Respectful of the Responsible or just blaming victims?


Mr. Romney created quite a stir with his remarks on the ‘47 percent’.  His remarks were from last spring and focused on the 47 percent or so who don’t pay income tax – further suggesting they didn’t and wouldn’t take responsibility for their lives – would vote for Mr. Obama, no matter what, and by implication are on the dole.  Finally this snap shot somehow suggests that President Obama has created this lay-about class in the last four years.

So many fallacies.

First, or course the 47 percent do pay many taxes, especially social security tax, and state and local. 

The notion that someone doesn’t pay income tax because they are irresponsible seems absurd.  Their have always been a number of folks with no US income tax liability in a particular year.  The share has risen because:  among other reason Republicans and Democrats added to the earned income tax credit that pushes folks off the rolls; and perhaps the biggest reason is the recession has reduced taxable income for many, due to lost job capital losses and so on.

A lot of things can affect ones success and ability to be a tax payer that are beyond their control.  The Daily dish had some poignant stories of the setbacks a family or person experience

You can say that condemning those less successful that yourself is pretty arrogant.  The whole question is:  what accounts for success?  Are you responsible for all the good things in your life?  It seems plain to me and other that the answer is no.  If your responsible its at least in part because you were trained to be by your family and community as a youth.  You did choose that and you didn’t build it either.  We all owe a lot to others and not necessarily the government.  You don’t have to wax poetic about roads to know accomplishment is a combination of your effort build on a foundation that came from many others, and God.

The reluctance to acknowledge the effect of things not our own efforts in our success is more than arrogance.  I think a lot of it is fear too.

It is comforting to think that your world is safe from being undone by forces beyond your control.  It means you won’t end up on the street because you are responsible unlike the bums who panhandle you.  If that isn’t true forces beyond your control can put you in a very bad place.

Contempt for the lower class, the ‘47 percent’ and respect for the successful for the responsibility is comforting because it means you won’t become one of them.  It makes you feel good about yourself.

In the end though the ‘47 percent’ are a myth, a comforting lie.  Romney would do well to disown these remarks.  They aren’t just inelegant; they are wrong.

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