What I Really Think of Mitt Romney’s 47% Speech

Someone asked me what I thought of Mitt Romney’s recently leaked speech vilifying the 47% who don’t pay Federal Income Tax. Well apart from thinking it a fine piece of political kamikaze, morally I replied:

What Mitt Romney ignored when he denigrated those who don’t pay Federal Income Tax and are in some weird way dependent on the Mitt Romneys of this world, is that when he plans to slash social programs, it is our safety net he is talking about. It is the ‘we the people’s safety net‘. With his inherited and Bained wealth, he doesn’t need it, but most of the rest of us do…what percentage of the population rely on socialist Medicare in old age? That’s our Medicare not some abstract feudal rich person’s Medicare. We contribute to it, we draw from it just as with Social Security. And all wealth in society is created by working people with their hands and minds. Sure some folk organize this production and get a bit more for it, but in doing so they should recognize that they work for their workforce to organize things efficiently, and are not some bloody Mount Olympus gods bestowing cargo cult on the rest of us.

It’s not very neutral or necessarily the only perspective on the issue. It probably would not resolve conflict but when someone gets caught talking toxic classist crap, then as one of my favorite conservatives Edmund Burke (1729-1797)  said: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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4 Responses to What I Really Think of Mitt Romney’s 47% Speech

  1. Al Winchell says:

    Sigh…he gave away his “inherited” wealth and earned his Bain Capital. You may not like HOW he earned it, but he went to a job and did just that. When will the left understand that attempting to fix a problem so it survives it not slashing and trying to destroy it. I would like medicare to be around for me and my kids but the left has no intention to offer anything that resembles a solution to it’s impending doom. but has no problem demonizing any that do. it is sad and unproductive and nothing but destructive.

    • @Al Winchell. Hmm well I hadn’t heard he gave away his inherited wealth. Seems unlikely, but I will take your word for it. And Bain Capital: well you take a company and asset strip it, raid the pension fund and destroy its ability to make stuff. Yes to me that is deeply immoral and my conservative family that I grew up in thought the same of such folk. I worked all my career in manufacturing up to senior level. I don’t know anything about how you earn your living, but I am good at business turnarounds having done a few. And the GOP has no intention of fixing Medicare if it is going the voucher route. The only way to fix Medicare is to make it more like health programs in the rest of the world, where as Mitt Romney said in Israel, they don’t spend a huge percentage of their GNP on healthcare and the government uses its leverage to avoid waste or huge medical sector profits. I have worked in healthcare long ago and indeed have a business project to introduce lean manufacturing techniques from the auto industry into healthcare. So I don’t buy your characterization of me as unproductive or destructive. And I find it better not to characterize ‘left’ or ‘right’ and for the record Eisenhower is probably my favorite 20th century President alongside FDR. He led the GOP when it wasn’t populated by ideological fantasists and he knew that armies like businesses depend on the ‘poor bloody infantry’.

      PS To be fair to both Republicans and Democrats, neither can fix healthcare or Medicare specifically, nor much of what else is wrong with America, while Congress is dominated by corporate funded interests. John McCain to his credit realized this and developed the McCain-Feingold Act to address it. It was passed and would have led to a much better balance in Congress, but the Supreme Court insanely overturned it hin the Citizens United judgement. And America won’t get better in my view (and I speak from personal experience of corporations) until there is a constitutional amendment reinstating McCain-Feingold and making it clear that corporations are not people and don’t automatically receive the civil rights extended to US citizens. Many corporations have expertise that should be listened to in drafting legislation but they should not have financial muscle on Congress to force their viewpoint. That should the prerogative of voters if this is to be a Democracy as the Founding Fathers intended and I support. Romney is far to the right of McCain and clearly a much weaker candidate personally to the GOPs discredit as they had far stronger candidates who didn’t even run because the GOP base is so extreme these days….Jeb Bush, Christie etc.

  2. louploup2 says:

    Your analysis is pretty much spot on, IMO. As a born, raised and active Democrat, I have to think more on your Eisenhower opinion.

    • @louploup. Thanks. We have to realize beyond the current toxic GOP, that a healthy politics needs a healthy non delusional GOP. Eisenhower was their last real shot at that: made realistic by his experience of war and the Depression. But frankly even Reagan, Goldwater and Elder Bush look like realists compared with the Tea Party. As one of my friends pointed out, there are good reasons that the Tea Party are unhappy; it’s just that their solutions are kamikaze and destruction, blaming the wrong people and paranoid to some degree. That needs fixing by moderate Republicans re-asserting themselves, hopefully after Mitt Romney goes down in flames.

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