Who are the 47%?

You’ll all be glad to know I’m done with my brief obsession with the people who produced, filmed and promoted the crappy video that turned the ME on it’s head.  I was more interested in the psychological profiles of the characters involved than the political ones anyway.  Now I’m stuck on Romney.

Here are his comments again, the ones I had a truly visceral reaction to.

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent 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.

Romney went on: “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Earlier I challenged Scott to say what he meant.

I think the elephant in this room is that you agree with him. Just say so.

jnc replied first,

I’ll own this. I definitely agree with him. I mean it when I say I’m a libertarian. It’s the most persuasive argument he’s made in my view thus far in the campaign. Note also that the 53% vs 47% meme isn’t original to Romney. The first I saw of it was from Erik at Red State in the Facebook posts in response to the “We are the 99%” meme as part of Occupy Wall Street. The “divide the country” approach didn’t start with Romney, he just draws the line differently than OWS

then went on to talk about the “Life of Julia” and his ideas on the flat tax.  Just a reminder, I ridiculed the “Life of Julia” and said it reminded me of the dopey sex ed material the girls watched in the 60’s and btw, a lot of us are intrigued by jnc’s tax proposals.  Too bad Romney didn’t mention either of those.  He was too busy embarrassing the 47% of the population that don’t pay Federal Income Tax or the 47% of Obama’s base, and brought out the tried but true euphemism that Brigade (of PL fame) always trots out……………..liberals are on the dole and only vote for Democrats so they can continue to get “free stuff”.

Romney seems to be confusing the 47% of people who don’t pay Federal income tax with 47% of the population at large who are Obama’s base who will naturally vote for Obama.  A large number of the 47% who don’t pay income tax are seniors, vets, people living in the poorer states in the south etc., many of whom also generally vote for Republicans.  It’s a little confusing who he’s actually insulting here but it seems to be just about everyone who isn’t in an exclusive group of wealthy Republicans.

And then after challenging me on what he considered my mis-representation of Romney’s words and taking something out of context, Scott said this,

I thought I did, but if I need to be I can be more clear. I agree with him.

I have said this many times, but if the way in which we fund our government is through income taxes, then everyone should pay income taxes, and the tax rate should be flat with no exemptions.

I think this is interesting because none of the quotes I was objecting to had to do with a flat tax or even Romney, Scott or Jnc’s tax solutions which are all slightly different if I understand them correctly.  Romney/Ryan don’t like to get into the same kind of specifics that Scott or Jnc do, so I know less about them than I’d like to.

Political differences and tax solutions aside, I wanted to know whether they agreed with the Romney comments I quoted above.

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”.

Here are a couple of maps showing counties that voted for Obama and the richest vs poorest counties in the country.

Matt Welch over at Reason.com:

I should theoretically be the target audience for this stuff. I never took out a federally guaranteed student loan, never enjoyed the mortgage-interest deduction; I worry all the time about government spending and entitlements, and I am not unfamiliar with the looter/moocher formulation. But this kind of reductionism does not reflect individualism (as David Brooks charges), it rejects individualism, by insisting that income tax is destiny. It judges U.S. residents not as humans but as productive (or unproductive) units.

There are to my mind many more important things to consider in this presidential race than Mitt Romney’s reductive parroting of plausible-but-wrong GOP tropes. But the reason this controversy will have legs is ultimately because many Republicans think Romney’s comments were just fine They are about to learn what the rest of the country thinks about that.

That piece above from “The Corner” (linked in the Reason piece) should please Scott and Jnc.  We’ll see who’s right…………….but I think Romney just screwed his chances of ever becoming President of the United States.  Personally, I don’t think he deserves it.

Morning Report 9/18/12

Vital Statistics:

  Last Change Percent
S&P Futures  1453.2 -0.8 -0.06%
Eurostoxx Index 2563.5 -20.1 -0.78%
Oil (WTI) 95.89 -0.7 -0.76%
LIBOR 0.379 -0.002 -0.53%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 79.08 0.073 0.09%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.79% -0.05%  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 194.3 0.7  

Markets are lower on the back of a decline in European stocks and a profit warning from Fed Ex. The current account deficit came in lower than expected and foreign purchases of US assets jumped to 67B in July from 9B in June.  Bonds and MBS are stronger.

The National Association of Homebuilders Market Index rose to the highest level since early 2007, the latest sign that things are getting better for the homeboys. The Homebuilder ETF (XHB) has been on a tear since the beginning of summer, rallying 21%, but is still 45% off of its bubble highs. 

Chart:  SPDR S&P Homebuilder’s Index ETF (XHB)

Funny tweet from Bill Gross:  Central banks are where bad bonds go to die. The article goes on to discuss whether to be long Treasuries.  IMO – obama win, bond bullish, Romney win, bond bearish.

Bloomberg discusses the foreclosure backlog in New Jersey. The upshot – shadow inventory is decreasing everywhere except for the Northeast where judicial foreclosures are slowing the pace of foreclosures and creating a backlog. This is primarily affecting NY, NJ, CT, and PA. Which is why prices are rebounding in Phoenix and still falling in Fairfield County.  Wasn’t the plan in Washington to hold foreclosures off the market in the hope that less selling pressure means prices hold up?  So much for that theory….

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