Mitt Romney thinks 47% of Americans are moochers who would never vote for him. If you were to read the op-eds of the Washington Post or New York Times you would think that Romney is done. These papers spout statistics about how Americans work longer hours than citizens of any other nation. They talk about soldiers don’t pay income tax and fall into that 47%.
But I don’t think this will hurt Mitt one bit.
Most Americans are not accountants. Most Americans don’t know the difference between payroll taxes and income taxes. Most American moochers have no clue they are mooching.
When Romney accuses half the population of lechery, more than 53% assume they are in the 53% of income tax payers. In self reported studies the vast majority of Americans claim to be part of the “middle class.” In what economics reporter Catherine Rampell dubs, the “Middle Kingdom Effect” people are so cloistered around those like them, that they are unable to tell in fact where they truly fall in an income distribution chart.
A retired cop, who worked his entire life, but is living on a government pension, does not associate himself with those moochers. An upper-middle class college student who works 20 hours a week does not realize she in fact doesn’t make enough to pay income taxes.
Are there people who giddily receive SNAP benefits? Are there Americans who are proud that they qualify for Medicaid? Possibly. But the fact that Americans are so hard working means most Americans would never consider themselves a freeloader.
Mitt Romney thinks he dragged himself up by his bootstraps. Yes, none of his current wealth was inherited, but his father’s wealth gave him a wealth of opportunities. If a smart, educated, and successful man is delusional about his background; surely less informed and less educated voters would also be unaware of their situation.
Hell, I KNOW I am, statistically speaking, part of the 47% of Americans who are parasites, living off the wealth of the job creators. I’ve been steadily employed and working for well over three years, but like most college students, my total income has never surpassed $20,000 in any year. Because of the several thousand hours I’ve worked, I viscerally do not associate myself with those idle slackers Romney opined about. I imagine most Americans are in that situation.
Why would someone supporting Mitt Romney after his party’s convention jump ship because of this statement. Back in February Mitt admitted he didn’t care about the very poor, and he still cruised to the nomination. For all I know 47% of Americans could qualify as very poor to Mitt. But nobody hears a candidate talk about moochers, pulls out a mirror, and realize that they are the enemy.