Barack Obama, Wealth Redistribution and Mitt Romney’s 47% Comments



Obama in the land of Unicorns and Wealth Redistribution.

When President Barack Obama told us he believed in redistribution shouldn’t we have taken him at his word?  Listen above…

At an October 19, 1998 conference at Loyola University, then State Senator Barack Obama spoke against “propaganda” that said government doesn’t work and the need to “pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution.”

Ah, isn’t that just swell, and it seems that yes there are actually 47% percent of Americans who do support President Obama, at least today.  According to the Wall Street Journal there is data that backs up Mitt Romney’s claim that 47% of Americans would “automatically” vote for President Obama because they are dependent on government and pay no taxes.  A recap, in case you missed it earlier:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Conservatives agree and disagree with Romney’s claim.  Actually it is worse than what Romney said.  49% of households has somebody who receives some sort of Federal aid and over 49% pay no federal income tax (edited, originally just wrote “tax” without qualifiers).  Were his comments arrogant and stupid?  Not anymore than complaining that some Americans cling to their guns and their religion.  In a sound byte culture it wasn’t the best comment to make, but considering there is hard data that backs it up why are we making a big deal out of it.

We have a President who likes redistributing money – his record speaks for itself, and he wants to do more of it through a variety of entitlement programs.  Waiving the work requirement for welfare, Obamacare, more stimulus, wanting to raise taxes on the rich and on and on and on.

When somebody reveals themselves to us we should believe them.  I’m glad that Mitt Romney when he is criticized about his 47% comments is reminding people to do just that.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=762605011 Kedron Bardwell

    Hi Shane,

    You say “According to the Wall Street Journal there is data that backs up Mitt Romney’s claim that 47% of Americans would ‘automatically’ vote for President Obama because they are dependent on government and pay no taxes.” This is only half (or even a bit less than half) true. Yes, if you look ONLY at income taxes (and factor in all credits or deductions, many of which conservatives support), 47% of Americans receive some targeted government benefit. But to say a person is “dependent” on it depends on the program . Social security? Well, people pay into it. Same with Medicare. I agree some programs create dependency, but there’s a lot of programs lumped into that number.

    Most importantly, Romney is just wrong on the data and evidently doesn’t have a good read on what drives people to vote, an ominous sign for any candidate. Specifically, the 47% who receive a benefit are NOT the same 47% who will vote for Obama.  Not even close. There is little relationship between being a beneficiary of a government program (the “47%”) and voting. Class/income are not great predictors of voting today, and for a Republican to claim otherwise actually plays into Democratic stereotypes. From the article, “Romney implied that anyone receiving government benefits wouldn’t likely be one of his voters. But there’s no clear partisan split among beneficiaries, especially for broad-based federal retirement/health-care programs.”

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      Good points. I don’t want to launch into a grand defense of his statements. Especially since they are comments I wouldn’t have made. I think the media is blowing it out of proportion though, especially in light of what Obama has said and even worse has done – that was my main point.
      As always I appreciate your feedback/pushback Kedron.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

        The media are like ravenous wolves ready to pounce at even the slightest mishap (and this latest one is offensive on many levels) by anyone who opposes Obama.  Is that fair?  No.  But it’s pretty foolish to offer them free food.  :)

        As indiscreet as Romney is, it’s hard for me to believe he’s ever gotten as far as he has.  I guess all that money helped.  ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhondaleensb Rhonda Welsch

    People vote their pockets…those who have never had their own money will absolutely vote for the Re-distributor in Chief; those who have produced, had money and have been disenfranchised by the redistribution of their  hard earned money will fight back and vote for Real Change… O’s gotta go!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

    I would include a link, but since I never know whether a link will make it through moderation, I’ll just cut and paste what I consider some very perceptive statements made about this issue by a conservative poster on another board:

     As I suspected from way back in 2008, Mitt is a political accident
    waiting to happen. Even if he gets past this, he’s almost guaranteed to
    do or say something else very foolish over the course of the next seven
    weeks.

    It was a terrible, terrible move to let this guy be the GOP standard bearer. Any number of folks would have made more compelling candidates….

    His words strongly suggest that people whose income fall below a certain
    threshold are not taking personal responsibility for their lives and
    believe that they’re victims. Bear in mind that there are many
    Republicans and Independents who don’t make very much money either. It’s
    pretty condescending and insulting. This is going to increase his
    negatives and is not going to help him win undecided voters, many of
    whom fall into this group.

    It gives an impression that Romney is either apathetic to or disdainful of the portion of the American voters who don’t earn much money. Plays right into the hands of the Democratic narratives about Mitt. Pretty much evaporates the common-man narrative
    they worked so hard to paint of him during the Republican primary.

    Also, who knows what else they taped him saying. He did make some comments
    about how he’d be doing better as a candidate if he were Latino….

    The problem for Mitt is that there are a lot of people who are employed
    and doing everything right who, because they don’t earn much, are
    serving in the military, or are retired, who are part of the 47% who
    don’t pay net income taxes. Mitt’s own words here suggest that he thinks
    people who don’t pay income taxes aren’t taking personal responsibility
    or care for their lives and see themselves as victims.

    Any one of the many Romney campaign events include a lot of people who don’t pay net Federal income taxes.

    And then there are other videos out there. I know some people have made
    peace with their prior harsh feelings toward Romney and have settled for
    Mitt and don’t want to admit it. But, he is a disaster as a candidate.
    It’s not even October yet.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      It was a stupid comment to make.  Still compared to the remarks that Obama has made that has been ignored this was pretty minor.

      You already know how I feel about Romney.  My main point here is to remind my readers that we have a President who has said he believes in redistribution.

  • Mobyditch

    Shane’s comment ” Actually it is worse than what Romney said.  49% of households has somebody who receives some sort of Federal aid and over 49% pay no tax” is a blatant lie making the rest of his propaganda rant rather moot.  

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      No, actually there is data to back that up.  

      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/02/2012-index-of-dependence-on-government 

      I know Heritage is conservative so they lie, right?

      Regarding the tax – I should have said income tax.

      • Mobyditch

         No they didn’t lie but you did. Their actual statement is “For the first time in history, half the population pays no federal income taxes.”.  No FEDERAL taxes is the truth but yet somehow you omitted the federal part to make it sound like certain people paid no taxes at all, which of course is not true. 

      • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

        I think saying “you lied” is going a bit far unless you know my intentions. It was an omission, an unintentional one, and one that I will correct. Then again I thought it was pretty obvious we were talking about federal taxes since we are discussing the presidential campaign. Last time I checked the President or Congress has nothing to do with determining state income taxes.

      • mobyditch

        It was an intention omission and you know. And you also know that by omitting certain information would inflame the rightwing base you are appealing to. And speaking of not paying any federal income taxes :http://www.businessinsider.com/7000-millionaires-paid-no-income-tax-2012-9 Worth reading.

      • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

        Oh yes you know my motivations better than I do oh wise sage.

      • mobyditch

        I do when it comes to certain people who write with a certain political slant. Your omission is obvious and I see you haven’t apologized for making the error nor will we see a correction. And no mention of the 1000s of millionaires who pay no federal incomes taxes either.

      • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

        Look again… Read the comments, and see the correction above. I did that a couple of days ago.

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    As a Romney supporter I have to say that he is not leading his campaign well. The RNC was a disaster as key-note speakers seem to have been campaigning for a 2016 presidential bid. Romney insiders are leaking speeches that were rejected. And Romney himself seems to be on the defense all of the time. The base doesn’t like him and conservatives are bailing in epic proportion. The narrative has been anything but the economy. I place the blame squarely at Romney’s feet.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      I agree that he’s not campaigned well.