Saturday, September 29, 2012

Romney Shrugged

By Capt. Fogg

One casual observation I suspect of having some merit  is that people who complain a lot about some failing in others are covering up something similar in themselves.  Perhaps those who make such a constant noise about large numbers of our countrymen being freeloaders while covering themselves in self-adulation would give weight to the conjecture. Are they really getting a raw deal?

One certainly does hear more than enough fiction from the Republican Party's candidates about welfare queens driving Cadillacs and the stifling of initiative that comes from subsidized school lunches and perhaps a bit less about subsidies for business interests and of course, now we have that abominable new straw man, the 47%.

It's an American habit, and not just a Conservative habit, to dismiss, and often angrily dismiss any discussion of  factual support for political arguments and particularly examples of how our assertions fail to be born out in other countries, so of course those who support Mr. Romney for reasons known only to their subconscious minds, that 47% of Americans do not make enough money at present to pay Federal Income Tax are happy to frame that in terms of government dependency.  

Of course, as with most things you hear from Romney and Ryan, it's not true at all, finely crafted as the rhetoric might be and as effective in pushing that American middle class self pity hot button. As Ezra Klein pointed out in the Washington Post not long ago, the taxpayer supporting a family on $40,000 a year may not pay Federal Income Tax, but he's paying tax on every dollar he makes while the fortunate one ( excuse me, the selfless job creator) making $4,000,000 is likely paying  less than 35% on the whole chalupa.  As Klein says, it's phrased that way to make it seem only fair to give a break to those heavily burdened 'job creators.'  What it's not supposed to do is to remind you that the $40,000 'freeloader' is paying payroll tax on every dime up to around $100,000.  So when you look at the total family tax bill, it seems quite a different story.  The numbers make liars out of a lot of people and the burden is being shouldered by the rich and poor only it's the poor and the struggling middle who can't pay their bills because of it.  Taxes aren't cutting into the caviar budget, they're making it harder to buy the canned tuna and hamburger helper; harder to pay for college, harder to pay those ridiculous medical bills and harder to buy those new cars and appliances and houses that are the real job creators.

Not 47 percent paying nothing, but everybody paying something, and most Americans paying between 25 percent and 30 percent of their income.  Where are the freeloaders?  Where are all those hordes of freeloaders eating up the hard earned dollars of the job creating Galts?  The taxpayer earning a hundred grand pays more than the one making over a million and the poverty stricken have to pay 20% of their miserable $25K all of which they need to spend to stay alive.  Is it difficult to refrain from bad language and malediction when listening to such damaging lies?  You bet.

So they're lying of course and as usual. The total tax burden is far more equally distributed than the Republicans want you to believe and one might make a case that the people crying loudest about freeloaders are getting a better deal then they would like to admit. Perhaps there's some hidden guilt involved, perhaps not. 

There is no more factual support for calling nearly half of us freeloaders dependent  upon government subsidy than there is for Ryan's 3 hour marathon times and in reply to that cynical bumper sticker I saw yesterday sneering "4 more years?  Are you out of your mind?"  Why no sir, I'm not and I'd remind you that neither intelligence nor honesty are more equitably distributed in the world than money.  

(Cross posted from Human Voices)

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