Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Romney and the 47 percent shows how technology means nothing is 'off the record'

What gets posted to the Internet stays on the Internet. That's one maxim. In 2008, Google, while defending itself in a lawsuit against Street View, said complete privacy "no longer exists," another such truism.

Great pricing on mobile phones!
On Monday, Mother Jones revealed a leaked video from a Mitt Romney fundraiser in May. There, Romney issued the following statement to his One Percent donors, showing his - and their - disdain for the 99 Percent, or at least the 47 Percent.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the 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. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what ...

"These are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect ... my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

It was obvious from the quality of the video and positioning of the video taker that the clip was being taken surreptitiously.

In other tidbits from the tape, Romney added that Palestinians "have no interest in peace" with Israel. He also said that if his father George had been "born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this."

In this day of smartphones, with the devices now being the majority of cell phones sold in the U.S., no one, not just a politician, should assume anything they say will be "off the record."

The recording was made at a May 17 fundraiser at the home of private equity manager Marc Leder in Boca Raton, Florida.

The "no income tax" claim has been made before by conservatives and Romney. The truth is that the 46.4 percent that Romney is speaking about don't make enough money to pay federal income tax. However, most of these pay state income tax, social security tax, Medicare tax, sales tax, property tax, and more.

In addition, a number of these are retired, which doesn't turn them into the loafers that Romney is making. After all, they paid for Medicare and Social Security throughout their lives.

Finally, Romney failed to mention the huge corporations that we know paid no federal income tax (such as G.E.). Since "corporations are people," that is an interesting omission.

Does anyone remember the George Allen "macaca" comment? While not shot by a smartphone, today it probably would have been, and either way, it was a stupid comment to make when someone was recording it.

Allen later lost his re-election race.

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