Addressing guests at a private fundraiser earlier this year, Romney declared:
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. (Secret Video--Mother Jones)As an Obama supporter, I think that Romney may be talking about me. I need to stop paying income tax and demand that the government hand over my entitlement. You should too, if you're an Obama supporter.
According to Romney, Obama supporters in addition to being trifling, lazy folks with a victim mentality, have developed a notion that "...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."
Now, where would any of us get such a notion? Well, I'll be darned! Maybe it's from those socialist Founding Fathers.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"--The Declaration of Independence (emphasis added)Interesting concept that the purpose of government--the reason that "governments are instituted"-- is to ensure access to those unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that health care, food and housing are encompassed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that it is an appropriate goal for governments to implement laws and policies to further the goal of securing these basic rights for all of its citizens.
A good friend offered the following observation that further illuminates the purpose of government under those founding documents that Romney and the conservative right purport to follow: Look also at the words that appear in the Preamble to the Constitution. We, United, union, common, general, ourselves, our. "Us" is our thesis. Not an "I me mine" to be found.--S. Gordon
Romney has refused to retreat from his disavowal of governmental responsibility to promote any efforts to mitigate financial inequity and economic injustice. Instead, as expected, Romney supporters have dragged out a 1998 video of President Obama in which Obama states:
The trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some [wealth] redistribution -- because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.--Barack Obama (Obama 1998 Loyola Speech)Apparently, we are to be shocked by this statement and declare Obama a socialist. Oh the horror! President Obama thinks that it is important to ensure that every American has a shot at fulfilling the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness noted in that most American of documents, The Declaration of Independence.
Don't you? Or do you prefer the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few with little or no chance for the advancement of most? It's about redistribution of opportunities. No one, least of all President Obama ever said that the plan is to take money from some to give it to others; the oft expressed paranoia of those who buy into Romney's vision of freeloading, do-nothing, Americans sitting around waiting for government handouts.
Redistribution of wealth is about providing grants for students to attend college, or low interest loans for small businesses. It is about providing food stamps to mothers and children who have insufficient funds to buy food. A single parent of two who earns $10 per hour for 40 hours per week nets $1600 per month before taxes. Ten dollars per hour is more than minimum wage (federal minimum wage is $7.25) but it still isn't sufficient money for rent, childcare (if you are a working parent, you need childcare), food, health insurance, clothing, transportation, and food.
As a country are we really so heartless and stupid that we can't understand that trickle down economics is a grand pie in the sky lie perpetuated by the haves to insure that the have-nots waste their time worrying about nonexistent threats of impending socialism and don't notice class inequities?
Mitt Romney has made it clear as to what he thinks of nearly half of all Americans. In his own words: "[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." (Secret Video...)
In November, we have a chance to tell Mitt Romney what we think of him. What will that message be? Will we support his view that nearly half of Americans are shiftless, unwilling to work freeloaders, waiting on a government handout? Or will we take a look at ourselves, our family members, and our neighbors and recognize that demanding that all of us have fair and meaningful access to the opportunities that this nation provides is the rightful purpose of government? The answer is up to us, the governed.
Note: Romney stated that he wished that the entire video had been released to place his remarks in context. Mother Jones has obliged. Someone should have reminded Romney of the adage, "careful what you wish for." Link to the entire video.