Mother Jones has released a video they apparently find “shocking”– a video that some on the left believe may crush the Romney campaign by showing once and for all his contempt for the bottom 47 percent! What does Romney say in this awful video?
He basically says that when people do not pay federal income tax, that appeals to relieve that tax burden do not resonate. After all, they ARE NOT PAYING THEM. He then says that with about 47 percent of the public receiving something from government it will be more difficult for a smaller government message to appeal to them because they will, as any human being would respond to such incentives, become less amenable to something that may or may not change the specific benefit they receive. Romney says that a bigger government creates more dependency.
It is undeniably true. If anything, I think Romney is being too soft on saying he “could have phrased this better”– the left-leaning media are now like sharks in the water-any sign of weakness on Romney’s part is like blood in the water for them and they will go into a feeding frenzy on him. Thus Romney’s Libya statement is a “disaster” while President Obama’s missed intelligence briefings, the administration’s assertion that it was a “spontaneous attack,” the request for Google to review the content (free speech anyone?) of the offending video–those things amount to a collective yawn. Why? Obama is their guy.
Romney is saying what was proven true with welfare reform–that while a reform message may not appeal to those on the receiving end of benefits, in can improve their lives. Poverty went down, more people were able to take responsibility for their own lives. That’s just one example obviously, but the point is true.
In Spain, Greece, France and elsewhere we have seen protests for the smallest “austerity measures.” Protests even though it is painfully obvious there is no longer other people’s money to burn on these measures. Imagine the Occupy! movement being a third of the electorate and you get the picture. Romney is warning of that future. It’s not a message of “no safety net”–it’s a message that in order to have the resources to provide the best net (along with defense, etc), you must grow the economy and free the creative energies of the people.
Mitch Daniels pointed out in his latest book that without economic growth even the big government program folks will lose out because eventually we won’t have the money to pay for these things.
Romney shouldn’t go on the defensive, he should be on the attack.
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