Thursday, February 2, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

Forbes called it a "sound bite blunder," I call it a "Washington Gaffe". A "gaffe" is a social error or a faux pas; in Washington, DC, a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. Republican front runner Mitt Romney made the latter kind of gaffe when he explained to Solidad O'Brien on CNN "I'm not concerned about the very poor." Because the very poor have a safety net--welfare, food stamps, housing vouchers--he's not worried about them. He went on to say that he doesn't care about the very rich, either, because they're just fine. He's concerned about the middle class.

I hope he has to explain himself. But his own words suggest that he's not at all concerned about a group of people who are already so disenfranchised. Making ends meet through welfare and food stamps is not an easy life. I'd venture to guess that the "very poor" includes a high percentage of children and elderly. It's good to know what Romney really thinks about these groups. "The Examiner" calls Romney's statements not a gaffe but a "dog whistle to the tea party", which believes that too much money is spent on entitlements that go to the "very poor."

I do wonder how Romney defines "middle class." He referred to his speaking fees of over $370,000 as "not very much." Is a $370,000 income "middle class" to Romney? What about 10% of that, $37,000? I'm sure millions of Americans would love to be making $37,000 a year and pay the 25% tax rate on that money.

Edited to add a link to Jon Stewart's take on Romney's statements.

1 comment:

Tonja said...

Maybe very poor people including homeless people don't vote, don't have a political voice, can't pay to attend fundraisers, don't having any impact on his political career. I'm sure he doesn't care.

Story idea - very poor person that ends up making a huge difference to a politician...Steven King style - maybe saving (or not saving) the politician from a Kujo-like animal (or person).

I'm feeling a little pessimistic today.