Mitt Romney’s America

Mitt Romney's America

Ex-financier Willard Mitt Romney was whoopin’ it up at an intimate $50,000-a-plate dinner-for-150 at the palatial estate of kinky fellow plutocrat Marc Leder when some class traitor secretly recorded the GOP candidate’s run-down on the “Other Ranks.” 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Tax, he confided, and it’s not because they’re compensated in capital gains or have elaborate off-shore bank accounts like real Americans. Our U.S. corporations simply pay them too little to cover their family upkeep, and those wretched, gummint-dependent ingrates won’t vote GOP in November anyway, so screw ’em.

Bad enough that a contender for America’s highest office writes off half the nation’s people, but this Harvard MBA got his numbers wrong. The facts on that 47%: The working poor among them still pay federal payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, they include the elderly who benefit from federal retirement and Medicare, and military personnel, especially those with families. Residents of states on the East and West Coasts pay more in federal taxes than they get in federal benefits; not so in the Heartland and Deep South, where most non-tax filers live. Think about it: White working people, the elderly, residents of the Midwest and South — that’s the Republican Base Mr. Romney was bad-mouthing to his millionaire pals and calling a bunch of parasites. Fact is, it’s the lightly taxed One Percent who are coasting on the Government nickel.

There’s been much commentary on Mr. Romney’s  remarks, but the best is on Chris Rock’s Twitter stream:

1. “Mitt Romney, the guy who pays no taxes on millions of dollars thinks you’re a welfare freeloader. God Bless 47% of America!”

2. “I thought Mitt Romney hated the 99% so hearing it’s only 47% is kinda refreshing”

Second-best? That would be this:

“Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. Forty-seven percent of the country, he said, are people ‘who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.’

 This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

 It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.”

“Thurston Howell Romney,” David Brooks, New York Times


“Thurston Howell, the political epithet,” Patrick Gavi, Politico

“Mitt Romney Insults Half the Country,” Joan Walsh, Salon

“Does Romney dislike America?” E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post

“Let Them Eat Crab Cake,” Maureen Dowd, New York Times

“Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election,” Josh Barro, Bloomberg News

“Romney: I’ll never convince Obama voters to take responsibility for their lives,” Greg Sargent, Washington Post blog

“The Real Romney Captured on Tape Turns Out to Be a Sneering Plutocrat,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Mitt Romney’s 47% gaffe makes him 100% unsuitable to be president,” Michael Cohen, The Guardian

“The Real (Awful) Romney,” Bob Moser, The American Prospect

“Romney’s theory of the ‘taker class,’ and why it matters,” Ezra Klein, Washington Post blog

“Romney Exposed Himself and His Philosophy,” Jonathan Alter, Bloomberg News

“Three Things We Learned from the Secret Romney Video,” The New Republic

“Devastating,” Josh Marshall, TPM

“The Sinister Message Behind Romney’s ‘Gaffe,'” David Frum, Daily Beast

“Why Romney’s radical theory of the freeloading 47 percent matters,” Greg Sargent, Washington Post blog

“Video: Mitt Romney Really, Really (Really) Does Not Care For You People,” Rebecca Schoenkopf, Wonkette

“Who are Mitt Romney’s ‘47 percent’?” Kevin Robillard, Politico

“Who doesn’t pay taxes, in eight charts,” Brad Plumer, Washington Post blog

“Romney’s 47 Percent Line Is a Common GOP Trope, and it’s Wrong,” Matt Welch, Reason

“Mr. Romney’s ‘47 percent’ fantasy,” Washington Post editorial

“The GOP Base vs The Consensus On The 47%,” Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast

“The Right’s New Rift Over The 47 Percent,” Timothy Noah, The New Republic

“Mitt Romney Rejects His Natural Voters,” Jeffrey Frankel, Project Syndicate

“Four questions for Mitt Romney,” Ruth Marcus, Washington Post blog

“Some Big Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, Either,” Bruce Bartlett, New York Times blog

“True Conservatives to Randians: You’re Devouring the Base,” Xpostfactoid

“Time for an Intervention,” Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal blog

“Isn’t Mitt Romney a Member of the 47 Percent?” John Nichols, The Nation

“Mitt Romney needs to stop talking,” Alexandra Petri, Washington Post blog

“This video could kill Mitt Romney’s chances of becoming president. Is it too late to draft Rick Santorum?” Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph

“Jon Stewart on ‘The Millionaire Gaffemaker,'” Serena Dai, The Atlantic Wire

“In New Campaign Strategy, Romney to Have Mouth Wired Shut Until November,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“The Long Strange Leak Of Mitt Romney’s 47% Video,” Ben Smith, Buzzfeed

“So Who Filmed Romney’s 47% Video?” Alexander Abad-Santos, The Atlantic Wire

“How Jimmy Carter’s Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video,” Joe Coscarelli, New York Magazine


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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4 Responses to “Mitt Romney’s America”

  1. Montana Says:

    In the end it will be Willard Milton Romney’s own words that that will bring down his seven year run for the presidency. I thank you Romney for speaking your real mind, sure its ugly but it just confirms my feeling that you act more like a Corporation than a person with compassion who realizes that a majority of my country is suffering. Hey the empty chair was a great hit, thanks for the laughs.

  2. Mike Licht Says:


    “Did Mitt Romney Learn His ’47 Percent’ Line from Paul Ryan?” Elspeth Reeve, Atlantic Wire

  3. Choose: Hoops or Dancing Horse? « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] This is a man who thinks Jack Nicklaus is the 20th century’s greatest athlete, is putting a car elevator in his beach house, has Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts, and thinks all college students can borrow money from their parents to start a business and that $374,000 in speaking fees is “not very much.” He says he’s been a businessman, but his “business” was “harvesting” companies, buying and selling businesses that produced real goods and services for the marketplace, not just profits for speculators. That’s the man who thinks you’re an unproductive freeloader. […]

  4. 47 Percent? Paul Ryan Only Writes Off 30 Percent of Americans. « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] running mate, ex-financier Mitt Romney, thinks 47 percent of  his fellow citizens are a dead loss. Maybe they’ll  split the difference and kiss […]

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