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Thoughts on Romney's statements...

Romney: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what."

Boy, I hope so.

Romney: "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government..."

Of course, we're dependent on government. A population of over 130 million people is far too large to organize without its being managed through some kind of government. Does Romney really believe we have no dependence on government, i.e. we need no government? Is he, in fact, an anarchist? If so, why is he running for President of a government he feels is not necessary?

Romney: "... [47 percent] who believe that they are victims..."

I do to an extent. It depends on what you mean by victim. I certainly feel victimized by a social structure that enriches a tiny majority with ridiculous profits at the expense of funding for things like my--socially very important--job so that I'm underpaid and constantly in fear of losing my job. I feel victimized by living in one of the richest nations in the world but being alone among developed nations in having no reliable access to a doctor, in having my access to a doctor contingent on staying in job that is underpaid and I may lose anyway in a few years because my other immediate options would certainly provide no benefits.

Now, if by "victim" one means a mindset in which one does not put one's back into hoeing one's row (however horrible the soil), then I hope I'm not a victim. I do work very hard and dream hard, too, about possibilities for building a life I'd like. I'm like most Americans I've met in this.

Romney: "... [47 percent] 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. "

"You-name-it," of course, has no content. To this list, I would add "education." Beyond that, I can't think of anything I feel financially entitled to, except perhaps fair remuneration for seizures for eminent domain or of property by the police.

I sincerely wish I lived in a country in which 47 percent of the population believed in these entitlements. If I did, we might be well on the way to a genuine social democracy, in which all people are granted a basic right to life with basic dignity. Alas, I don't believe Romney's numbers are correct here. I encounter comparatively few Americans who really believe in this piece of common sense (even in my mostly Democratic town, in my mostly Democratic state).

Romney: "These [47 percent] are people who pay no income tax."

Here's an interesting article on why people don't pay income tax.

The statement that this 47 percent is identical to those who believe in entitlements is false: I pay income tax and I believe in entitlements.

(Romney text via Mother Jones)


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