Mitt Romney, I explained, had been secretly (and, under Florida law, illegally, I might add … not that Democrats have any respect for the law) video recorded at a private fundraiser a few months ago, and he’d been asked a question about his campaign strategy (the recording was sold to the uber-leftist Mother Jones magazine by the unemployed grandson of Jimmy Carter, a point I find deliciously appropriate). In response, he replied “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … 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’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; 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years.”
“And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful … ”
The problem with Romney’s statement, I explained, was not that it was wrong, but that it was dead-on in both fact and principle (if a bit disjointed in combining two different issues). Fact: According to Treasury Department tax records, more than 46 percent of all American households pay ZERO income tax. Fact: Under President Obama, there has been a concerted effort to expand the welfare state for the purpose of creating a permanent voting bloc for Democrats by driving the entire burden of paying for government as far up the income scale as possible, alleviating these people of any tax burden in exchange for their votes. Democrats do this by painting Romney as “out of touch” due to his wealth, with Obama constantly pounding the class warfare drum and demanding the rich “pay their fair share,” despite the fact that the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay just under 40 percent of all income taxes, and the top 10 percent (a level including those earning as little as $159,000) pay over 90 percent of all income taxes.
In prepared remarks, Romney would have done a better job of explaining that many of those 47 percent are in that position because Obama’s policies have devastated their earnings and savings. These are the people that don’t want a handout, but just want government to get out of the way and let them get back to the business of creating wealth. Some of these are the elderly and veterans who’ve served their country honorably.
On the other hand, despite the politically correct demand that we not acknowledge it, most Americans also know there is a large and growing segment of the population which are career welfare recipients. These people not only expect, but actually demand, that taxpayers provide them with housing, food, education, heating subsidies, and a plethora of handouts. These are the able-bodied but lazy, parasites with their heads buried up to their necks in the public trough, greedily eating up as much as they can for as long as they can. These are the people celebrated by Obama and the Democrats as somehow deserving of living off the labor of others. Under Obama, 46.5 million Americans are on food stamps, up by 14.6 million since he took office, and 50 percent of Americans now live in a household where someone gets direct federal assistance. Democrats are actually advertising to get more people on some type of welfare.
Just consider the theme of the Democrat National Convention. It was all about what government can and should do for people, rather than how government can facilitate people achieving independence. We were treated to 30-year old Sandra Fluke, the eternal law student who demands taxpayers pay for her birth control. She reminded me of Obama’s short-lived “Julia” campaign earlier this year in which a fictional woman recounts all of the high points in her life to which she owed thanks to the government. Mitt Romney was absolutely right. These people who demand government provide for their every need will never, ever vote for him. These are Obama’s lemmings, all too ready to follow him over the cliff.
Romney, to his everlasting credit, refused to recant his words, and reiterated his comments to a heckler months ago when he said “If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for, vote for the other guy … That’s what he’s all about, OK? That’s not, that’s not what I’m all about.” He hammered away at the fact that Obama wants socialist wealth redistribution. House Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer angrily denied such claims, saying “I don’t know that any Democrat believes redistribution of wealth is the end of government … it is not.” Apparently, he has not been introduced to his party’s leader, Barack Obama, who told “Joe the Plumber” that we need to spread the wealth around, and said “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”
If that was not clear enough, we can go back to Obama’s comments at Loyola University before he became more “nuanced” as a presidential candidate. Said Obama, "There has been a systematic, uh, uh, I don't think it is too strong to call it a propaganda campaign, uh, against the possibility of government action and its efficacy. … As we try to resuscitate this notion that we are all in this together … the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that actually pool resources and hence facilitate redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution."
In closing my comments to my children, I explained that Mitt Romney understands that dependency and sloth is corrosive to the human spirit. It makes us resentful of ourselves and of those on whose handouts we depend. He understands that we are at a tipping point, where growing debt will collapse the economy, and the only way out lies not in dividing up pieces of a shrinking pie, but growing the pie and branching out into cakes and cookies. Charity is an essential but individual endeavor, and NOT the role of government. Fleecing the rich even more will just ensure an equality of poverty for us all.
Socialist playwright George Bernard Shaw once said that “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” In this election, we will see whether the majority chooses to be the industrious and entrepreneurial Peter, or the slothful, envious, entitlement-minded Paul. That decision will determine whether our republic survives.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.