Many Republicans are saying Romney killed Bin Laden.
Romney has previously said he supports a two-state solution but in the video uncovered by Mother Jones, the GOP presidential nominee indicates he has no interest in actively pursuing peace:
ROMNEY: I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish. Now why do I say that? Some might say, let’s see the Palestinians have the West Bank, and have security and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then come a couple of thorny questions. [...]
And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, “There’s just no way.” And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.” You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with it in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.
But when asked recently if he supported the two-state solution by the Israeli paper Haaretz, Romney said:
“I believe in a two-state solution which suggests there will be two states, including a Jewish state. I respect Israel’s right to remain a Jewish state. The question is not whether the people of the region believe that there should be a Palestinian state. The question is if they believe there should be an Israeli state, a Jewish state.”
While Romney does pay lip service to the two-state solution, publicly, his rhetoric at the fundraiser mirrors much of what he’s been saying throughout the campaign. The “Israel” issue page on his campaign website makes no reference to a “two-state solution” or a “Palestinian” state. He said earlier this year that now is not to the time to be talking about a peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians. So Romney has never really been interested in a two-state solution, he was just more up front about it at his fundraiser.
(realize I already posted the above quote, but I didn't realize Romney recently said he believes in a two state solution)
The Romney campaign is in damage control mode today, trying to explain Romney telling wealthy donors in a private meeting that “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.”
“These are people who pay no income tax,” Romney continued, in a video posted by Mother Jones. “My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” But who are the 47 percent of Americans who currently have no federal income tax liability?
Mostly, they are either too poor to qualify for even the lowest tax bracket (but still pay federal payroll tax, and state or local sales taxes, gas taxes, and excise taxes), or they benefit from tax credits for the working poor, the elderly, or students, as these charts from the Tax Policy Center show. Only 7 percent of the country is non-elderly and has no federal tax liability, and most of them make less than $20,000:
In 2011, payroll tax receipts totaled $818 billion, only $200 billion less than was brought in by the federal income tax. Those Americans who paid payroll taxes, but had no income tax liability, still pay about 15 percent of their income, higher than the 13 percent Romney pays.
As ThinkProgress has explained, more and more income has become concentrated at the top of the income scale in the last few decades, so the wealthy have paid a larger share of federal taxes, because they have a larger share of the income
Romney is hardly alone in his contempt for those who don’t have any federal income tax liability (even though people who fall into that category disproportionately live in Republican states). Over the last few years, many Republicans have explicitly called for finding a way to make the poor pay more, so that the number of federal income tax payers rises.
Romney said that his remarks were "not elegantly stated," but added that he won't back down from them. "It’s a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry," he said.
I don't know if there's anything else he could have said in his response, but let's be clear: Romney's position is as false as it is heartless. He's not just disparaging and writing off half of Americans, he's accusing them of paying "no taxes." That's just not true.
The reality is that most of Mitt's alleged moochers actually do pay federal taxes (see below for details), and virtually all of those who don't still pay state and local taxes. Moreover, many of the people he accuses of being moochers are actually part of his coalition—most of the people who pay neither federal income nor payroll tax are elderly voters, who represent Romney's strongest age demographic. And in 2011, 7,000 millionaires paid no income tax. Surely, Romney could squeeze a few votes from that group.
What this comes down to is that Mitt Romney said something that was not only demonstrably untrue, not only wildly offensive, but also made no sense as political analysis. It was the worst of conservatism jam-packed into a 60 second soundbite: an insulting argument completely disconnected from reality that wouldn't even achieve the stated goals of conservatism were it allowed to prevail. And presented with the opportunity to divorce himself from his statement, Romney decided it would be better to double down than to admit he was wrong. It was simultaneously ignorant, obnoxious, and counterproductive. And Romney's response: no apology.
In fact, while Romney seemed to say that the president will draw most of his support from those who pay no income taxes, a Tax Foundation map highlighting the 10 states with the highest percentages of "non-payers" shows most are Republican territories:
— New Mexico
— South Carolina
The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.
What really strikes me about that article is its tone of sadness and resignation. Brooks isn't angry, he isn't attacking Romney, he doesn't ignore what Romney said, he's just sad at the ignorance of it all.
In this new paper, William Galston analyzes the political backdrop against which the 2012 general will be waged, offering fuller context into voter attitudes, economic trends, and policy and ideological issues which will shape the electoral outcome. The paper centers on what political realities and challenges Obama and Romney will face in the run-up to Election Day.
The one thing that seems clear to me is that he sees this election as a class war, us against them. So, who is he going to help if he gets elected? Who is going to suffer afterward?
“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… My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Ouch. Some of those 47% are eating tuna fish off an ironing board right now.
See, here’s the problem. Some of those 47% people are like me – old and eligible for Medicare. Some of those people are like my grandson – smart and taking out loans to get through college because his dad doesn’t have a company to give him right now. Some of those people are even military families just trying to make ends meet. But some of those people – those 47% who think they are victims and expect the government to take care of them – are Staples employees who work full-time and are just trying to put food on the table for their families. We call them the working poor.
An entry level job at Staples pays between $7 and $9 an hour. If you do the math, that’s between $15,000 and $19,000 a year. The poverty level in America for a family of three is $18,530. As long as those hard-working Staples employees believe in birth control and don’t have any kids, they can stay just above the poverty level. Success! Vote Republican and wait for your tax cut to arrive in the mail.
Of course, you’ll be waiting quite a bit longer for that tax cut than your boss, the CEO of Staples, who made $9 million dollars last year. I wonder who that guy is voting for?
The way I see it Margaret, it’s just simple math. If the Republicans want more votes, they might want to consider handing out some raises at Staples.
The party of Jesus sure has gotten pretty far off track. They forgot one of his basic rules. I think it was something about the least among us… otherwise called the 47%.
Vote for the other guy. I mean it. Really.