Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Five Most Misleading Defenses Of Romney’s “47 Percent” Remarks

The Five Most Misleading Defenses Of Romney’s “47 Percent” Remarks

After Mother Jones released a clandestine video recording of Mitt Romney at a fundraiser, writing off 47 percent of the American people as “victims” and moochers who would never vote him, pundits right and left gleefully proclaimed that they had finally glimpsed “the real Mitt Romney.”  Peggy Noonan labeled the Romney campaign “incompetent”. David Brooks wrote, “Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.”

The reaction to Romney’s comments wasn’t universally negative, however. Some right wing pundits argued that Romney was correct; others argued that he had been misunderstood, his comments misrepresented. Here, we present a survey of the most naive or willfully misleading defenses.

Click here to see the 5 most unabashed excuses for Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” speech

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • The despective comments about the 47% of free loaders are the sort of thing that is discussed routinely among the elite when they refer to average Americans. They see us as failures of society, parasites, and people that can be easily manipulated to defend their interests in case of war, do the hard work they depend upon prosper, and vote for them when they decide to run for office. What they don’t understand or dismiss is the fact that a President is expected to represent and defend the interests of ALL Americans, not just the privileged few. And yet, there are still millions of mainstream Americans who continue to support them, fight and die for them, and accept their insults with the passivity of sheep.

  • One of the most damaging claims made by the GOP against President Obama involves the accumulation of debt the last few years and, not surprisingly, they did not hesitate to blame him for things done by his predecessor and successive administrations since at least the 1950s. IMHO the main contributors to recent increases in the national debt were:
    1. Bush’s TARP. The Federal government Fiscal Year starts October 1st the preceding year. The Troubled Assets Recovery Plan (TARP), commonly known as the bank bailout, was proposed by former President Bush, drafted by Hank Paulson, and signed by Bush October 3rd, 2008, with appropriations following immediately thereafter. Since the appropriations appear in the FY09 budget, because of its timing, the GOP seized the opportunity to blame President Obama for the $1T debt increase betting that most Americans don’t know when the FY starts and that they will accept the false claim because Barack Obama was Inaugurated in January 2009.
    2. Obama’s stimulus package. This is the only increase that can be legitimately attributed to President Obama’s policies. Whether or not it achieved all its stated goals may be subject to debate, but the truth is that without Obama’s infusion of a $1T economic stimuli and Bush’s TARP the topics of discussion today would not be about whether we can buy groceries in a hardware store, or Rafalca, but the locations of soup lines and potential solutions to get us out of a second Great Depression.
    3. Interest on the debt. Over $1T have been spent during the last 3 years in interest payments on bonds sold to finance crusades paid for with borrowed money and to offset the effects of irresponsible tax breaks that benefit mostly people who do not need them.
    4. Transparency. President Obama’s commitment to transparency resulted in, among other things, the transfer of war cost liabilities to the general budget. Instead of hiding liabilities to give the illusion that our budget deficits were not as bad as they were, President Obama put that expenditure where it should have been all along. The way most former Presidents did.
    5. Our determination to maintain our privileged position in the world and remain the dominant superpower.
    6. Revenue losses. One of the most dramatic effects of the Great Recession involves significant reductions in government revenues as a result of ridiculously low tax rates, high unemployment and bankruptcies. To make matters worse, increased unemployment required increases in benefit payments, which increased outlays at a time when revenues were declining. The rest was all programmatic and barring dismantling of major programs, curtailment of critical services, or national default accumulation of debt will continue until the economy recovers, spending is reduced, and taxes go up.
    Needless to say, debt is accumulated when expenditures exceed receipt, which leave us two unpalatable options: pay for what we need and benefit from, or do without. The sad truth is that with one brief interlude, Republican and Democratic administrations have embraced deficit spending, borrowing and accumulating debt for more than half a century, and many politicians continue to insist that debt is good…even when it matches our GDP! Until politicians and the electorate put country ahead of personal priorities the problem will persist and it is likely to worsen.

    • johninPCFL

      Dom, you are spot on. And let’s not forget that $260B of the $787B stimulus were predicted tax revenue reductions resulting from changes to allow small businesses to modernize, not direct spending. I recall reading about a year ago that about $150B remained unclaimed, so it appears that the “$1T stimulus” amounted to about $600B.

      Certainly not insignificant, but the difference is about the same size as the annual discretionary spending budget that the teabaggers typically talk about cutting to balance the budget.

      • You are right, and let’s not forget all the programs that contributed to our ability to dodge a bullet 3.5 years ago: credits for first time homeboyers, credits for people that replaced old with energy efficient appliances, the GM and Chrysler bailouts, which saved tens of thousands of jobs and allowed GM to once again become the largest automaker in the world, Pell grant increases, and funding that allowed state and local government to undertake infrastructure projects they could not afford otherwise.
        But even if we ignore all that and focus strictly on dollars and cents, President Obama is not responsible for the $6B increase in the national debt, the only thing he is responsible for is the stimulus package, without which the conversation today would not be about the 1% or 47% but how to get the USA out of a second Great Depression.

        • johninPCFL

          Again, I agree. Bachmann certainly didn’t opt out of her farm subsidy. Perry didn’t refuse his Medicaid block grant. Santorum takes the deductions for his children on his tax returns. Ryan requested stimulus funds for “job creation” (I guess he was for it before he was against it).

          The teabaggers have continued spending unabated.


      And alllllllllllllllll the stimulus money that is missing that they can’t account for!!!!!!!



      The Energy Department Can’t Locate $500,000 in Stimulus Money

      Obama gave $535 Million Solyndra—the money disappeared in 3-months!!!!!!!!!!!

      An investigation by congressmen has revealed the Obama administration has secretly spent
      $23 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars in Kenya!!!!

      We are working our butts off every single day and pay our taxes to be sent to KENYA!!!!

      More than $1.1 trillion of federal government money is missing. Our government leaders say they will not account for it.

      Where is the Money?

      The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General has reported that HUD has not and will not account for $59 billion of “undocumentable adjustments.”
      The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General has reported that DOD has not and will not account for $1.1 trillion of “undocumentable adjustments.”
      these amounts are staggering: California’s share of the “undocumented adjustments” is $128 billion — more than three times its current $35 billion budget deficit.
      Where is the Money?
      A General Accounting Office report found that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. Are planes, tanks and missiles running away from home? Where are they???
      We, the undersigned, are being asked to pay for government corruption and fraud. We are paying with taxes, unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies. We are paying with cutbacks in services, deteriorating public infrastructure, and declining quality of life in our neighborhoods. We are paying with reduced health care and retirement benefits.
      We worry about the effect of the federal government’s deteriorating financial condition on our children and grandchildren’s financial security and education and on our environment. Such significant financial corruption is a national security issue.
      US Citizens provide financial reports and supporting documentation to the IRS annually, as required by law. We insist that the US government be held to the same standard.
      Where is the Money?
      We demand a complete and accurate balancing of the books of all US government agencies.
      We want a full audited accounting of the real cash and assets that should be in our national bank accounts and inventories.
      We demand that all government financial data on the expenditure of our tax revenues, the management of federal credit, and all agency contractor budgets be made publicly available via open website access. With citizen access to our financial data, we will find our money.

  • When I started working in 1973, we received cost of living raises, that of course made the companies have less profit for bonuses at the top 1%, so they did a way with it. That in turn put a huge gap between the 1% and middle class. Walmart and other Wall Street companies were making millionaires out of their board member left and right, but the lower 47% just kept struggling, as more work was sent oversees, with the threat of losing our minimum wage jobs, raises were not rising as inflation was. They want to call us moochers and lazy, even though we worker bees do all the work, but the truth is no business would be around without us 47%.

  • Weak arguments at best. Lot’s of miss-information, and half-truths! One should not be alarmed. Now we KNOW, what, and who, the GOP Represents.

    What is disgraceful, is their inability to speak the Truth about the decisions and events that brought this once great Nation to the brink. It wasn’t the Poor, or the fast-fading Middle Class that sent 20 Million jobs over-seas during the past 35 years, so the Rich could pocket the wages and benefits of the Working Man. It wasn’t the Poor that started two Wars with no way to pay for them; so, the Powerful Merchants of Death, could further enrich themselves. It wasn’t the Poor that TARP’ED out the Nation with Corporate Welfare, while the Moms, Pops, Grands, Kids, and Small Businesses on Main Street, lost their jobs, homes, cars, retirement and college funds.
    It wasn’t the Poor who developed Exotic Investment Schemes which have been described by Warren Buffet, as, “Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction!”

    It wasn’t the Poor who espoused, Trickle Down Economics; or, Deficits Don’t Matter. Both were Damn Lies! mouthed by the Republicans – – specifically, Ronald Reagan, and Dick Chaney. Both Administration’s more that doubled the National Debt during their Terms in Office.

    During the period from 1999 – 2009; there were only 1.1 Million Jobs created in this Country; while Bush gave the Rich the biggest tax cut in American History! The Poor, 47%’ers certainly had nothing to do with that! The Record of the Republicans in Job Creation is Dismal! They CUT Jobs; they seldom CREATE Any! They tend to support the practice of Corporate Raiding. In fact, Romney was a Corporate Raider, and got stinkin, rich, as a result. (Fast way to make a lot of money tho!)

    The Rich, Dark Money Cartels are good at telling the, “BIG LIE,” and telling it over and over. It worked for Adolph – – it is working now!

    The Rich don’t want to pay for anything! Including, Education, Infrastructure, Environmental Protections and Improvements, Regardless of what they say, they don’t care much anymore for either the Country – – nor, the Public Good. They are a selfish and greedy lot that have run up a National Debt that, everyone knows, can never be paid off. Democrats may Tax and Spend; but History clearly reveals that Republicans Borrow and Spend; and the outcome is the SAME – – more debt! Their Cry of Socialism is designed for the emotional Rednecks, or the uninformed members of the Tea Party. Check the Record – – Hypocrites! Dumbaugh’s Chi-coms, have eaten our lunch, economically for the past 12 years; while Republicans have sent 50 million people to the Poor House.

    If the GOP didn’t create jobs when Bush was in office – – and – – supposedly, times were much better; why would anyone think that job creation is on their agenda? What IS on their Agenda, are more Tax Cuts for the Rich; destroying all social programs; and sending middle and lower class Kids to, yet another War – – probably in Iran. Lot’s of Money in Making War! Republicans just LOVE Money. Problem is; wars kill poor kids; the rich’s off-spring go to Ivy League Schools, so they can influence their way into Government, or Wall Street.

    • Couldn’t have said it better! well said


      All of you will see—–

      If Obama stays in other 4-years
      Our country will be going down even further than it is now—–


      Then finally your dreams will come true.

      Obama will have taken all the hard working RICH people’s money and given it to the
      LAZY NO GOODS that don’t want to make nothing of them and won’t take care of themselves and sit around begging for their hand out!!!

      We will allll be equal and be in the bread lines.

      Obama wants the whole world to be equal to KENYA!!!!!!!!!!

      How do you think our country runs????
      It’s from the RICH people that invest their money and makes businesses and trickles down!!!!

      The RICH do pay for their “OWN” everything—-Everything own they worked for —- they pay their taxes so that will go for education (what are you talking about) the rich always goes to college and pays for their own college—they don’t beg for others to pay for them.

      The RICH—pays for EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!
      They just don’t WANT to pay for the LAZY people that can’t get up and hold a job!!!!!!!!


      Why do liberals think people should be punished for being successful?

      Do you beat your kids for getting good grades?
      Do you turn down a raise at work?
      Do you watch the academy awards?
      Should prisoners make the same money as the working class?

      Think about what you are saying……



      The RICH people give to charity!!!!!
      How much do YOU give to charity???

      The RICH people make jobs!!!!
      How many companies have you put together and supplied jobs!!!!

      How much money do YOU have in the bank so the banks can make money off
      You and grow???

      The RICH people buy stock
      How much stock do YOU buy.

      How much money do YOU invest to help our country??


      Isn’t your arm getting tired holding your hand out by now????


      THEY ARE THE ONES THAT MAKE OUR COUNTY!!!!!!—-Do you REALLY think the poor people help build our counrty???? REALLY!!!

      The jobs they send overseas are the ones that our LAZY NO GOOD people here think they are to good to do or if they don’t get paid the right amount, they think Obama will pay them more to sit at home and draw unemployment. They can’t get anyone here to work like the people overseas!!!!!!!!!!!!

      What are you talking about they don’t want to pay for Infrastructure??? Are you out of your MIND???? They are they ones doing it allllll—-THEY ARE THE ONES WITH THE MONEY!!!!!!!!! The rich are the ones that make the jobs!!!!!!!!!!!

      Our country CAN NOT survive with all poor people—WE NEED THE RICH!!!!

      WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mary,

    It is really worse than you think, regarding wage equity; and the Working Man or Woman, receiving a fair return on the Fruits of his/her Labor! For the last 20 years – – or more; the size of raises were, on average, just ONE/TENTH of what the wage increases were between 1949 – 1979. In other words, following the War, wage increases earned by the Working Stiffs of this Country, were ten times! greater than what they have been during the past 20 or 30 years. Yet, the Country supposedly got very Wealthy; but the Ordinary American didn’t participate in the growth. Wages have essentially been flat during the past 30 years; and, now we know they are falling.

    How were the Predatory Capitalists able to depress wages to the degree they did? Simple: They constantly threatened the Working Class that they would close Factories, and do their Manufacturing overseas. Many did, anyway. The other Scam they pulled on the Working Stiff; was the Creation of Credit Cards! The line was: Not to worry about your wages; you can still have it all. By now, and pay later. The Monthly payments won’t be much! You Family deserves it! Hell, you deserve it.”

    Power down; back later.

    • ..the latest topic is “redestribution” a euphemistic term to describe the need for greater contributions by the 2% that own 60% of the financial wealth in the USA, and the need to fund social programs that are essential for the well being of the middle class and the poor. I guess this is phase two of the “I want more” plan to allow the super rich to accumulate more wealth than they already have…with Mitt Romney as their Messiah.

  • bcarreiro

    does he actually have man hours in the sytem. when you live by the sword you swear to die by it to…….theres nothing the fools wont do with their doubled-edged one.

  • the more you watch Mitt Romney talk and now some of people in his own party is throwing him under the bus I guess that some Republicans don’t like Romney

  • Landsende

    Did anyone notice these “fat cats” are fat!!!!!! Guess they don’t have to worry where their next meal is coming from like so many of the 47% do.


      Have you EVER heard of Barney Frank—-Have you seen him????
      Do you know Bob Beckel??? Have you seen HIM????

  • axxan3

    I am a 61 year old vet. About a year ago I returned from Iraq as a contractor. My wife is going blind so I have to put her 1st. I am not receiving anything from the Gov nor do I expect nor want anythng. In jan I will be 62 and expect to receive a social security check. Question is because I have no income and live off money I sat back that I paid tax on in 2011 am I part of the 47 per cent that you do not want to be President of. North Korea owed Russia alot of money so they sent men and women to be their slaves. Is this your plan to get rid of those that are not paying any taxes? The fact is unlike congress I do not owe anyone and everthing I have is paid for. To the point you can keep my social security check if Congress will do their job. They are suppose to be working for all US tax payer and what ever money is collected from taxes does not belong to them and if I wrote checks I could not cover I would go to jail. The next time congress want to give away money to other countries you can not buy friends and if you and other Republicians and Democrats want to give a way money that is not your to give. GIVE IT TO THOSE THAT WANT JOBS AND NOT HAND OUTs I have been sign up voters and this is what everone says is the main issue. JOBS JOBS JOBS not hand outs. If you want to do something bain all imports that can be made in the USA. If you want my vote you could put in place this but I know you want. Everone you write Obama and Mitt and there Congress saying bring back made in the US not hand outs.

  • The 47% pays or paid income taxes, and what about sales taxes?? on things that are purchased, mostly by the 47% . The elderly has already paid taxes on the salary they earned. it is called income tax and why must the elderly feel guilty about social security T
    his was deducted from their income. They “Built It” and deserve it, and Neil “stop skinning the rich” ? are you serious? The rich pays less taxes because of all the loop holes. This is why Romney” will not show his tax returns”. Fess up Governer Romney, how much did you pay? There were some years when I paid 28% and you, a multi billionaire paid less than 14% here and none in China and you want to be our President. Shame, shame, shame-us.

  • All the right wing fat cats defending Romney, are white, fat and hateful. I am so tired of this election season. Can hardly wait for it to be over. President Obama still has a lot to do, once he is re-elected. I sure hope he can get congress to work with him on continuing to try and lower the debt and repair the economy. We as citizens of this great country need to come together and get behind our President. I just hope we can make this happen.

  • How interesting that all the “Right-Wing” fat cats defending Romney are white, fat and truly despicable. I am so tired of this whole campaign, and will be so glad when November 6 gets here. I sure hope President Obama can get Congress to work with him in the comming years to decrease the debt and repair the economy. We as citizens of this great country need to come together and get behind our President to help make things happen. Dominick and Don, great insights thanks for posting. Obama 2012!


    PLEASE don’t tell me you guys are that uneducated!!!!!!!!!!

    PLEASE don’t tell me that you believe that is what he was saying!!!!!!!!!!!

    He was saying he WILL NOT get votes from the Blacks, minorities, illegal’s, single moms, gays, lesbians, & baby killers Because Barack Hussein Obama supports them and gives money to them—

    Freeeee EVERYTHING!!!!! JUST VOTE FOR ME and I will give you FREEEE hand outs!!!!

    He WAS NOT talking about normal good American middle class people that work hard to make a living and take care of themselves. He is talking about the beggers!!!!!!!!!!