I did say Mitt peaked too soon, but this is ridiculous

In a previous blog post I speculated that Mitt Romney’s  campaign had peaked too soon. The goal, I said, is to peak on election day, timing your highest approval ratings to hit on the day they matter, before people can sit down and realize what it was you really said.

Instead, I said, he seemed to have peaked a bit before the convention that nominated him, leaving him on thin ice in the future.

Boy, did I call that one.

It may be premature, but offhand it looks now as if Mitt has not just passed his peak but is intent to dive as deep as he can, shooting his toes off with a shotgun on the way down.

Now, it is possible Mitt could still pull something out. You never know. Politics is much like Raptors baseball where the game is never over until the bottom of the 9th because a 10-run inning is always possible.

Still, Mitt has royally put his foot in it by — the horror — speaking his mind, his true mind, his honest, unedited, clearly thinking “this is how I actually feel” mind, which is something no politician ever dare do.

I speak of course of the now infamous sneaky video (click)  showing Mitt telling a bunch of rich donors that 47 percent of the nation doesn’t pay income taxes, so he’s written them off, they’re just going to vote for Obama because they want more free stuff and blah blah blah.

Mitt thought he was safe and, probably, was sucking up to his rich pals by feeding them the comforting stereotypes of the lazy poor that he knows they want to hear. He obviously wasn’t paying attention to previous sneaky videos that have given trouble to Obama — the “hugging their guns” thing, that whole ACORN mess, and so on.

Awareness of the dangers of this sort of thing ought to be on the intro-page of day one in “Running for Public Office 101.” Am I the only guy who remembers how former Ag Secretary Earl Butz under Richard Nixon (click)  got into trouble?

Well, Mitt, guess what? Democrats can buy video cameras too. Every cell phone has one, practically.

That 47 percent (really 46, but who’s counting?) of the nation’s wage earners don’t pay income taxes thing is so much a lie on so many levels it is impossible to list them all. It may be mathematically correct, sort of, but completely ignores why those people pay no income taxes and it is a ”why” that is criminally ignored by Mitt and the GOP in its rush to make a point.

Who are the 46 percent?

Here’s a lovely chart, (click) interactive, that shows some numbers. It looks at the 10 percent of filers who are seniors on Social Security who don’t pay income tax, the 25 or so percent who make so little that their dependents push them below the minimum line, the numbers who pay a payroll tax even if they don’t qualify for income tax, and so on.

Bottom line: Around 1 percent of wage earners in the country making more than $20,000 a year pay no federal income tax. And, of course, even they do pay sales tax, property tax, water tax and all the rest.

David Brooks, the conservative columnist at the New York Times who has, up to now, supported Romney, is scathing today (click), pointing out among other things that a huge chunk of folks who don’t pay income taxes are older white folk –Republicans and even Tea Party folk. The headline on his column — Thurston Howell Romney — may soar above a few of you younger readers. It is a reference to the clueless rich guy on Gilligan’s Island.

Key quote from the column: “Sure, there are some government programs that cultivate patterns of dependency in some people. I’d put federal disability payments and unemployment insurance in this category. But, as a description of America today, 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.”

What is more interesting is who makes one heck of a lot more than $20,000 a year and doesn’t pay any income tax, or darn little. Ever hear of General Electric?

Bruce Bartlett, senior staff member of the Reagan and Bush I administrations, and who’s worked for Ron Paul and his ilk, has a great op-ed piece in today’s New York Times parcing the corporate income tax that people like Mitt like to complain is too high.

It’s really not, Bartlett says, for a wide range of reasons (click) , all of them legal. These are the same dodges that people like Mitt Romney like to say they happily take advantage of because nobody should pay more than they should but, as Bartlett points out, one heck of a lot of very rich and profitable corporations are paying zip.

It is amusing that neither Romney nor his supporters find it ironic that they defend people like Mitt taking advantage of legal ways to lower their tax liability, but when someone making $26,000 a year claims his four dependents (spouse, self, two kids) to avoid liability that person is derided as a leech demanding free stuff from government.

This and other statements by Mitt make one realize just how tone-deaf he is.

I have a friend who used to live in Las Vegas who posted this  on Facebook regarding the Mitt kerfeffel:

“It shows he doesn’t have the slightest grasp of how very, very little people have to earn before they qualify for public assistance. While riding the bus in Las Vegas a few years ago, I met a single mom who worked two jobs and was on her way to interview for a third to keep her family from being evicted. They had a day’s worth of food left in the fridge, but she wanted to work to pay her way, rather than use public assistance.

“This guy has no idea what motivates the average American. He’s never been one.” 

Or, as one facebook friend said: “That’s one heck of a campaign strategy, telling half the country to f… off.”

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56 Responses to I did say Mitt peaked too soon, but this is ridiculous

  1. Doug says:

    Re: http://www.gallup.com/poll/150743/Obama-Romney.aspx

    Anyone who thinks this race is anything but tied is a fool, or Chris Matthews.

      • packsoldier says:

        Nate Silver is a former Daily Kos diarist. Hardly an unbiased source (I won’t mention that he writes for the NY Times).

        Rasmussen (the most accurate pollster in the 2008 election) has Romney up by 1 in its swing state tracking poll. Gallup has Obama up by 2 in its swing state tracking poll. Not exactly a landslide either way, Chuck.

    • Midwinter says:

      Likely voters in swing states is where you ought to be looking, not national polls.

    • Howard Ratcliffe says:

      Doug, you just wrote a letter saying everyone has already picked Obama. Is this a Mitt type Flip Flop?
      Mikeseall and Brent Glines are still having a little trouble understanding the President must be a US Citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted OR a Natural Born Citizen. Clearly 2 different definitions the Supreme Court has dealt with 4 times in the past.
      Neat trick though, skip bail, flee to Mexico and have your grandson and his son run for President.

      • Brent Glines says:

        Howard, since you’ve used my name in vain, let me address your concern.

        Are you of the opinion that Romney was not born in the United States? His biography states that he was born in a hospital in Detroit, so if you have proof to the contrary, let’s have it.

        Section 2 Article I of the Constitution says “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President”, but the Constitution doesn’t define the meaning of ‘natural born citizen’.

        The common definition I’ve seen is “All individuals born on US Soil”, plus additions for children of US citizens born overseas, deployed service members, diplomatic foreign service people, and so forth. For people born on US soil, since they are separate distinct individuals, their status should be independent from that of their parents.

        The issue of natural born citizen status for the purpose of determining qualification for President is not simple however, as this entry in Wikipedia. I will grant that Wikipedia is not definitive, but it is useful in situations like this in that, if nothing else, it demonstrates that the issue isn’t as simple as one might think.

        The Supreme Court will be ruling on this very question this fall. Unless the Supremes rule otherwise, since Mitt was born in Detroit, I think his eligibilty for the office of President as far as citizenship goes should be trivially accepted as true, regardless of anything Howard may believe.

  2. KT says:

    “Well, Mitt, guess what? Democrats can buy video cameras too. Every cell phone has one, practically.”

    Absolutely true. Obama can count on the LA Times to keep hiding the Khalidi fundraising tape, but he now bans cell phones at his fundraisers. MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION EVER.

    Kinda fun that this secret video was brought to us by Jimmy Carter’s unemployed grandson.

    “The Press” must be so relieved: Secret Romney Tape Means We Can Finally Stop Talking About Obama’s Failed Foreign & Domestic Policy!


  3. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    SCYTL a Barcelona Foreign Equity Fund will count the votes; why bother voting, especially when neither man is elgible under the Constitution to run for President?
    Apr 13, 2012 – But the fact that the SCYTL system is being used in 900 voting jurisdictions in the U.S. means that the potential for widespread vote tampering, .

  4. Confused says:

    Whats is “rediculous”?

    • Charles Trentelman says:

      the idea that i used to be a copy editor. WAAAAAY before spell-check.

      it didn’t last(grin)

      and anyway, remark is spelled re, return is too. Why not rediculous? Because it is?

  5. Brian says:

    You spelled ridiculous wrong in your headline.

  6. Brent Glines says:

    Charles, if people getting social security benefits aren’t paying income taxes on those benefits, it’s not because they aren’t taxable. They are. If your total income is over $25,000, including SS benefits, then you will pay income taxes on those benefits.

    • Charles Trentelman says:

      Never said they weren’t, or didn’t mean to imply it. People living just on SS, with no other income, very easily don’t pay income taxes because their income is too low. My mom, for example, never paid, but she did fine on SS because she lived through the depression and had everything in her life paid off.

      When I retire and Dr.Trentelman supports me, our combined incomes will mean my SS benefits will be taxable. I should probably look into something in the Cayman Islands?

      • Brent Glines says:

        OK, so you were just being dishonest in the way you talked about seniors on Social Security, as if Social Security wasn’t taxable. Got it. It would have been more honest if you had said ‘Seniors who’s income falls below the level that requires them to pay taxes, just like EVERYONE ELSE who’s income falls below the level that requires them to pay taxes’, but honestly isn’t your strong suit. No need to even mention seniors or SS at all, was there? Hack.

        With respect to your retirement, talk to a good investment counselor and bounce it off a tax lawyer sure. If it’s legal, why not?

        • ctrentelman says:

          wow, from simple clarification to personal attacks and accusations of lying … you must be fun at parties.

          • Brent Glines says:

            Call ‘em as I see ‘em.

          • Decider says:

            “The Conservative position is that everyone should pay taxes.” “Everyone” -Glines
            Would Conservatives agree???
            “The latest update estimates that ALL BUT FOUR of the 300 Fortune 500 companies that paid an average NEGATIVE Federal Income Tax rate from 2008 to 2010 continued to do so for 2011. Among those companies are Pepco and General Electric.”

            When did Glines become a SPOKEMAN for Conservative positions? — or are those “just Glines’ words” of just making positions up as he goes along? I thought Corporations were people too?
            “The problem arises for those who pay no taxes . . .”
            Glines, please provide an list of ALL THOSE WHO PAY NO TAXES — everyone should know if these scheming evil-doers exist, and how making EVERYONE a taxpayer will fix the budget? Yep, Fiscal insanity is indeed alive and well with the fringe on the fringe.

          • Brent Glines says:

            Decider objects to corporations who pay no taxes, and yet which party passed a budget that will “Remove distortions from the code by eliminating or modifying deductions, credits and special
            carve-outs that leave many companies paying no tax at all”, and which party hasn’t passed a budget in over 3 years. The budget submitted by the President failed by a vote of 414-0 in the House 99-0 in the Senate

            If he’s serious, maybe Decider should vote Republican…

          • Decider says:

            It is obvious that Glines has NO rebuttal for his absurd statement “That the Consevative position is that everyone should pay taxes.” He would rather post IRRELEVANT diversionary scam about Obama than respond to four RELEVANT questions of mine about his ridiculous claims.
            Oh well, I’ve seen all this before.

        • Decider says:

          “Of course you’re right. There are a number of retirees, members of the military and so forth who aren’t paying taxes.” Mitt Romney

          And what ‘number’ is that Mitt???
          Then what percentage of the 46% (retirees, members of the military and so forth and those who pay a payroll tax) are NOT moochers, parasites and work ethic impaired? No clarification from Romney on that one.
          But, Romney’s simplistic 46+% who pay no Federal Income tax is the PREFERRED deceptive lie that Glines has no problem with.

          • Brent Glines says:

            Your lie, Decider, is that conservatives are saying “moochers, parasites and work ethic impaired”. Those are your words. The conservative position is that everyone should pay taxes. Everyone. It is not the fault of people who currently don’t pay taxes. The tax code is written so that is legal, and that is a fault in the tax code, not with with people who follow the law as currently written.

            The problem arises that for those who pay no taxes, there is no incentive for them to demand the government be held accountable for fiscal insanity. If everyone paid taxes, then everyone would be motivated to see that government spending is brought under control.


          • Decider says:

            As Romney characterizes HALF of Americans as “dependent on government” and “needing to take personsal responsibility and care for their lives.” I challenge Glines to explain why the PARAPHRASING of Romney’s characterization of half of America as “moochers, parasites and work ethic impaired” is, at all, a misrepresentation of Romney’s meaning — all be it, NOT sugared up with euphemisms . . . .

          • Brent Glines says:

            I’m glad Decider and I agree on one thing. His use of the words “moochers, parasites and work ethic impaired” was a lie. As I said originally, those were his words, and so they were.

            As far as for what Romney did say, Mitt and I are on the same page. Those who pay no income taxes have to incentive to do anything different. Of course his message of lower income taxes will not influence them, because they pay none.

            For those who are interested, here is a transcript of Romney’s remarks.

  7. KT says:

    Jim Treacher has an interesting point of view:

    The Democrats think Romney just self-destructed by pointing out, um, THEIR ENTIRE STRATEGY

    “That’s Obama’s reelection message: “Vote for me or Romney will take away all the free goodies you’ve got coming to you! By the way, can you believe he called you a mooch?” The Democrats based their whole convention around the premise that you need Obama just to survive. (Well, that and killing Bin Laden. Which they suddenly don’t feel like talking about anymore, for some odd reason…)”


  8. hawg says:

    “(really 46, but who’s counting?)”

    only people who are desperatley trying to convince someone, anyone, that romney is in trouble. somebody here mentioned the “poll of polls”. that will be the one in november. stand by

  9. Mikeasell says:

    Romney is done. This will be the rope that Obama will bring out during the debates to tie Romney up. Romney will struggle to clarify that he did not mean what he said, only what he meant, as always it will turn too complicated to be understood and he will just grin, red faced, as the crowd boos. Just like Kerry or McCain before him, he has painted himself into a corner that will take too long to talk himself out, people want bumsber sticker material and he just created material for Obama. He wrote off the undecideds to pander to the stereotype he has been trying to get away from, he still thinks that if he raises more money he will win, no matter what, but we are way to close to vote for that strategy to work, it’s pandering ans posturing time and he screwed both of those up this week. People who avoid taxes are inmoral and lazy? From the guy who won’t release taxes and has shell corporations abroad? He was running behind on all polls, specially in key states, he needed the few Latino votes he could get, nope lost those, he needed the democrats that are dissatisfied with Obama, nope gave those up. What a moron.

  10. Mikeasell says:


  11. KT says:

    The “full video” released by Mother Jones has a gap estimated by “the source” to be approximately 1 to 2 minutes. So I guess the rest of the press CAN’T release the whole thing. http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/09/critical-audio-gap-in-complete-romney-tape-released-by-mother-jones/

  12. ctrentelman says:

    the gap’s not by any chance 18 minutes, is it? It probably contained the proof that Obama was born in Kenya so, of course, we’d hide that, yes.

    • Howard Ratcliffe says:

      Mitt’s father George was born in Mexico and never Naturalized. His grandfather fled US Justice, so Mitt is ineligible to run for President under the Natural Born Citizen clause of the US Constitution.
      Or did his Naturalization records burn up in the Twin Towers Charlie?

      • ctrentelman says:

        the Constitution says nothing about someone’s parents needing to have been born in the US in order for their children to be considered “natural born.”

        The constitution itself does not define the term. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report stated

        “The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.[1]

        so mitt, and barack, both qualify.

        • Howard Ratcliffe says:

          Nah, they don’t Chuck
          A person born to fugitive grand parents/parents in Mexico is not a US Citizen no matter how hard you spin this.

          • Brent Glines says:

            Well, then Howard, you must support deporting all the children born in this country to illegal alien parents, right?

          • Mikeasell says:

            Nah, you are completely wrong. Anyone born in the US is a us citizen, calls the department of homeland security, call the post office and ask for the passport division, call the white house, they will all tell you the fact that anyone born on us soil is a natural born citizen. You don’t get to just make up facts, Howie. Holy hell you are one crazy sob. Stop believing everything you read on line and most importantly don’t feel obligated to believe everything you think.

    • KT says:

      “Source” says it’s one to two minutes. It’s WHERE it cuts out that’s interesting. Nice use of stereotypical “birther” ridicule to devalue the views of others about whom you know little. http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/19/complete-video-of-romney-missing-1-2-minutes-of-remarks-on-the-47/

    • Howard Ratcliffe says:

      No, Chuck not 18, only frames 311-319 of the Zapruder film covering frame 313 where the Magic bullet hit JFK. There are 313 ! in the Authorized Bible and on 3/13/13 the 3rd Red Heifer may be the last to be sacrificed in preparation for the 3rd and last Temple.
      Pretty exciting times for those of us who actually understand Scripture eh?

  13. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Ah, the Earl Butz reference. Hadn’t thought about that rough old goat in years.

  14. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    Mitt may have peaked but Sheriff Joe is coming on strong with new birth Certificate information on Barry Soetero. It seems babies born the same day as Obama have Birth Certificate sequence numbers way out of line.
    Isn’t this fun watching America get taken down like the Titanic, by a Foreigner who hasn’t even sworn to defend the Constitution?


    • ctrentelman says:

      Damn, someone figured out the birth certificate numbers. How did we miss that?

      I am amazed my evil masters in the Illuminati were so sloppy in covering their tracks — Unless, of course, you realize that Sheriff Joe is really working for them in an evil double-blind plot to TAKE OVER THE WORLD using the guardians of justice against it.

      Really, how else do you explain someone with a name like Arpaio getting a job that only a true American should hold???

      • ctrentelman says:

        and why am i telling you this, Howard?

        that’s just how clever we are.

      • Howard Ratcliffe says:

        Well Chuck, Sherriff Joe likely had a hand in Operation Gun Runner and as Mitt’s Homeland Security adviser is likely a front runner for Homeland Security Director. Why not take up your Constitutional denial with him? Maybe he has Mitt’s father George’s Naturalization Records handy

  15. Pingback: Obama’s Lead Looks Stronger in Polls That Include Cellphones – New York Times (blog) | Free Cells

  16. Penny says:

    The truth hurts & when people are forced to face their own faults they do not like it :( Many people do take advantage of the systems in place & I for one want the largest taker Obama to STOP his ridiculous spending!!! Then I want the rest of those that are just like him to do the same. If it is laws that need to be set in place to get people off their pity potty’s so be it! Either way these people are not being motivated off their couches with the past or current administrations :( It is time for a sincere change in America and it is MITT Romney that I believe will make America the country it can & should be!!

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