Sunday, September 30, 2012

Real cowboys are in Mitt's 47%

'This latest evidence of Romney's obtuseness appalled credible conservative commentators.' (photo: Jim Young/Reuters)
'This latest evidence of Romney's obtuseness appalled credible conservative commentators.' (photo: Jim Young/Reuters)

By David Horsey
The Los Angeles Times
21 September 12

n the imaginary universe of Mitt Romney, the 47% of Americans who pay no income tax are loafers, shiftless bums and welfare queens who will all vote for President Obama in November. In the real world, that 47% includes the working poor, the newly unemployed, handicapped people, the elderly, veterans, 4,000 millionaires and the nation's greatest icon, the American cowboy.

A few years ago, I helped move a herd of cattle with some honest-to-God cowboys on a big ranch near White Sulphur Springs, Mont. At the end of the morning as the cows and calves mothered up, the cowboys told me how they loved the life they lived -- the broad land, the wide sky, the days tending animals, even the hard and endless work in all kinds of weather.

One of the cowboys said he knew he would never get rich; he and his wife lived with their kids in a tiny rental house and they would probably never have much more than that. But it was enough for him. He had no interest in being an entrepreneur, a venture capitalist or a king of Wall Street.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly income of a cowboy is around $25,000. Tax laws that were passed under President Reagan aimed to help Americans of modest means by giving them an income tax break. As a result, working people in the income strata below $30,000 a year are likely to pay little or no income tax. That covers a lot of cowboys.

Are they slackers? No, there is no one with a stronger work ethic than cowboys. A willingness to work does not guarantee affluence, though. Among the 47% that Romney disdains are millions of hardworking, poorly compensated people and other millions of retired folk who labored all their lives. But, in a speech to wealthy donors last May, Romney said he would not even try to win the votes of this 47% because they were "dependent on the government" and felt "entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

With these comments revealed, it becomes even more obvious that Romney has vast gaps in his understanding of the people he aspires to lead. He speaks as though he is being fed lines by a staff made up of Ayn Rand zealots and Rush Limbaugh dittoheads and has no clue how they are misleading him.

This latest evidence of Romney’s obtuseness appalled credible conservative commentators, such as David Brooks and Bill Kristol. Limbaugh, of course, was ecstatic to have the Republican presidential nominee join him in a world without facts.

The sad reality is that Romney is wrong about one other thing: There are plenty of folks among the 47% who will vote for him -- and not just the millionaires who have found ways to evade the income tax. Working-class men, in particular, have fallen for the Republican call to "take back America" from gays, illegal immigrants, baby-killing feminists, tax-crazy liberals and a president who is just not truly American. They feel embattled and hope Romney will be on their side. But how can he be their champion when he does not even know who they are or how they live?

If Mitt Romney saw a real cowboy, he'd think it was costume night at the country club. 

+143 # indian weaver 2012-09-21 10:52
I had to laugh at the last line. We live in southwestern Colorado where ranching and farming constitute most of the local business, along with the energy industry's gas drilling. At City Market supermarket and everywhere else in town (pop. 10,000, county 18,000, elev. 6200') and country, locals wear their cowboy hats and boots, cowboys and cowgirls on horseback with their cattle dogs along the highways herding cattle from Winter to Summer pastures (and the tourists here for Mesa Verde stopped on the highway taking photos), our ever-present working and family dogs riding around in our trucks and cars with us. Yet, amazingly enough, the cowboy hat and boots are not costume dress for our "country club". I can't imagine harder working folks making less money and loving it. I guess we are the lazy hobos depending on government for our livelihoods? I don't think so. Cleaning out irrigation ditches, brush hogging acreage of tough sagebrush to enlarge our pastures, baling and stacking bales of hay for local consumption and trucking to market, this is a county of back breaking physical labors of love to pay our way. We are blessed to live in clean space and emptiness, far from romney's rich and famous geniuses. Many of us have to laugh at this guy who actually has deceived himself and many others into viewing him as presidential material. Gimme a break, and another laugh.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-21 18:05
Enjoy it Fracking may not affect you at your altitude but it will affect others.

I am glad someone in a different situation has given us a glimpse of how American seems to meld into the employment in its midst.

I was offended for the Military...not all are brass slugs.
+17 # indian weaver 2012-09-22 05:10
Fracking is here. Altitude has nothing to do with it. It's as horrible here as everywhere. Underground explosions have already knocked one home off its foundation just north of cortez, co. Bill Barrett Co. is doing the damages and is facing a lawsuit by the AG of colorado, filed in Denver. The underground explosions are also suspected of weakening the foundation of Cliff Palace on Mesa Verde, the largest cliff dwelling in the national park. We know all about fracking here.
+9 # Regina 2012-09-22 09:40
Romney comes with rich and notorious scoundrels and jackasses, not "geniuses." Cowboys know a helluva lot more about nature than these dingbats, who know zilch about human reproduction, climate, evolution, and all the other science areas they firmly think they have a choice and a vote, for or (usually) against.
0 # robniel 2012-09-25 10:30
As Mozzie would say, "He's an empty suit".
+67 # fishmother 2012-09-21 11:08
I can see no way in which anything akin to reality will shake all if those wood be good lie boys from Romney. It's too bad that there isn't some ID requirement that could keep em from voting. Is there a way to make racism & stupidity a case for voter fraud?
+42 # CL38 2012-09-21 12:40
Racism, misogyny, homophobia, stupidity, lying and propagating misinformation should all be grounds to prevent those who believe in a right to discriminate, from running for public office!

We need tests that those aspiring for public office have to pass that weed out extremists. Otherwise, our politicians are certainly not serving all Americans, only old white males.


Anonymous said...

And . . . once again we have some ignorant gasbag spouting off about what Romney said, once again taking it out of context, once again attributing to Romney words that never came out of his mouth.

He was talking in an election context about where to direct his campaign efforts. He was speaking in generalities, as nearly everyone who is remotely human does with regularity, to make a point that needs to be made, without bothering to qualify it with "I know this isn't always the case, but ..." which he didn't need to do because in the context in which he made the remarks, his INTENDED AUDIENCE knew where he was coming from and he didn't need to qualify his remarks.

But some jerk decided it would be cute to video record his supposedly private conversation with his supporters and put it on Youtube for the world to pick apart.

And now gasbag after gasbag is mangling and twisting his words to make whatever self-serving point they want to make about him.

Intelligent people who actually saw the video and read the transcript realize what he meant and why he said it.

And then there's the people who would rather put their own spin on the thing and hope the people reading their drivel won't bother to go look at the video for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

And due to the economy, I fall into that 47% of people who aren't paying income taxes at the moment, but who receives NOTHING from Obama except more and more increases in my health insurance premium -- a premium I pay MYSELF because I am self-employed.

And I'm voting for Romney, whether he asks me to or not, because we CANNOT AFFORD another four years of Obama's "credit card" fiscal policy, and his preoccupation with partying and campaigning while IGNORING security briefings that warned him that our embassy was about to be attacked.

But all these people who love to jump on Romney's poorly worded comments about the 47% would crucify him for possibly insulting people while giving Obama a pass for LETTING AMERICANS BE MURDERED because he was too busy partying to bother alerting the embassy that an attack was coming.

God help us if he gets re-elected. Romney may be a jackass in many ways, but Obama is a self-serving moron.

Anonymous said...

You, sir, are using the same tactics you accuse the "gasbags" and "jerks" of using.

Where in God's name did you get that partying story? I challenge you to produce one scintilla of evidence that it's true. Right here on this blog. You can't do it, and you know it. Your silence will prove it.

And if you think your health insurance premiums are going up because of Obama, you are ignoring history. Health insurance premiums went up much faster during the Bush administrations. Have you not noticed this trend the past few decades, or are you just trying to spread an untruth.

If you and your right wing friends would give Obamacare a chance, you'd see your premiums plummet. And no, I don't expect that to happen because you are not about being fair.

And please notice I managed to say all this without calling you a name.