The most fascinating thing about Romney is that he has fallen for a fake statistic created by the Wall Street Journal editorial page as what they call "boob bait for the bubbas"--something that they hope low-information voters will hear, get outraged about, and vote Republican. As Ezra Klein writes: "Among the Americans who paid no federal income taxes… 61 percent paid payroll taxes… 15.3 percent of their income.… Another 22 percent were elderly. So 83 percent… are either working… or they’re elderly…"
Yet Romney clearly thinks that the following are identical:
- The 47% of the population who are the Democratic base.
- The 47% of the population who pay no income taxes.
- The 47% of the population 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… [the people whom we] will never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives…"
But Romney was not supposed to fall for this fake statistic, and make policy based on it--he was supposed to have economic advisors who would brief him, and rapidly deprogram him of fake right-wing talking points that lodged in his brain as things that really were true.
I wonder why they did not do so…
Ezra Klein: Romney’s theory of the “taker class,” and why it matters: Romney is not alone…. “We’re dismayed at the injustice…” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said…. “We’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers…” Rep. Paul Ryan said….
[T]his argument isn’t true….
[T]he reason so many Americans don’t pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts…. Republicans have become outraged over the predictable effect of tax cuts they passed and are using that outrage as the justification for an agenda that further cuts taxes on the rich, and pays for it by cutting social services for the non-rich…