Much has been said, good, bad, and indifferent, of Romney's remark about 47% of the population not paying taxes.
I have thought about this remark and whether I agree with his analysis that these people will vote for Obama.
I have decided that while there is merit to what he said, as with most things like this it is an over-simplification.
The group is comprised of a wide range of people. Among them are the elderly living on fixed incomes, the entitled class, the working poor, college students, etc.
Obviously the entitled class belongs to Obama. They are definitely going to vote for the one that gives them the handouts.
The working poor is a mixed lot. A lot of them are decent hard-working people who for varying reasons do not make a high income. Some of this is self-inflicted, some of it is from a life time of bad breaks.
They have one thing in common though, they want to make more.
There has been much debate about the effectiveness of the class-warfare practiced by Obama and other liberals. A strong argument has been made that many among the working class and middle class do not buy into the class warfare bit. The argument is that they do not begrudge the wealthy their income, they envy it.
I think their vote is a little less reliable for Obama. A lot of this will be determined by how they view their path to a better life. Some will see this through self sufficiency and will see the danger in the entitlement class. Some will see the government as their savior. These will definitely vote for Obama.
The elderly are another group that is not real reliable for Obama but for different reasons. They are not primarily part of the entitled class, often their money comes from social security.
As an aside, I want to speak briefly of social security. There are some who consider it an entitlement. While I do not like how it is administered, it is not an entitlement in my opinion. In my mind this is my money and I want it. I have worked for 30 years now paying into it and will work another 10 - 15 before I collect.
These people have a vested interest in us moving away from an entitlement economy. Many of them are smart enough to know that we cannot sustain our economy by paying out to so many who do not in turn contributed to society. They have spent a lifetime budgeting and know you cannot survive for long paying out more than you take in.
Their vested interest in moving away from entitlements lies in their children and grandchildren. They are at a point in their lives in which they have enjoyed what the US has had to offer. They want their descendants to have the same opportunities they had. In fact, most want those who follow them to do better.
Many of them are not going to see Obama as the answer to this.
Finally there are the college students and newly graduated.
The college students are not paying taxes because many of them simply do not work enough due to the pressure of college.
This group traditionally has been a fairly reliable voting bloc for the Democratic Party. Many of them are still idealistic. They have not lived long enough to see the destructive powers of an entitlement culture. They are, quite frankly, brainwashed by the indoctrination of today's public schools and universities. They are spoon fed the notion that we need to provide for all, whether they are willing to provide for themselves. They are taught it is only fair.
They are not a lock for the Dems this time around though. Many of them are becoming disillusioned by the persistent gloomy outlook after college under Obama. They see friends who have graduated recently that are not finding work.
They are not likely going to rush out and vote for Romney but they are also not feeling the thrill this time around. Obama is not stirring this group as he did in '08.
Finally, the other half of this group, the recently graduated. They are not a reliable group for Obama either. They are a part of the 47% because they cannot find work or are among the segment of the population that is underemployed.
Many of them voted for Obama in '08 but are realizing that the man they voted for then was full of empty promises. The world they are going into out of college is not the world Obama promised them when they voted last time.
Now we could argue all day if any or all of the above should pay taxes. That is not the point of this post. The point is to discuss the merits of his statement.
While I tended to agree with what seemed to be the sentiment behind the comment, I cannot agree wholly with it.
I take exception on two fronts.
One, I think some of the people he grouped together where maligned unfairly. I think there are good people in the group who want nothing different than the rest of us, to make a decent living and be left alone to live our lives.I also think they are not the mindless Obamamots he attempted to portray them as.
Second, I think he attacked the wrong group. Level of taxation is not the real root of our problem, we all want to pay fewer taxes. The problem we have is the notion that people are entitled to a living, health care, a phone, etc, regardless of their willingness to earn it.
Mitt Romney should have left the 47% alone and gone after the entitled among them and their enablers in government instead.