Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If Romney’s Class Warfare Comment Doesn’t Drive the Rest of the 99% from Him, Nothing Will!

I 've always been mystified, since Mitt Romney became the Repug nominee, how the polls could show such a tight race and minimal spread. I argued that if the “99%" meme actually existed (as portrayed by Occupy Wall Street and others) then Obama ought to have been blowing Romney away – by at least 20-30 pts. See, e.g. my April blog about one month before Romney made his “47%” remark at a Florida country club gathering of billionaires:

Now that the “cat is out of the bag” and Romney’s actual intentions and dismissive regard for the less wealthy is known, one wonders if we can expect a turning point in the polls and finally huge separation. (Some swing states, e.g. Wisconsin, are showing a 5-6 point separation.) This would indicate that those included in the 47% who are Romney followers – either receiving gov’t benefits, or expecting them, say in VA disability or Social Security- finally get it, that this guy is NOT their friend and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about their welfare. Do they at last get it that Romney’s made no pretense that he wouldn't be the president of all Americans, only the wealthiest? Or are they suffering so much from “Obama Derangement Syndrome” and just ditching Obama they don’t really care about their own well being?

Let us note that Willard Mitt made it clear in his comments (see link to video in previous blog) that “capital will come back and we’ll see — without actually doing anything — we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.” In other words, big time trickle-down economics in the 21st century.

This is exactly the “Judas Economy” so well described by William Wolman and Anne Colamosca in the book: The Judas Economy: The Triumph of Capital and the Betrayal of Work. Therein they described how, for example, private equity pirates and vampires (like at Romney while at Bain Capital) were responsible not for job creation but job destruction to amass vast wealth at the expense of ordinary people, like Joe Soptic. The mode of achieving this was varied but the results always the same: workers losing jobs and either not regaining employment or making such low wages they declined in income to the point they entered the 1 in 6 class of those in poverty. And thus, earning too little to pay income taxes. The very thing Willard Mitt railed against in his May polemic.

Methods of job destruction, to remind readers, included leveraged buyouts of companies then selling them off for a song (and taking tax writeoffs) or sending them into bankruptcy – as an excuse to ditch workers, as well as sending jobs overseas altogether leaving Americans with zippo and cat food to eat from dumpster diving.

THIS is what Romney would bring back and he felt safe enough to own up to it for once at the gathering of the wealthy. Let’s also bear in mind that his subtext is exposing more Americans to the perverse economics embedded in the Pareto Distribution which function is to magnify inequality over time, e.g.

What ought to really gall Romney –supporting working class citizens is the dismissive regard Romney has for them. They are dissed as de facto freeloaders and moochers “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.” It was not his job as a candidate OR as president if he is elected, “to worry about those people.”

In other words, go fuck yourselves. Or to use the “more elegant” parlance of Romney’s soul mate, Herbert Spencer,

They can avail themselves of whatever charity they might find” or ….if that fails, “If they are not sufficiently complete to live….. it is best that they should die."

Quite obviously, even the most rudimentary intellect ought to be able to process and see that any president who doesn’t acknowledge health care as a human right or having enough to eat, has to be fully prepared to let people die. Oh, unless they can secure charity aid, which tens of millions will surely be competing for if Willard Mitt goes ahead and cuts food stamps by one third, leaving starving kids from sea to shining sea.

By Romney’s own definition, the needy “victims” he bitches to his rich cohort about, include workers in low-paying jobs who don’t even earn $9,750 a year, the threshold level at which they would start to owe federal income tax. By definition, he also includes older Americans whose Social Security pensions are too low to be taxed , disabled veterans and people who were maimed on the job.

All of these folks can go fly a kite, suck sand or eat shit. Romney doesn’t give a flying fart in the wind. No matter his squirming now in the aftermath, he expressed his true feelings at that confab, feeling quite safe that only fellow rich farts would be able to afford the $50,000 per head dinner tab. Alas, for him, one of the attendees viddied the Romney spiel. Then, James Carter IV (grandson of Jimmy) tracked down a snippet of it on You tube, before tracking down the source and talking him into turning over the original tape under promise of confidentiality and the tape was later conveyed to David Corn at Mother Jones.

Corn's mission and that of Mother Jones was to try to show the not-wealthy who support Romney they are really digging their own graves. The problem is false consciousness, and we've no idea how many working class people or those getting gov't benefits are in this group. Cornell University's University's Suzanne Metzler's research has shown too many Americans receiving benefits from the government have no clue that they are. If this is so then people who'd otherwise be personally offended by Romney's crass remarks may instead think he's talking about “undeserving blacks and lazy welfare cheats". These people desperately need a wake up call that the Mittster is talking about THEM!

Make no mistake that by his blanket definition, the “47%” group also includes some middle-income Americans who make, say, $50,000 a year but are not required to pay taxes after they take advantage of child tax credits, marriage penalty relief and other breaks, many of which were originally part of the Bush-era tax cuts that Mr. Romney backs with a blind ideological fervor.

Would Romney ordinarily have spoken so cynically, so brutally, with so little compassion? Hell NO! Bear in mind Mitt was not talking to ordinary flesh and blood Americans but stratospheric wealthy capitalist pigs. These are the elites who make so much money that they’re able to use tax avoidance schemes to not pay any income tax at all or who, like Romney, are able to shelter their incomes in overseas banks.

Rachel Maddow last night exposed another facet of Romney’s own lies concerning his own taxes: showing a clip from a Republican debate in which he confronted Newt Gingrich . Hence, his reference two months ago to paying “13%” in taxes was not to income tax but for capital gains taxes after using tax loopholes. Had Romney been paying actual federal income taxes it would've been at the 35% level. This has enabled him to pretend that ordinary income comes from investment and thus lower taxes.

More than ever, therefore, we need to see ALL of Romney’s tax returns for at least the past ten years – which is exactly the same standard he imposed on his Veep running mate Ryan: ten years of back returns or we dump you! How about following your own standards that you apply to your VP nominee, Mitt?

Meanwhile, as I noted in the previous blog, Romney’s characterization of his mythical slice of victimized, mooching, shiftless Americans was flat out wrong. The vast majority of Americans pay SOME form of taxes: either federal income taxes, state income tax, property taxes or payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare — or both — as well as other federal fees. They also pay local taxes and sales taxes.

Thus, the Repuke meme that taxes need to be raised ON THE POOR – has no ballast. One can’t cut or squeeze blood out of stone. The poor have no more to give, can barely sustain themselves, and so the federal revenue problem does not pivot on the poor and needy and their level of taxes. NO, it hinges on taxing where the money is, on the richest. (And in my opinion at least the Bush tax cuts for the Middle class must also be sunset).

My opinion is that Romney’s candidacy, in the light of his contemptuous revelations, has put his campaign on the respirator, and now the plug merely needs to be pulled. Make no mistake that Barack will do that in the upcoming debates!

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