Romney and the 47 percent

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
Romney and the 47 percent story image
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.
Romney and the 47 percent
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Business News

Last Update on April 17, 2014 17:08 GMT


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The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 312,000. That is the lowest four-week average since October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession started. The average has fallen by 53,500 applications over the past 12 months.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The current level of claims suggests that employers are holding on their workers with the expectation of stronger economic growth ahead.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by severe winter weather.


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Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

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Washington Times