Here is the video. I’m not interested in the “gotcha” video for which he is trying to do damage control. That can be discussed elsewhere. Instead I want to focus on what he says in this video which, presumably, is carefully thought out.
What I want to ask is this: Why is Romney so pessimistic about winning over voters from “the other side”?
Romney mentioned two groups that would be unlikely to vote for him: people who don’t pay taxes and people who receive money from the government. People who don’t pay taxes are not going to find Romney appealing because he promises to lower taxes—and they don’t care about that. People who receive government help are not going to appreciate Romney’s call to reduce government.
Let’s consider people who don’t pay any taxes first.
I pay little in taxes at the Federal level. I used to pay nothing at state or federal. Do I want things to stay that way? No! I want to be in a higher tax bracket! I want to be wealthy. And when I get there, I know a bunch of other people who I want to help out rather than having to pay it all to the government. I know that the more confident I feel that I get to keep my money, the more I’ll be able to take risks at various business ventures.
Romney really offends me when he says stuff like this. Let Obama assume that everyone who doesn’t pay taxes is apathetic about the future, or about the economy. He should know better. He should have more faith in people.
How about people who receive government handouts? A lot of people hate it. They would rather make enough money to support themselves and help out others. Yes there are stories about people who like living on “the dole.” But those are the extremes. The government doesn’t win just because people become dependent on government help.
Lots of people learn many new reasons to hate their government because they are forced to be dependent. Ask any adolescent if being dependent is a good thing. In fact, dependency might foster a much stronger hatred for the whole government apparatus than is found among wealthier people.
And what about the economics of it? It doesn’t take a genius to realize that businesses won’t be started and corporations won’t hire as much in society overburdened by high taxation and dependent on government handouts. People who care about their own futures, and the futures of their children, are not going to be driven only by next week’s government checks.
Romney needs to stop acting like he is so different than everyone else. Yes, he is in a place where many of us wish to be, but that is precisely what gives us common ground. We want to get there, or bring our children there. We don’t support Obama because we aren’t personally taxed or because we get a check in the mail. We know that when society is robbed, everyone is hurt—including us, the untaxed and dependent.
Romney should know that too. And he should be confident about it.