Here's what (Mitt) Romney said at a private May fund-raiser, which Mother Jones has just gotten around to reporting: "There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% 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."This was captured by a discretely placed video camera at the aforementioned fundraiser. I find it interesting that leftists were so indignant about uses of "hidden cameras" when someone like James O'Keefe exposed corrupt lefty institutions like ACORN and NPR, yet are celebrating supposed "Truth to Power" here.
But I digress.
While Romney is right to point out that nearly half of Americans are on the government dole today, his analysis, as Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto points out, is somewhat flawed.
(Romney) is making an apples-and-oranges comparison between the percentage of voters who will cast ballots for the Democrat "no matter what" and the percentage of households that have no income-tax liability. The latter is in fact currently about 47%. The former is impossible to determine with precision, but 47% is a plausible guess, if perhaps a tad high.Despite the curious kiss-off of a certain portion of the electorate, Romney's emphasis on government dependency is dead on. At the current pace, it won't be much longer until more than half of Americans have a zero net tax liability. Once that happens, you can kiss off any sort of entitlement and/or tax reform. Obviously it would be nearly impossible for any politician to win an election by pledging to change a system where a majority of citizens benefit. With that in mind, there's never been an election cycle with such a sense of urgency to alleviate a fiscal crisis. If Romney is to lose in November, I'd prefer it be done with him having held nothing back.
In truth, while there is no doubt significant overlap between the Democratic base vote and the voters in the income-tax-nonpaying 47% of households, the Democratic base includes many voters who do pay income taxes: well-heeled social liberals, middle-class and affluent blacks and government employees, to name three obvious demographics that lean heavily donkward. If Obama could count on the votes of every adult citizen in the Romney-identified 47% of households, the election really would be over already.
So the two distinct visions have been set: The White House's current occupant continues this drum beat of a "fair shot", which is a euphemism for taking from the producers and giving to the non-producers. The Presidential challenger looks to create an environment where employment is more readily available to those who take pride in themselves and thus no longer want to be as dependent upon government.
I know which side I'm on.