Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The 47% Moocher Nation?

After the Republican Primary, I wrote on 9/1 that the Republicans see the country as divided between those who want the country to be an Opportunity Society (Republicans) vs those who want the country to be an Entitlement Society (Democrats).

After the Democratic Primary, I wrote on 9/5 that the Democrats see the country as divided between those who think You Are On Your Own (Republicans) vs those who think We Are All In It Together (Democrats).

Mitt Romney has just made that distinction between the parties amazingly explicit.  He was quoted verbatim at a fund-raiser as saying:

"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....Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

This is a precise, even if overly candid, expression of the libertarian, Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand view of America - the takers vs the producers.

Liberals will say a lot about how the 47% who "don't pay taxes" actually pay a lot of taxes - not income tax, but rather pay social security taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, there are probably more...

Conservatives are probably in two camps:  those who are glad to get their main issue on the table, and those who are appalled that a candidate would actually say something that they all believe.  

So, to me, this is a really positive development in the campaign.  We finally are no longer dealing with symbolic campaigns on both sides.  We now have the basic philosophical differences of the two parties clearly expressed, at least by Romney.  

The country really has a clear choice of two competing philosophies, clearly stated.  

Will the voters agree with Romney and the Republicans that this is a choice between an Opportunity Society vs an Entitlement Society, or will they agree with Obama and the Democrats that this is a choice between a country where You are On Your Own vs a country where We Are All In It Together?