Capitol Showdown: How detrimental are Romney’s “47 percent” comments to his campaign?
Personally, I think the question should be re-framed into “How is Romney going to recover from his 47 percent comments?”
There is absolutely no doubt that they have had an amazingly detrimental effect, especially in the constituent group that he directly insulted by claiming that 47 percent of America is dependent on government handouts and thinks they are entitled to something.
It shows how blatantly un-presidential Romney really is. After the video of these statements came to light, Mitt Romney’s defense to the comments was “I was speaking to a particular audience.”
When your defense to obvious abuse is essentially, “You were not supposed to hear that,” you deserve to lose a sizeable percentage of the vote.
The political fallout is absolutely deserved because not only was he insinuating that nearly half of America is mooching off of the other, but because he is so wrong on the issue.
The 47 percent statistic that Romney was spotted citing is the percentage of Americans who pay no federal income tax, according to a study done in 2011 by the Tax Policy Center. However, these people are not parasites.
Sixty percent of those people pay federal payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare), so they are not simply freeloading off of the system.
They are putting in a percentage of their pay, just like everyone else. Of the remaining 18 percent who paid neither federal payroll nor income taxes, a senior heads more than half of them. Since they are retired and do not work, they should not be required to pay taxes on income.
Those who remain, roughly eight percent of the public, are the poor and indigent who do not have enough income to qualify to pay income tax. What conservatives fail to mention when they all-too-frequently cite this statistic is that there is not a single person who pays no taxes whatsoever. Even people who collect welfare cannot escape state and municipal taxes on sales and property, many of which are regressive, affecting the poor more than the rich.
If they buy gasoline, liquor or tobacco or have telephones, they are feeding the federal purse as well.
Last year, General Electric (GE) made $14.1 billion in profits and did not pay a penny in federal income taxes.
Personally, I think it is funny that Republicans are more concerned that poor people pay no income taxes than corporations with quarterly profits in the billions. Mitt Romney has a plan to institute a tax cut that will disproportionately affect high-income earners. So naturally, I also thought it is funny how Republicans want some people to pay less in taxes, but are upset that some people do not pay enough at the same time.
Matthew Sanford, College Democrats of Towson
If Romney’s 47 percent speech is detrimental to his campaign, then Obama’s “small business” speech should have killed his campaign too. Obama’s small business speech takes out the idea of individualism and individual highlights and goals and replaces the subject with the idea that people must depend off of the government in order to be successful.
The fact of the matter is that citizens are so focused on the easiest points to pull out of a speech that they do not look at the underlying messages, the true meanings. Romney’s speech was not attempting to stereotype any class or say that certain people do not deserve assistance.
Romney is saying that there are some voters who simply have their own viewpoints on specific candidates and that they will always vote for that candidate no matter what. Romney is simply saying Obama fans are Obama fans and Romney fans are Romney fans.
The people who are getting upset at this ad should really ask themselves what is the true message of this speech and is it wrong for Romney to think that way?
First off, the First Amendment allows candidates to speak however they feel is necessary to get their point across.
Here is what Romney did: he elaborated on his message of how America is a “government-centered” society. It is the core of Republican beliefs that lesser the government, the better. So just as Romney is saying he wants less government, Obama had said he believes government should always be in society. So here it is, the republican candidate is saying he wants less government and the democratic candidate is saying he wants more government. Now ask yourself, who had the unethical or negative speech? The answer may depend on your viewpoint in society, but neither of the speeches are wrong.
Lastly, let us talk about Romney’s idea of the economy and how it links to the speech. Romney speaks of entitlements which people tend want to believe hurt his speech.
The definition of an entitlement is the fact of having a right to have something. Well everyone has rights correct?
Why would Romney not want people to have rights? Wrong. Just as people believe they are entitled to healthcare and assistance from the government, there are other people who believe they should be individualistic and stray away from the government.
Thus both sides of the spectrum are correct in their own way based off of their own viewpoints.
It is simple, you are either conservative or liberal in your views, but you should always look at both sides of the spectrum to see just how far right or how far left you really are.
Rachel Eldringhoff, Towson College Republicans