I was waiting to calm down and process the election before I wrote anything — and then Fidel Castro died.
One of the biggest problems for Romney is that the man just can’t control his big mouth. (His running mate isn’t much better.) He speaks with a certain cluelessness that casually dehumanizes anyone who doesn’t fit his profile of a default constituent (white, male and wealthy), and then acts surprised when people react with anger and disbelief to his blooper du jour. The latest is, of course, his assertion that he does not care about –and therefore will not concern himself with, as President — the lazy, useless 47% of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, preferring instead to suck the government’s teat. His campaign’s attempts to walk back that statement — such as this one — only added insult to the injury, since they were clearly based on the assumption that the people who took umbrage at Romney’s statement are stupid.
That statement was, of course, based on a myth, and most editorials exposing it correctly point out that the overwhelming majority of those who don’t pay federal income tax still pay other taxes. I, however, want to approach the this deconstruction from a slightly different angle. Who are these 47%?
Let’s start with the lowest-hanging fruit. Read more…