Up for Debate: Romney's 47 percent

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 1:03am

What is your reaction to presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments, which were secretly recorded at a fundraiser where he spoke, about nearly half of the country voting for President Barack Obama because they are "dependant on government" and "pay no income tax"? What do you think of his explanation Monday evening that his comments were "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated"? Finally, how do you feel about how those comments were secretly recorded and distributed?

Filed under: City Voices

131 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 9/18/12 at 8:52

Paul "yogi" Wade: Every search engine has a portfolio of Barack H. Obama.
He's somebody.
You're nobody.
Down Syndrome people don't repetively ask, "just who is this person?", every day.
"He's occupying the office of President, illegally".
"His grandmother told me he was born in a hut in Kenya".
"He gave up his US citizenship to study in Indonesia.."
"He's half black, half white....I want to know which half is the black part so I know which part of him that's not to like".
"Come to think of it, I don't care much for his white part, either".
"Oh, hell, I was told there'd be no math...I cannot figure out which part of a 50/50 equation I need to hate".
....The Birthers....

By: yogiman on 9/18/12 at 8:53

Kosh III,

Unless you're retired to give you so much time on this site, I possibly be paying more income tax than you.

By: yogiman on 9/18/12 at 8:57


By your statement, as a retired senior, why in the hell am I paying income tax?

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 8:57

Well, I can't argue with a lot of what you wrote. Unions are a problem, just as deregulating Wall Street is. Something has to keep these things in line, they won't do it themselves.

I'm not sure I buy that Obama doesn't mind that many don't pay income taxes, rather it may be a case of not throwing the vulnerable under the bus in the middle of an economic contraction. I think both candidates are in denial about who should pay (we all should).

I also think that the President doesn't have a magic wand and neither does Romney. There are outside forces and structural issues that we have to deal with to improve employment. Having the GOP block a jobs bill to score political points pisses me off. And it should piss you off too. I don't care what party you're affiliated with, the goal should be putting people back to work.

Wasn't Romney just on Kelly and Michael? How is that different than Obama on late night? Do you think Romney would refuse to do Letterman or Leno? I don't think so either. That's a straw man.

As far as immigration, since we're broke, how do you propose that we deport 12 million plus people? Seriously. What's the plan? Reagan did amnesty, and even though no one will admit it's on the table, logistically and financially, how can it not be?

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:04

While Romney and Rasputin shoot off their collective mouths, they do not understand just who these 47% are. They Republicans, retired military people , and other such people. The fact that they pay taxes every time they buy food or anything else seems to fly over their heads

Rasputin is right about one thing,, Romney is beaten but it is not the free stuff. It is out of touch with the reality in America.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 9:05

Good god yogi, are you a complete moron? I didn't say all seniors are exempt but that some of the 47% that are seniors don't qualify to pay...here's a dollar, go buy a clue.

By: yogiman on 9/18/12 at 9:08


Tax breaks only makes sense to the branch of congress that gets it passed, and the ones benefiting from it.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:09

It should be obvious that p3 does not read. He only hears what Fox and the likes tell him.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 9:12

No, the executive branch can and does determine that incentives (tax breaks) can be used to stimulate certain aspects of the economy. The legislative branch then approves or disapproves. The judicial branch then approves by ommision or by judicial review will reverse based on Constitutionality.

You really have no concept of how government works.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 9:15

More on the 47%

The Tax Policy Center has estimated that in tax year 2011, 46% of households owed nothing in federal income taxes. About half are nontaxable strictly because of tax breaks. The other half didn't owe federal income tax because of exemptions allowed for subsistence level income and dependents.

The No Tax Club includes some of the very rich -- a few thousand a year usually.

But the group of nonpayers is made up disproportionately of low- and lower-middle-income households, including seniors. More than 90% of all the those who had no federal income tax liability in 2011 had income below $50,000.



By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:16

Rasputin whines about his Republican friends whining . Kind of sad in a funny way.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 9:17

More (same source):

And if payroll taxes are counted, the number of non-payer households drops precipitously -- to an estimated 18% in 2011.

Why? Because payroll taxes, which fund the big entitlement programs, hit low-income households harder than most since 100% of their income is subject to them.

By contrast, high-income filers pay a lower percentage of their income in payroll taxes since wages subject to the Social Security tax are capped at $110,100.

Of course, that's all just about federal taxes paid on income. Once sales taxes as well as state and local income taxes are thrown into the mix, virtually no household in America would qualify for the non-payer group.

By: brrrrk on 9/18/12 at 9:25

So, I'm watching the Broncos/Falcons game last night and about 9 PM I hear this large BOOM, much like a sonic boom..... the windows rattle and everything shakes in the house...

At first I'm thinking it's a military jet going into Mach I... but then realize that it couldn't have been because I didn't hear the roar of any engines....

Turns out it was the Romney campaign imploding.

By: jvh2b on 9/18/12 at 9:25

"Good god yogi, are you a complete moron?"

That's a rhetorical question if I've ever heard one gd.... =)

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:25

The GOP has sold it's soul and now has a hard time understanding what America is all about. It is just shameful how Romney and his Romnetts flutter about and not learn anything.

By: pswindle on 9/18/12 at 9:27

The bottom line is that Mitt has been caught with his pants down. He can't talk his way out of these statements.

By: brrrrk on 9/18/12 at 9:28

Captain Nemo said

"Rasputin whines about his Republican friends whining . Kind of sad in a funny way."

Actually, given Romney's open lack of empathy towards anyone who would choose not to vote for him, you would think that Raspy is his campaign manager....

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:32

Another thing I have noticed about the Republicans is how they will blame failure on Romney or free stuff as the foolish monk likes to say. Never really looking at the policy of greed they cherish so dear, that has taken them down the road they now travel.

By: MusicCity615 on 9/18/12 at 9:34


Obama has played more rounds of golf and has spent more vacation days that any president in history. I could be wrong, but Obama has taken the most days off, or is close to it.

I don't support a jobs bill that requires us to go more in debt, which is just what Obama's jobs bill would do. When we were told that the "stimulus" would bring us down to 6% unemployment, we soon realized that our taxpayer money went to Obama's donors and around $12 billion went to obama donors who later went bankrupt! That should piss you off.

Republicans favor building the pipeline which would create thousands of American jobs at no cost to the taxpayer, but Obama nullified that. Obamacare has many small businesses not hiring because of the uncertainty of the taxes obamacare will impose. We were told medicare and medicaid and social security would be effective, but we are now billions in the hole with those government programs, why would think Obamacare would be different? Because Obama is cool?

The best thing that congress could do right now is to cut CORPORATE taxes for American companies, and cut corporate taxes even more for American companies that keep all their operations in America. This plan is the best route to get people working again immediately, without a dime of taxpayer money.

Obama, having never been in the private sector for a day in his life, would never understand this clarity.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:35

No brrrrk Rasputin is not a campaign manager, he is just a dupe that thinks he is a somebody.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:37

You are full of crap MC615.

By: brrrrk on 9/18/12 at 9:37

MusicCity615 said

"Obama has played more rounds of golf and has spent more vacation days that any president in history. I could be wrong"

You are..........

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:41

The Governor and the people of Nebraska did not want the pipe line in that part of the state. They and Obama said it could be in the eastern part of the state.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 9:43

Debt is rising because revenue is down, don't you get it? More tax cuts are not the answer. Talk about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...

I'll say it again (because apparently English is the second language for many here) taxes are going to have to go up. There's really no way around it if you're serious about the debt.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 9:44

I think G W Bush still hold that distinction, of vacation time. This is just another sign that the right is coo coo.

By: brrrrk on 9/18/12 at 9:45

for coco puffs....

By: brrrrk on 9/18/12 at 9:51

Just for you MusicCity615....

Presidential vacations: How does Obama compare?

Bush Spent 5 Times More On Flights To Texas Than Obama‘s Christmas Vacation Costs

Obama’s Vacations? Of Any President, Bush Racked Up the Most

By: jvh2b on 9/18/12 at 9:55

thanks for that brrrk....a simple google search can validate so many things...one would hope Music City would at least attempt to educate themselves before making such an erronious statement.

Seriously...if you listen to Fox news...at least do yourself a favor and search some of it yourself...so you can know which 75% of the bull they feed...is indeed bull...

They have a proven track record of clear lies...it's really quite sad.

By: slacker on 9/18/12 at 10:24

I just read David Corns article on this subject, in Mother Jones. Whats the Expose?
Romney's views are well known by informed voters, you agree with him or you don't. I didn't read anything new, other than Romney thought it was private.
We have a polarized electorate, and the election will be decided by the 3% undecided. Its close, maybe the debates will decide it.

By: slacker on 9/18/12 at 10:43

News.. Flash.. Just in from the Grassy Knoll Gazette!
At a campaign stop in Bunkerville, Mitt Romney tells the mother of a crying infant, to ''shut that snot nosed kid up''... I'm talking here.
''Mittens'' was overheard telling his security, to tie the mother and child to the top of his campaign bus.
Romney's staff denies the incident.
-Art Deco - on the scene reporter

By: gabster1000 on 9/18/12 at 10:54


Let's stop the $92 Billion in Corporate subsidies. If you are going to trim from assistance programs, how about starting with the $ 70 Billion that we give to oil companies alone. And kill the ethanol program...that is a joke. It takes more energy to produce ethanol than ethanol produces...

By: govskeptic on 9/18/12 at 11:48

This story, while interesting, give the media a chance to get off the
sorry story of Foreign Relation failures of this administration in the
wider Middle East. Snippets of this story have been around since
May and are the results of info from Rachel Maddow and Jimmy Carter, IV.
Yes, that Jimmy Carter.

Probably been holding story for just the right day the Re-election
effort was in deep trouble. Good strategy I must say, but Romney
has made a decent explanation and shot down all the stretching
the media has made in their reporting of his remarks.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 12:00

Regarding Ethanol:


The official Morgan Stanley report is good reading. I got it in an email, can't really find it on the web.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 12:06

I think that govskeptic should change his/her name to mediaskeptic. ;-)

By: dargent7 on 9/18/12 at 12:13

This story has legs. Mittens didn't have a gaffe or an awkward period of silence.
He rambled on for a full minute on his personal take and philosophy. No taking that back with, "I spoke, off the cuff".
Sadly, the majority of the 47% Romney is dissing don't vote.
So, the other 53% who do vote will capitulate what Mittens said.
And I think of that group, only 45% or less, vote. Of that, it's a tie between Obama and Romney.
Electing a US President is all about negative tv ads, strategy, campaign stops, Electoral positioning.
I wish it was more like a football game. A coin toss, who wants to receive, referees, line judges, rules, video replays, flags thrown.
In the end, we'd just know who won.
For better or worse.
In America, now it's who bought the most votes and who lied the best.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 12:15

Media conspiracy...yawn

By: Mike Burch on 9/18/12 at 12:19

Bishop Romney consulted his magical undies, and they informed him that he is the paragon of all that is beautiful and holy.

When he saw that 47% of Americans didn't evade taxes the way he did (via Cayman Island IRAs), but didn't pay federal income tax because they were POOR, this offended the Mighty Mormon Power Ranger, and he upped the ante on Marie Antoinette. Rather than saying "let them eat nonexistent cake," he said, "Food is an entitlement, so let them starve to death."

The idea that food is an entitlement in a land of plenty, and that only rich people deserve to eat, is hard to find in the messages of the Hebrew prophets, Jesus and the apostles. So it seems Bishop Romney must be God.

By: gdiafante on 9/18/12 at 12:20

Darge, he did say it was "not elegantly stated"...maybe he meant eloquently...but perhaps he would like to refudiate that too...

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 12:27

By: parnell3rd on 9/17/12 at 5:54
Today it cost me $45.00 to fill up my car with gasoline. The same amount in 2008 cost me $24.00. I would like to personally thank all the people who voted for Obama.

When gas prices goes up, it is all Obama's fault.


When gas prices goes down, Obama had nothing to do with it.


By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 12:32

Maybe we did not hear Romney correctly, because he had his foot in mouth.

By: Mike Burch on 9/18/12 at 12:39


Of course the price of gas skyrocketing had nothing to do with the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld invasion of Iraq of false premises, or with Cheney saying that deficits don't matter.

By: brrrrk on 9/18/12 at 12:58

Captain Nemo said

"Maybe we did not hear Romney correctly, because he had his foot in mouth."

More like a silver spoon up his ass.....

By: Mike Burch on 9/18/12 at 1:08


You made me grin with the image of this new sonic boom being the result of Bishop Romney having a silver spoon up his ass!

By: Mike Burch on 9/18/12 at 1:08

Lines from “Bishop Romney’s 47% Solution,” Stanza 666

I consulted my Magical Underpants ...
They told me poor people are scavenger ants
beyond any hope of Wealth’s salvation ...
so unworthy of Me, a squalid nation
of mothers and children and babies (ugh!) nude ...
oh, please tell Me, citizens, are they entitled to food?

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 1:09


I like to point out silly, whiny post like that. p3 is an example of frightened people that lash out with nothing to hold on to, but desperate moan for revenge.

It is just sad how a once proud party has the GOP has turn into just a collection of misfits. The party system has produced people like him and I think it should be abolished.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/18/12 at 1:14

LOL brrrrk and Mike.

By: Loner on 9/18/12 at 1:15

I like the Marie Antoinette parallel, Mike.....let them eat cake, indeed.....with Grey Poupon.

One must wonder....is the Bishop included in the 47% of those who pay no federal income tax?....and what about his sons? Are any of Mitt's boys paying zip in US taxes?

The Romney tribe knows how to take every possible tax deduction and how to conceal profit....they have professional accountants on staff...I'd bet that at least one of those boys is included in the 47%. The media ought to dig into that....but I doubt if they have the inclination to do so.

By: Mike Burch on 9/18/12 at 1:16


I think the elections may boil down to something like this:

45% of the voters would never vote for President Obama, even if he was running against Hitler (and Bishop Romney sounds a lot like Hitler when he was running for office)

45% of the voters would never vote for Romney because they see him as a rich, white elitist who doesn't care about average Americans (which seems to be obviously true)

This leaves perhaps 10% of the voters to decide the election. Theoretically, this should give the advantage to President Obama, because Bishop Romney keeps shooting himself in the foot. But Bishop Romney is about to unleash millions of dollars of ads which will accuse President Obama of being responsible for all America's ills.

So the fate of the nation may rest on how gullible people are. Will they believe bald lies and distortions, or will they study things and think for themselves?

By: Loner on 9/18/12 at 1:38

"Ypu name it...they feel entitled to it"...sez the Mitt.

And Rush Limbaugh claims that this is a great opportunity for the GOP....his logic is fuzzy on that, however....time to say, "Mitt is right!", not to apologize, according to Rush and his ilk.

Well, that might solidify the GOP base, but at great cost, Mitt has also fired up Obama's base....the Dems needed to stimulate the base, the Bishop provided the stimulus.

President Obama should remain silent on the Mittgaff...until Letterman asks him, tonight. And even then, the president ought to take a "Bless his heart" attitude towards Willard....just give him more rope...the old rope-a-dope technique.

As I said, Mitt's dad blew it with the "Brainwashed" gaff...now, the son may have blown it with the, "Victims" gaff...or will they call it, the "47%" gaff?

The Romney family seems to be genetically prone to gaffs. Do we really want a gaff-prone POTUS?

By: Mike Burch on 9/18/12 at 1:39


I think that in the strange world of Bishop Romney, it is EVIL to be poor and thus not pay federal income taxes, while it is HOLY to be rich and thus able to evade taxes "legally."

Is this why Jesus said that a man cannot serve God and Mammon?

Bishop Romney is preaching a very strange religion, in my opinion. The Hebrew prophets, Jesus and the apostles all said that the rich should help the poor, not take advantage of them. But Bishop Romney wants to eliminate ALL federal income taxes for the richest 1%, and to reduce taxes for the "middle class" which he has now redefined as those Americans who make $200,000 to $250,000 per year. Who does this leave to bear the brunt? Obviously the 90% of Americans who don't make $200,000 per year. Bishop Romney is honest, at least. He admits that he despises the underclass (to borrow a term from Rasputin).

What happens when a rich white sociopath rises to power over 150 million people he despises and sees as lazy freeloaders?

And if his evil schemes come to fruition, pretty soon it won't be 150 million people living in poverty or on the cusp of poverty. As more and more wealth is transferred to the 1%, the ranks of the underclass will swell to 200 million, then 250 million, then 275 million. Then 90% of Americans will know the despair of living under the rod of someone who despises them.