn Rand crowd now controlling the GOP, let’s try some other ones.

Twenty-two percent of the group Romney says has no interest in taking responsibility of their own life are retirees living on their Social Security.  Another 17% are either students or people too disabled to work (often as a result of injuries from the job).  Then 60% are low-income workers, many of which have a full-time job.  After these workers take their child tax credit and deduct charitable giving, they don’t make enough to pay income taxes.  Heck, 20% of Americans working full time don’t make enough to keep their family out of poverty, even with both parents working full time!  It’s also important to note that these workers Romney dismisses as not contributing to society or paying their fair share actually pay more in federal payroll taxes (15%) than Romney did in the one year of taxes he released (13.9%). 

At the end of the day, the comments show what many already knew.  Romney’s similarity to the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man is more than just in affect and movement.  He has no heart.  But when one considers that he is attacking and dismissing his political base along with seniors, students, and those struggling most right now in this economy, it’s clear he also has a lot in common with the Scarecrow.  And the last thing we need right now is a President with no heart or brain.

Twitter: @SappEric

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  • Alex

    The difference between Wyoming and Idaho surprises me; I would have expected those two states to be as similar on this measure as they seem to be by most other demographics.

  • John

    Romney has no heart/soul – really? Is that intellectlly honest? The man served his church as what we would call an elder, deacon, and chaplain. I don’t think the Mormons have their theology correct but to call him heartless after hearing some of the stories of the people in his stake that he has helped – you are slandering the man. Our current President definately lacks a brain and doesn’t have much heart when you hear how he has treated some of his last living relatives.

    • Denise

      You are pointing out a contradiction in the man. On the one hand, he has served people kindly. On the other hand, he is often callous and dismissive. Which is it? Having been in the church all my life, I have seen hyposcrisy before.

      • ToronadoBlue

        You could say the same about Obama, on one hand he says he has to be President to all people, but on the other hand he thinks of many as “Bitter Clingers”.

        I’ve seen hypocrisy too

  • I understand the illusion that you are trying to make, but think that in making it you are disparaging the Scarecrow. While the Scarecrow didn’t have book smarts, the Scarecrow was extremely thoughtful, understood people, and read emotions very well.
    If you want to use the Scarecrow right in this, you could say that just because one has book smarts doesn’t mean that they have the thoughtfulness that the Scarecrow exhibits.
    Just a suggestion.

  • Perry L Stepp

    Sheesh. Do you understand English?

    Do you really think Romney meant “I don’t care about the needs of these people,” rather than “I’m not campaigning to get the votes of these people”? The latter certainly fits the context (a meeting with campaign donors) better. It’s also what Romney has indicated was the point of his somewhat ambiguous statement.

    (Do you really believe Obama hasn’t given up on earning the votes of vast swaths of the American public, he just doesn’t have the slobbering class trying to make him look bad with a recording of a statement to that effect?)

    I guess it’s just part of our politics and our fallenness as humans; when someone we disagree with says something that can be interpreted in two ways, we’ll choose the way that casts our opponent in the worst light.

    • Denise

      I think he said what he meant. He was with his own kind that evening and he let his hair down, so to speak. He complained that the 47 percent feel that they are “entitled” to “healthcare, food, and housing.” Well, aren’t we all entitled to these basic needs — in the richest country in the world?

      • ToronadoBlue

        I’m all for helping those who can’t help themselves, but for those who maintain a culture of dependency, I’m all for helping them to live a responsible life independent of government nannyism. (especially in this era of massive government debt that is stealing from future generations of children and retirees)

        • Let’s not forget what else Mr. Romney said in that same answer:
          “I can’t convince them to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and care for their lives.”
          Now, I knew what he meant in the first part of his answer—there is a group that are not going to vote for him. Whether that amount is 47% or not is not really the point. Where the problem comes in, as I see it, is that he tied together 1)the group that is absolutely not going to vote for him; 2)the group of people who, for whatever reason, do not pay federal income tax (forgetting that a number of them do pay state income taxes); 3)some of those who are receiving assistance; 4)those who don’t want to take personal responsibility for their lives. Those are four very separate groups, even if there are some who are in more than one group.
          If Mr. Romney had stuck to the first part of his answer, there wouldn’t be any controversy; every side acknowledges that there is a group of people who are absolutely not going to vote for them. The problem occurs because Mr. Romney tied too many people to that group and then made bad assumptions about them.

          • ToronadoBlue

            So maybe what he should have said is that this percentage of people who won’t vote for him are not entirely dependent on the government, …yet.

          • Ted Seeber

            I believe on a Venn Diagram, there would be some overlap between those 4 groups, but not as much as that group of donors would claim.

            I also believe the Etch-A-Sketch Candidate has you all fooled, and that these remarks were about as candid as his position on abortion.

  • ToronadoBlue
    Obama campaign will stop trying to win the working class white vote.

    Does that mean that Obama doesn’t care about poor whites?

  • Ted Seeber

    It was a closed door fundraiser. What makes you think the Etch-A-Sketch candidate was treating that group of constituents any differently than any other group of constituents?

    In other words, why isn’t this just another lie to a minority demographic?

    • ToronadoBlue

      Why did the Democrat party pull God from the platform… then reinstate over the ‘boos’ of their constituents?
      Before going for the speck in Romney’s eye… you might want to remove that gigantic plank from yours.

  • Anya

    A man who donates 30% of his income to charity hardly sound heartless. What percentage did the Obama’s donate?