by Ron Kenner
Baldwin Hills, Calif.
November 30, 2012
Part II: THE UNMENTIONABLE CONUNDRUM
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Since this is a family Web site, there are certain words one cannot use to to describe the total gracelessness of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in losing the election to President Obama.
How would you describe a man who spent $25,000 on fireworks that would be fired upon winning the election, rented a convention center to throw a big "victory party" for his high-roller friends that attracted so many corporate jets to Boston that Logan Airport had a traffic jam, charged reporters admission to attend the event, and told those reporters that he'd only written one speech, a victory speech.
I would say a word that rhymes with "glass bowl" would be an accurate description.
I can't use the colloquial term to describe Romney's behavior after he lost, but he truly was a Richard Cranium (think about it) for cutting off the campaign credit cards soon after he delivered his perfunctory and totally insincere concession speech. Campaign workers didn't find out until they tried paying for taxis that night with their newly canceled cards.
But Romney truly achieved 24-ct. Richard Cranium status and showed he was a total glass bowl by uttering these words during a conference call with his financial backers last week: "The president's campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift."
Apparently in Romney's world, cutting capital gains taxes and lowering income tax rates for the 1 percent is a gift, but delivering on policies that benefitted young voters, African-Americans, women and Hispanics was pandering for votes.
Ponder the utter, jaw-dropping arrogance of this bit of Romney word salad: "Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents' plan, and that was a big gift to young people...You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you're now going to get free health care, particularly if you don't have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity - I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition, with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group."
Of course, the man who said these words is the same man who - behind closed doors in a speech earlier to his wealthy donors - wrote off 47 percent of Americans as dependents and freeloaders.
But Romney is just another rich guy who think the world is divided into two groups - makers and takers. His is the attitude that fueled the Wall Street gluttony that brought the global economy to the brink of collapse.
And thanks to the greed of people like Romney - who believe anything designed to help non-millionaires is wasteful and a sin, while anything that helps the wealthy is blessed and good - we now have 50 million Americans living below the poverty line and tens of millions more that are a paycheck or two away from poverty.
The real takers in our society are the financial elites who have looted the federal treasury and are sitting on trillions of dollars of interest-free money courtesy of the Federal Reserve, while 47.1 million Americans depend on food stamps for their next meal.
As for the gifts that Romney and the Republicans were pushing - more tax cuts for the wealthy - the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service came out with a report last month that found "there is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth."
At the same time, the CRS found that "the top tax rate = reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1 percent of U.S. families increased from 4.2 percent in 1945 to 12.3 percent by 2007, before falling to 9.2 percent due to the 2007-2009 recession. The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced."
This report so angered Senate Republicans that they demanded that the report be withdrawn. They would not stand for anyone pointing out the fallacy of the central tenet of the conservative faith - lower taxes for the rich creates economic growth.
Makers versus takers? It's no contest. Middle-class Americans are working harder for less and less money, while the fruits of their labors are going to the wealthiest among us. This is why the United States has the greatest inequality between rich and poor of any industrialized nation.
Eventually, Romney may come to understand that the reason he lost the election is simple. In a time of economic turmoil, a majority of Americans did not want to see a president that came from the same class as the people that caused the turmoil in the first place, and who supported the economic policies that got us into this mess.
In other words, Americans wanted President Barack Obama, and not Richard Cranium, in the White House.
Prize-winning AR Chief Correspondent Randolph T. Holhut has been a journalist in New England for more than 30 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.