Two statements, two visions

Candidates' straight talk reveals where true compassion lies

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“It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

– Barack Obama, in 2008, on the views of small-town Pennsylvania voters

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

– Mitt Romney, in May 2012, in a video shot at a
private fund-raiser

Let’s look at those two unguarded moments of the two men vying to be our next president.

The “mainstream” media want you to believe what Mitt Romney said is scandalous. They did not feel the same way about what Mr. Obama said in 2008.

But the truth is, Mr. Romney was speaking largely about facts and reality. Some 47 percent of Americans do not pay income tax. Perhaps coincidentally, Mr. Obama’s support in a recent Gallup Poll stood at 47 percent.

Mr. Romney is not “caught” on the hidden camera disparaging anyone. If anything, his comments – issued last May – are honest and have been proved prescient, and simply reflect the state of America.

Mr. Obama’s summation of small-town America, on the other hand, is an elegant, elitist diatribe filled with stereotypes and scattershot accusations of rage-filled racism among working-class voters. In one derisive bit of ridicule, he convicted wide swaths of America of
unalloyed xenophobia and hatred.

There simply is no comparison between the two. Yet, the national media are apoplectic about Romney’s statement.

Will the media find another Obama unguarded moment, from 1998, as captivating? In it, he admits, “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution – because I actually believe in redistribution ...”

Oh, wait. That socialist sentiment didn’t much matter to the media in 2008 when candidate Obama talked with Joe the plumber about spreading the wealth around.

Romney’s statement actually reveals nothing new. His facts are well-known.

But lost in all this back and forth, and the media’s rabid reaction to the Romney video, is the fact that the candidates’ statements do reveal strikingly different visions of and for America.

Mr. Obama’s love of government is leading to record numbers of Americans becoming dependent on it – 47 million on food stamps, 9 million on federal disability – at a time when governments, here and worldwide, are dealing with dwindling resources.

Governments are collapsing from the weight.

Mr. Romney represents the more traditional American view – the one that made this country the strongest, most prosperous in history – that free individuals must be allowed to set their own course, unfettered as much as possible by the heavy hand of the collective.

At bottom, this election is about whether the American ideals of individual liberty and self-determination endure.

The current imbroglio between the two candidates could be instructive – if the national media let it – about the definition of “compassion.” Mr. Obama’s camp seems to think that feeding and encouraging dependence (they’ve actually advertised to get more people on food stamps) is compassionate. But destroying the work ethic and preventing people from realizing their God-given potential – often through adversity and hardship – is the opposite of compassion.

You’ll never hear that from media that are simply obsessed with getting this president re-elected.

America’s ability to handle straight talk is being tested. The early results are not promising.

Comments (64) Add comment
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lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 09/20/12 - 09:21 am
2
6
The easiest way to explain

The easiest way to explain the difference between these two views is as follows: If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day (Obama's plan). If you teach a man how to fish, he easts his whole life (Romney's plan). In both cases, the man eats, but the long term outcome is considerably drastic. Under Obama's plan, you will have to give the man a fish every day. The man will stand in line, get his fish, eat, go sit down, and wait for the next day to get another fish. That will be the story of his life. Dependancy. Under Romney's plan the man is taught how to fish (education) and then sent out to fish (work). He is a dedicated fisher, so one day he has a great day fishing, so he saves some, he sells some, and then shares some with his neighbors. He makes money from selling his fish and can buy a bigger boat, and can get others to come fish with him (hired workers). That will be the story of his life, independance and self sufficiency. And so you get the point friends. Remeber folks that a government big enough to give you everything you need is also big enough to take everything you have. If we could only get those 47% to realize this, we would be on the right track.

Pal
3170
Points
Pal 09/20/12 - 09:25 am
3
0
@ longleafpine

Thank you! Too bad that someone was offended and had my comment removed. Everyday I see certain individuals doing the same thing I was accused of, and their posts aren't removed. Some can take it; some cannot.

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 09/20/12 - 09:23 am
2
3
Good for America -

On a side note: what's good for God is good for America too! Life (from conception to natural death), Marriage (between one man and one woman) and Freedom (to live the life we wish for ourselves, and to practive the faith we profess!! GOD BLESS AMERICA -

itsanotherday1
48306
Points
itsanotherday1 09/20/12 - 09:25 am
2
2
Please get it correct

Please get it correct lefties. Romney simply said that he wasn't concerned about winning the votes of those wanting a nanny government because those people are firmly entrenched in the Democratic camp. They will vote for a cur dog as long as the goodies keep coming. The thrust of his comments were totally accurate.

itsanotherday1
48306
Points
itsanotherday1 09/20/12 - 09:29 am
2
3
Great post lovingthesouth.

Great post lovingthesouth. Our problem is that a significant number of Americans won't fish regardless, and we don't have the political guts to let them go hungry until they are forced to fish.

effete elitist liberal
3191
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/20/12 - 09:35 am
5
3
mine of 9:19

So far, two thumbs down. A thumbs down means nothing unless a reason is given. So I invite the thumbs-downers to explain what they didn't like in my post. I invite them to dispute any of what I asserted as FACT. I repeat my main assertion that when all the taxes that ARE paid by the 47% are totalled, THE PERCENT OF TAXES PAID TO INCOME IS HIGHER FOR MOST OF THE 47% THAN FOR THE WEALTHY. If none of you out there can prove I am wrong, then I ask simply, if the wealthy pay a smaller percent of their income in taxes of all kinds, then who are the real moochers????

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 09/20/12 - 09:46 am
5
2
It's not a gaffe what Romney

It's not a gaffe what Romney said, because he doubled down on the comments.

Romney called families of four that make $54,000 and under lazy. Service members deployed lazy, and victims. The elderly were going to vote for Obama because they want hand outs, and think food is an entitlement.

Mitt Romney is not going to be President. Focus should turn to Congress. It's possible Ryan might lose his seat, since he is campaigning as VP and not a Rep.

effete elitist liberal
3191
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/20/12 - 10:22 am
4
1
taxes and the 47%

Since no one has taken up my 10:35 challenge, I did it myself. And guess what? I am wrong. The poor in fact do not pay a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes than the wealthy. Here is the relevant data: http://ctj.org/images/taxday2012table.jpg

What is true is that when all taxes are taken as a percent of income, the wealthy pay in the range of 29-30% in taxes. The lowest income groups pay in the 17-25% range. There is difference, but one thing is clear: the poorest pay plenty of taxes. Also, the differences between the wealthy and then poor are reversed when the most progressive of taxes, the federal income tax, is removed. In "other" taxes, the poorer pay in the 11-12% range, the wealthy in the 8-9% range. The conclusion is the same, which is that Romney's claim about the 47% paying no federal taxes, while true, is at best highly misleading. When all taxes are considered, the poorest groups are paying lots of taxes. Romney's inferences about their dependency and expectations are highly insulting.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 09/20/12 - 12:32 pm
0
3
"Romney called families of

"Romney called families of four that make $54,000 and under lazy."

That statement is completely untrue (a lie if you will). Why do liberals just make up such lies to bolster their argument? And seem to get away with it.

harley_52
25872
Points
harley_52 09/20/12 - 01:36 pm
1
3
Taxes versus Income Taxes

A common technique among liberals is to muddy the water with endless drivel about the the difference between "taxes" and "income taxes." I don't know anybody who has ever claimed people who don't pay INCOME TAXES also don't pay ANY OTHER TAXES.

It's much ado about nothing and the "argument" is introduced, by liberals, for one purpose and one purpose only.

Obfuscation.

They don't want to admit the truth so they quibble about something that's not even in dispute. They want to change the subject.

It's the way they handle most discussions. You can see it in play on these boards ALL THE TIME. You can also see it in play in President Obama's campaign for reelection. The big issues now are Islamic terrorism, the economy, the national debt, and unemployment. What do they want to spend all their time talking about? Romney's 47% comment.

Obfuscation is the word. Confusing the voting public is the purpose. Turning the discussion from what's important to what's trivial.

burninater
9921
Points
burninater 09/20/12 - 02:03 pm
4
0
Obfuscation is the word.

Obfuscation is the word. Confusing the voting public is the purpose. Turning the discussion from what's important to what's trivial.
------------
See, some people just don't get it. A presidential candidate writing off the 47% working poor is "trivial"? And talking about it is "obfuscation"? "Confusing"?

Look, Republicans can be wealthy elitists 'til the cows come home -- it's a free country. But as long as America has a majority of working poor and middle class, that's going to be a real big problem for them at the polls.

effete elitist liberal
3191
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/20/12 - 02:19 pm
4
0
T vs. IT

Well, harley, the subject of this ACES editorial is largely about Romney's 47% comments compared with some Obama comments. The issue is what does the fact that 47% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes say about their values and attitudes. The editorial is not about Islamic terrorism, and only marginally about the economy, the national debt, or unemployment. None of those topics were mentioned. I remind you that it was ACES that selected the scope of the issue to be discussed, not me. My response was to the substance and thesis of the editorial. When ACES editorializes in those other topics, I'll respond, you can rest assured.

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 09/20/12 - 02:31 pm
0
3
"See, some people just don't

"See, some people just don't get it. A presidential candidate writing off the 47% working poor is "trivial"? And talking about it is "obfuscation"? "Confusing"?"

He didn't say they were trivial....he said they weren't going to vote for him. You guys keep putting lots of words in Romney's mouth. When I was raised, that was called lying.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 09/20/12 - 02:34 pm
2
1
"Romney called families of

"Romney called families of four that make $54,000 and under lazy."

That statement is completely untrue (a lie if you will). Why do liberals just make up such lies to bolster their argument? And seem to get away with it."

First off, I'm not a liberal- but I seem to be called one for not following in step with the fringe, that makes up it's own numbers and calls them facts.

-----
There are families, that have children, that qualify for all sorts of credits, and deductions- so that when it comes to tax time, they get back a nice check.

That is true, just like the other facts, like Mittens calling service members lazy, and our elderly self proclaimed victims.

burninater
9921
Points
burninater 09/20/12 - 02:38 pm
4
0
Angie, if Romney had any

Angie, if Romney had any idea, any viable plan, any thoughts or policies that he felt could help the working poor, why would he write the working poor off as voters? Why WOULDN'T they vote for him?

But he doesn't have any ideas or policy plans to solicit their votes. He doesn't even think it's worth TRYING to propose anything that would merit the attention of the working poor.

You don't think that's trivializing them?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 09/20/12 - 03:04 pm
0
1
Two-party system is a sick joke

HEY ________(insert candidate name)! The jerk store called. They're runnin out of YOU.

Bizkit
35555
Points
Bizkit 09/20/12 - 03:59 pm
1
1
EEL you are conflating

EEL you are conflating issues. It is true that 47 % pay no federal income tax-of course they pay state taxes, payroll taxes and entitilements like social security-like everybody. Of the 47% there are 18% who pay no taxes-because they are retired seniors who have paid a lifetime. Of the 1% of the wealthiest less than 1% pay no federal income taxes,but they still pay taxes just like your argument about the middle class. Now those payroll taxes can be more than their federal income taxes so it is a huge burden. So really many of the arguments against either side are half truths-ecological fallacies of misinterpreting the data. Few of the wealthy pay no taxes, and the majority pay with few deductions (dang taken away most of them except I guess if your uber rich) their fair share. Similarliy of the 47% only 18% of seniors don't pay any that leaves 29% who may not pay federal income taxes but they still pay other taxes which is a financial burden. But taxes are a financial burder to us all-especially for the poor bang for the buck we get in return. Roughly 8% of all America taxpayers will receive an earned income credit or child credits and pay no taxes. I noted CNN stating that the middle class pay are larger percentage of their income in taxes-31%. But the wealthy with federal, state, etc probably pay the same or a little more too. So I really doubt the veracity of that statement by CNN. Mitt isn't dismissing the 47% just his chance of garnering their vote-which is absolutely realistic.

harley_52
25872
Points
harley_52 09/20/12 - 04:18 pm
1
1
"Mitt isn't dismissing the 47%....

....just his chance of garnering their vote-which is absolutely realistic."

Egggzzzzactlee. He would be wasting his time and his money. They are going to vote for Obama no matter what, just like half the people on this board.

Everybody knows what he meant. Some people just want to argue endlessly claiming something that they KNOW they are misrepresenting.

Obfuscation. Trying to keep everybody talking about the trivial so they won't have to discuss the important stuff.....like the economy, our financial status, islamic terrorism, and unemployment.

It's a waste of time discussing the issue for us as it is for Romney.

effete elitist liberal
3191
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/20/12 - 04:29 pm
3
2
Bizkit

"Mitt isn't dismissing the 47% just his chance of garnering their vote-which is absolutely realistic." Sorry, Romney went way beyond simply dismissing his likelihood of getting the "47%'s" votes, as you suggest. He also characterized the 47% in negative moral terms, as relishing their dependency on government, feeling they are victims, and believing the government has a responsibility to meet their needs. Whether this moral characterization is correct or not, it was central to Romney's pitch to those wealthy conservative potential contributors. He was not just asserting a fact; he was making a moral character judgment of the 47%. You are just flat wrong to claim Romney said simply there was a group of voters whose votes he would not get.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 09/20/12 - 04:41 pm
1
1
I think this op-ed is an

I think this op-ed is an astute characterization of the state of debate among the Presidential contenders. Most folks, though, get it, and we'll have a new President come next January.

Retired Army
17513
Points
Retired Army 09/20/12 - 04:58 pm
2
4
Re: Pal 09/20/12 - 10:25 am

Hell, it's easy to have posts removed from these boards.

Just tell the truth with conviction or stand up for yourself and poof, you're gone. Trust me on this. It's from multiple personal experiences.

Now, you can be the coward and let the moderator do your dirty work for you. Simply report a post as a "personal" insult and it's gone also.

Those who maniplulate the boards via the "Moderator" know who they are and are not going to stop.

The bright side of all this is that if you are not having posts removed from time to time it indicates(to me at least)a lack of passion in your convictions.

I'll bet you right now Mitt Romney wishes many of his comments had been removed from any and all media sources, even the so called "Fair and Balanced" ones. In fact I think he thinks they have been removed as he changes his position so often on just about everything.

God, I'll have to check back later to see if the cowards have reported me for this one. But it's been good fun.

KSL
143806
Points
KSL 09/20/12 - 05:00 pm
1
2
Why is it that libs are quick

Why is it that libs are quick to point out the taxes that are likely to affect most all of us but fail when they whine that the rich who live off of investments pay less in federal income tax? No mention is ever made of their property tax amounts or the fact that they spend more money and therefore pay more in sales tax.

KSL
143806
Points
KSL 09/20/12 - 05:07 pm
2
2
And how come they don't

And how come they don't complain when one of their own avoids taxes by docking his yacht in another state, or when one of their own outright cheats by under reporting? Why is the focus on Romney taking advantage of legitimate tax laws? You would think there would be at least a peep of complaint when one of their own is caught.

KSL
143806
Points
KSL 09/20/12 - 05:13 pm
1
2
Biz, I wish I had read all

Biz, I wish I had read all of the comments before I posted. I stopped at one and went to the comment block, posted by comment and then scrolled back to read the rest. Yours was the first and only I read. I have a long habit of always reading yours.

kissofdeath
474
Points
kissofdeath 09/20/12 - 06:07 pm
1
1
Enough about the 47%. It's

Enough about the 47%. It's been 176 days since Mitt Romney was asked to release his tax returns. What is he hiding? More offshore accounts? Another Swiss Bank account? Even more profits from outsourcing jobs? Mitt Romney is running for President and voters deserve to know the truth about his finances. Demand Romney release his tax returns today.

Bizkit
35555
Points
Bizkit 09/20/12 - 06:34 pm
2
1
EEL don't conflate issues.

EEL don't conflate issues. Both candidates have been recorded using inflammatory statements to a particular interest groups to garner votes (it is called rhetoric)-both Obama and Mitt use pretty sloppy language in what they believe is an unrecorded event-that rhetoric to special groups is politics and a separate domain-ya gotta be fair. I always thought you couldn't record someone without their consent or a subpoena. My point is still valid to the greater point that Mitt will not likely win their vote-how he characterized them to a special interest group is separate rhetoric. He would likely spin the tail for another group with a similar message. Gosh I love it. I'm using progressive logic against progressives. Dastardly and really epitomizes such garbage.

KSL
143806
Points
KSL 09/20/12 - 06:33 pm
1
2
What is Obama hiding? You

What is Obama hiding? You actually want to talk about how long something has been. Has Romney been sued for not releasing tax returns? Has he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep from having to for 4 years?

carcraft
28457
Points
carcraft 09/20/12 - 06:39 pm
2
1
Well the Obama admin finally

Well the Obama admin finally admitted it was lying about the terrorist attack in Libya.Of course if you watched the President of Libya on Sunday you already know what ABC reported

KSL
143806
Points
KSL 09/20/12 - 06:41 pm
1
2
The sloppy stuff and on a

The sloppy stuff and on a supposedly dead mic of Obama's utterances have been overlooked by the media that Obama supporters listen to.

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 09/20/12 - 06:49 pm
2
2
Simple Terms

I'll put the two candidates' "vision" into terms simple enough for a second-grader to understand, since the Chronicle has failed once again to bring clarity to the issue.

Romney is rich. He became rich my making others poor and losing their jobs. He wants himself and his rich friends to have even more riches. So he will make it easier for rich people to hide money and pay no taxes. He thinks that poor people are that way because they enjoy being poor and don't want to do anything.

President Obama, on the other hand, understands that being poor is not good. He knows that whatever the government can do to help another human being, it should do it. He thinks the rich should not live off the poor and should pay their own way. He knows that being able to go to a doctor, or eat healthy food, or live in a home instead of outdoors is a good thing. So he will do what he can to help everyone.

Is that simple enough for you?

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