I was thinking about this on my walk.
The comment that Mitt Romney made about the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax, and don’t for various reasons, is going to keep coming back at him.
Something that few commentators are focusing on, is what an attitude like that means for how Romney regards people who pay $1,000 or $2,000 in federal tax. (In New Jersey, the numbers go up quickly.)
Isn’t Romney’s complaint about the 47% really just the rich man’s complaint? The more that the general public looks to the government for services, the more likely Mr. Romney has to open up his wallet or dig into his stash of cash on the Cayman Islands?
By demeaning people who aren’t paying federal tax, there is a knock-on effect that the people who hardly pay taxes also have no “moral” justification to ask very much from government.
This sort of thinking would be repulsive to more than the so-called forgettable 47%.
[Update 9/23/12: In 1963, Barry Goldwater said the United States would be better off if the East Coast could be sawed off and allowed to float away in the sea. In 1964, President Johnson made a commercial about that: