Wednesday, September 19, 2012


        Everyone’s talking about the recently released video of Mitt Romney’s self-damaging comments about the 47% of Americans who pay no income tax, whom he accused of looking upon themselves as victims, of feeling entitled to health care, to food, to housing, and everything else.
         “My job is not to worry about those people,” he said, “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” As if all those people are lazy, good-for-nothing, moochers! What an outrageous insult to hard-working Americans whose income is insufficient to warrant their paying income taxes! Who wants a President who thinks like that?
         In disparaging nearly half of the American population, including many of his own supporters, especially seniors on fixed incomes, Romney has drawn harsh criticism even from conservatives like Bill Krystol, founding editor of The Weekdly Standard, and  New York Times columnist David Brooks.
         While I was having lunch yesterday with my daughter Ellen and her husband Mike, my son-in-law wondered if Romney was including himself among the 47% who pay no income taxes. A good question, given that many suspect that there have been years when Romney paid little or no income taxes. His refusal to reveal his tax returns only fuels that suspicion.
         If he isn’t in the 47%, one could argue that he certainly has aspired to be, given his manipulative moves to avoid paying taxes!
         Of course Romney was not thinking of himself, when he made those remarks, but it would be amusing if someone pointed out to him the irony of his broad-sweeping and totally inappropriate charge, especially when instead of apologizing for his gaffe, he has been attempting to justify it.
        Romney’s attitude toward the poor and to those less fortunate then himself is a stark reflection of the faulty theology that assumes that those who are poor deserve to be poor. “They aren’t taking “personal responsibility and care for their own lives.” Conversely, those who are rich deserve to be rich. “I built that business!”
        Mitt Romney and his super-rich friends like Sheldon Adelson need to take heed to Jesus’ words:  “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23).

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