The main campaign story of the week as I have been able to follow has centered around GOP candidate’s “victims” remarks. If you have not heard, allow me to catch you up on the story. A video has been circulating of Romney speaking at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida on May 17 of this year. In this video, Romney is heard responding to a question posed to him from the audience, and he is heard responding, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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.” Throughout the week, Romney has attempted to defend and clarify these remarks which he claims were not “elegantly stated”.
In an attempt to defend his remarks, Romney offered up two remarks regarding his views on the economy. First, “I do believe that we should have enough jobs and enough take-home pay such that people have the privilege of higher incomes that allow them to be paying taxes,” said Romney this week. He would also proclaim that the right course for America is to “create growth, create wealth”. And lastly, Romney is also quoted as saying, “It’s a message which I am going to carry and continue to carry, which is that the president’s (Obama’s) approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn’t as attractive to them. Therefore I’m not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those in the middle.” One Romney funder, and Republican National Committee member also defended Romney’s remarks by saying, “Romney believes in capitalism and the free market and wants to create 12 million jobs. Obviously, I think the president (Obama) is perfectly comfortable promoting government dependence.”
What does this mean on the campaign trail so far? Well, in three “swing” or “battleground” states, (Ohio, Virginia and Florida), current President Obama is holding slim leads. New polls have not quite reflected how badly or if these comments have damaged the image of GOP candidate Romney. But the question I pose to myself is, should it? First off, the idea that 47% of people do not pay federal income taxes does seem to me like a gross exaggeration. But for me, that is not the main issue that I feel we should address. What bothers me is that GOP candidate Romney states that his policies should appeal to the middle class. But if 47% of the American population, (as he states) is not even paying federal income tax, and is relying on the government, how big is this “middle” that Romney speaks of? 47% would put half the nation in his estimation darn near levels of poverty. I can agree that job growth is important, that all families should be working with a workable wage where paying taxes is feasible. However, labeling half the country as “dependent” is something I have an issue with. The idea that the government should work to create “wealth” is another idea I am not comfortable with. Again, this is personal. What is the public benefit of “wealth”? Wealth in my mind promotes people accumulating way past needs, at the expense of others. Should that be the goal of our national economic plan, individual wealth? Or should we instead be aiming for stabilization of our financial security while assuring a semblance of basic living standards for those who are struggling, often in spite of their own efforts?
But these are simply the questions that I have running on my mind. I do have my own opinions, and I do believe strongly in them. As always, I will always present information to you, as I received them. And I will always draw from a wide array from sources so as to avoid presenting information from any one source with any partisan biases that they present. I can never divorce my own ramblings and thoughts concerning the campaign from the posts, but my wish and desire is first to inform, and then offer my own sense of things. If there are any issues concerning policies that you wish to be included in any future posts, feel free to find me and I will do my best to put together the information you desire. You are always free to form you rown interpretations, and I am ok with that. Our obligation to each other as citizens, brothers and sisters and Americans is to make sure that we are all informed. And always make the attempt to listen to each other with an open mind and heart, acknowledging that there will not be a consensus opinion. Either way, I hope to see you all politically active, engaged and excited for Election Day. I do believe that this is an important election, and every vote counts.
Don Sidney Polite Junior