Mitt Romney doesn't like me.
Nope. He thinks that 47 percent of Americans won't vote for his sweet wonderful little self because they're a bunch of bums who contribute nothing to the nation.
Here's the direct quote: "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... These are people who pay no income tax... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Imagine that. Citizens of the wealthiest nation on earth actually believe they're entitled to medical care, something to eat, and a roof over their heads. According to Mitt, this'd be a much better America if nearly half the people were sick, starving, and homeless. That'd teach 'em a lesson.
Putting sarcasm aside, difficult as that is, let's check into the accuracy of Mitt's statement.
The following facts are courtesy of: the Tax Policy Center, and Citizens for Tax Justice.
Who are these don't-pay-income-tax leeches?
10.3 percent are retirees.
6.9 percent have incomes below the poverty level.
28.3 percent work and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, but make so little that deductions and credits leave them with no federal income tax burden.
Of course they pay other taxes - sales, state, gasoline, property - that are regressive, that fall heaviest on those who can least afford it.
Now here's a fun fact. Many pay no income tax due to the Earned Income Tax Credit, strongly advocated by that ex-president, what was his name now? Oh yeah, Reagan.
Even more fun, the Reagan and Bush tax cuts increased the number of non-payers by 10 percent and 25 percent respectively.
And last but not least, we have the approximately 162,000 people in the top 10 percent of income earners who paid no taxes, about 3,000 of whom were in the top 0.1 percent, averaging $2,178,886.
I'd like to give Mitt a few reasons why I won't be voting for him, but as we don't travel in the same circle, i.e. I won't be attending any brie and champagne fund-raisers where I'd enjoy hearing about the unfairness of non-deductible car elevators and the IRS's wicked crackdown on Cayman Island tax dodges, this non-victim, who has paid countless thousands of dollars in income tax, and pays for his own health insurance, unlike a bunch of Congressional hypocrites who denounce government sponsored health care while having theirs paid for by U.S. taxpayers, will have to enumerate those reasons here.
Reason No. 1: He has no core beliefs. He was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-mandated health care before he was against them. The only thing he really cares about is getting elected.
Reason No. 2: He is utterly inept at foreign policy. During this past summer's overseas trip he managed to insult, demean, and/or generally tee-off someone every stop on his itinerary. It got so bad that eventually his handlers had to restrict access by the press to his daily foot-in-the-mouth embarrassments.
Reason No. 3: He (and his wife) frequently prove completely out of touch with reality, as the following quotes illustrate.
"Not much." - Mitt Romney, on the amount he made giving speeches, $373,000.
"I don't consider myself wealthy." - Ann Romney. Their 2010 income of $21.6 million put them in the top 0.006 percent.
The republic has managed to weather other disasters, civil war, depression, presidential assassinations, George W. Bush, so it'd likely withstand an arrogant, clueless president Romney, contemptuous of millions of hard working men and women. If we're lucky we won't have to find out.
Now the concluding quote.
"In America anybody can become president. That's just one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson.