Romney and the 47 percent
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:38 AM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Mitt Romney and his campaign team have been on damage control in the last few days after Romney's now infamous "47 percent" comments.
Thursday, Romney is campaigning on a new message, saying he cares about 100 percent of Americans.
Now, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe takes a closer look at the latest controversy.
I am stunned at the continual klutziness of the Mitt Romney campaign. And, frankly, of the candidate himself.
From this corner, he deserves every degree of heat he's getting for actually saying to a bunch of rich Florida guys that he thinks about half the population is a bunch of leeches.
Behind closed doors, he sounded like a cartoonish country club fat cat having a locker room chat with his buddies about all those victim-mentality, lazy, good-for-nothing freeloaders living on the public dole.
I know he thought he was off the record, but anyone who assumes that there's not a hidden camera somewhere isn't thinking clearly.
The fact is, he said it. And the fact that he said it while believing he was behind closed doors makes it even worse.
As a stereotype-pusher, he revealed himself to be so distant from the average working guy, so distant from his own constituency, for that matter, that the whole thing reads more like an over-the-top b-movie script than something happening in real time right there at eye level.
Romney is apparently unaware that, according to The Atlantic Magazine, the bulk of the people who pay no income tax, the bulk of the 47 percent, are disproportionately from red states—his states—Idaho, and then the deep south from South Carolina to New Mexico.
The people he disparaged do, by the way, pay payroll and sales and state and local taxes.
Many of them are on social security and medicare, two entitlements most people worked long and hard for.
Hardly an indication they "think they're entitled" to anything you can name.
Incidentally, some ten percent of the 47 percent are millionaires—millionaires who pay no taxes because they're taking advantage of the same loopholes in our tax code that Romney is.
Well I happen to be one of those who thinks everyone ought to be sharing the cost of running this country.
Everyone living, breathing, working American who is not impoverished ought to be paying at least something.
All the talk about shared sacrifice goes both ways. We have a nearly incomprehensible two-and-a-half-million word tax code bloated with special interest legislation tailored for those who pay their legislator's enough to get special attention.
It needs to be fixed. It ought to be fixed—so all of us—including the rich, pay a little bit more.
After all, we're the ones who elected the boneheads who spent the trillions we don't have. We're as responsible as they are.
I wish Romney could talk about this stuff in a direct and forthright way. He apparently can not, and its too bad.
Because I know too many people who voted for Barack Obama and now wish they had an alternative.
In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.