Yves here. As much as I agree with the Black on how remarkably revealing and self-destructive Romney’s claim that nearly half of America consists of economic parasites is, it’s too soon to declare his presidential bid dead. Past studies show that many voters make their decision in the final six weeks before election. Even though Obama looks to be solidly placed, and Romney keeps throwing Hail Mary passes that go awry, you’d expect a sitting President to be further ahead given the caliber of campaign Romney has run. Obama is still exposed to negative events, such as further deterioration in Europe hitting US markets (and it does not necessarily take a full bore crisis, just enough nagging doubt to offset the equity market goosing of QE3), escalating hostility in the Middle East producing a credibility-sapping event, or successful voter suppression and other election day chicanery (just look at how many swing states have Republican governors). Mind you, we believe in keeping pressure on Obama since the Romney horrorshow gives Obama plenty of room to be merely less visibly awful in catering to plutocrats. So it’s important to repudiate the Romney message without giving Obama a free pass (and Black is doing this in separate posts, for instance, his new piece on Lanny Breuer of the DoJ’s abject defenses for failure to go after elite financial crimes).
By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cross posted from New Economic Perspectives
Charles Murray’s newest book: Coming Apart: The State of White America proves two classic truths. First, it is impossible to compete with self-parody. Second, be careful what you ask for; for you may receive it. Charles Murray asked right-wing plutocrats (he dismissed left-wing plutocrats as disloyal to their class and to capitalism) to drop what he derided as “political correctness” and denounce Americans who received governmental support as immoral failures. Murray is a vigorous supporter and flatterer of Mitt Romney, claiming that the fact that he became wealthy at Bain should make him a “slam dunk” for the presidency. Murray’s reasoning is so crude that he announces a new doctrine – the divine right of CEOs to govern America. “Who better to be president of the greatest of all capitalist nations than a man who got rich by being a brilliant capitalist?”
No need to hold elections; simply make whoever tops the Forbes list of wealthiest people the president. Think of the competitive incentives that rule would create.
Romney and Paul Ryan answered both aspects of Murray’s call of right wing plutocrats to arms. They embraced Social Darwinism and the view that anyone who received governmental assistance was morally inferior and needed to be denounced. They agreed with the need to remove the safety net to destroy a “culture of dependency” so that the working class and the poor would be forced to assume personal responsibility and stop being freeloaders.
In adopting the full Murray, Romney has doomed his electoral chances. His response to a question by a wealth donor as to how he would convince poorer Americans that they needed to adopt “personal responsibility” will become a classic.
“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.
Romney went on: “[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.””
Romney defines his prospective job as President as “not to worry” about the desires of 47 percent of his fellow Americans. These people are hopeless moochers whose votes have been bought by Democrats and their social programs.
The nearest analog I can think of was Barry Goldwater’s statement that America would be better off if we cut the “eastern seacoast” off and let it float away into the Atlantic Ocean. This led to President Johnson’s classic ad of a saw cutting off the eastern seacoast while an announcer read Goldwater’s statement. The ad then asked the public the question that applies with even greater force to Romney’s admission that he does not worry about the desires of nearly half of all Americans. “Can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people, justly and fairly?” Romney has made clear he has no intention of serving the 47 percent. Indeed, his position (the full Murray) is that serving their governmental service to the 47 percent is the problem.
Museum of the Moving Image
The Living Room Candidate
“Eastern Seaboard,” Johnson, 1964
(Sound of metal saw cutting through wood; water rippling)
MALE NARRATOR: In a Saturday Evening Post article dated August 31st, 1963, Barry Goldwater said, “Sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea.” Can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people, justly and fairly?
(Sound of wood breaking off; heavy splash)
MALE NARRATOR: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.
Similarly, Ryan has adopted the full Murray by proposing a plan to remove the social safety net. At the invitation of the Steamboat Institute’s “Freedom Conference” I debated Dan Mitchell, an economist at Cato on Friday August 25, 2012. Our primary topic was Paul Ryan’s budget policies. Dan stressed an August 24 column he wrote entitled “For Once, I Hope Paul Krugman is Right.”
Dan’s column quoted what he viewed as the key passage in Krugman’s column.
In pushing for draconian cuts in Medicaid, food stamps and other programs that aid the needy, Mr. Ryan isn’t just looking for ways to save money. He’s also, quite explicitly, trying to make life harder for the poor — for their own good. In March, explaining his cuts in aid for the unfortunate, he declared, “‘We don’t want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people into lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.’
Dan explained why he hoped Krugman was right about Ryan’s views about the poor.
“To be more specific, I hope Krugman is right in that Ryan wants “to make life harder for the poor” if the alternative is to have their lives stripped of meaning by government dependency. And I agree that it will be “for their own good” if they’re motivated to join the workforce.
The Steamboat attendees (the base of the Republican Party) loved it. That is the point. Romney did not make a mistake in explaining his views. He knew that going the full Murray was the thing that would drive his wealthy right-wing donors open their wallets and provide him billions of dollars (often via the sham “independent” SuperPacs). He was pandering to plutocrats. They despise most Americans and they believe they are superior and entitled by their wealth to rule. They love Murray’s message that their mission should be denouncing less wealthy Americans and ruling the nation through “principled stewardship.” The full Murray requires the plutocrats and their political representatives to be “openly judgmental” in their denunciations of their inferiors. In defense of Murray, he stressed that this “openly judgmental” condemnation should also apply to the widespread abuses by financial elites that caused the ongoing financial crisis and the Great Recession. Because the financial elites who Murray emphasized either committed fraud or stood by silently while their peers did so and produced the crisis are Romney’s principal political donors Romney and Ryan have ignored this aspect of Murray’s message.
That openly judgmental stand is no longer acceptable in America’s schools nor in many American homes. Correspondingly, we have watched the deterioration of the sense of stewardship that once was so widespread among the most successful Americans and the near disappearance of the sense of seemliness that led successful capitalists to be obedient to unenforceable standards of propriety. Many senior figures in the financial world were appalled by what was going on during the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008. Why were they so silent before and after the catastrophe? Capitalists who behave honorably and with restraint no longer have either the platform or the vocabulary to preach their own standards and to condemn capitalists who behave dishonorably and recklessly.
I do not suggest that Murray was being candid in this passage. Romney was, of course, a top finance guy who was supposed to demonstrate “principled stewardship” but who, instead, exemplified the “near disappearance of the sense of seemliness” and the “silence” about the frauds when his public calls for stopping the epidemic of accounting control fraud could have prevented the financial crisis and the Great Depression. Romney, under Murray’s test, is a moral failure. Romney made these revealing comments about the 47% at the fundraiser at the Boca Raton mansion of a man who published reports had shown was a master of slime rather than seemliness.
Romney and Ryan will have to backpedal from Romney’s statements about the 47 percent, but this will disappoint their base because their base believes that Romney’s statements about the 47% and Ryan’s desire to make life more painful for the poor are “on message.” Romney threw half of America in the trash because it was the best way to raise money from plutocrats who are more extreme in their disdain for Americans than the tea party politicians who pander to them. The right-wing financial elites despise most Americans. Remember that Romney knew his audience of plutocrats very well and was deftly playing on their prejudices in order to maximize their contributions. Romney’s initial non-apology for his dismissal of the 47 percent claimed that he was not “elegant” in his statements, but that is a deliberate effort to divert our attention from the real point. His consignment of nearly half of all Americans to the trash heap was deliberately crude because his fellow plutocrats love the crudeness of his dismissal of those they see as immoral moochers. His speech demonstrated perfect pitch for his audience because his plutocratic peers are the only Americans who Romney knows and understands.
WSJ’s online blog, “Lunch Break”, was quick out of the blocks to draw a patently false equivalency between the Sun King’s “47%” remarks and Obama’s “They didn’t build it (sic) Republican talking point. People rushed to point out of course that the Romney video was the candidate unbound, the unexpurgated Romney, and not a selectively extracted, decontextualised excerpt as had been done with Obama remarks cynically transmuted into a hollow rallying cry…feh.
Yes, voters don’t necessarily make their decision to vote this early, but there are no voters out there making the decision between Romney and Obama. Its a stay at home or vote process and within the confines of the electoral college. Mittens blow out margins in Mormon states, but who cares if he wins 90% in Utah? Its the same as winning 51% in a low turnout election.
The truth is every Kerry state plus Iowa and Ohio is locked for the Democrats. It was locked in 2008, and this cycle too with Virginia tossed in for good measure. The GOP became too right wing and hired too many government workers in Virginia. The only issue is down ballot, and Mittens may have turned the election into a wave with relatively low turnout for the Democrats.
I’m too lazy to dig out the links this late:
1. As we know, the election comes down to swing counties in swing states. The national polls are fun, but not dispositive.
2. We also know that an unusually high number of voters have already made up their minds.
3. We also know, from the prevalence of “What Obama Really Meant” in 2008, that voter’s minds, once made up, are very hard to change.
I don’t see how anybody but a small cadre of well-financed professionals have the data to know how Romney’s gaffes are playing out in the minds of the only voters who matter.
The only voters that matter? This should be an obvious point, but given the prevalence of this sort of thinking -being peddled by scholars who ought to know better on news programs that ought not to be misinforming thier audience no less- it seems obvious points need to be made. “Swing” states and “Swing” counties only possess the importance they do because of all the other voters everywhere else who tend to vote in predictable ways. If Massacusetts and California stopped predictably going to the Dems, those Swing states would be entirely irrelevant. If(when) Texas became competitive at the Presidential and Senate level, the Republican party would cease to be relevant in National politics. All the votes matter, and all the voters matter; if the Rs were worried about Dem turn-out numbers in previously safe states then they wouldn’t be pouring so much time and effort into vote-suppression and voter-intimidation. When we buy into this “Swing State” Theory of elections, we doom ourselves to the status quo(See the Democratic Party from 2000 to 2008); when we reject it and run campaigns as if all the states are up for grabs, we find there are far more opportunities out there and far more sympathy for competent policy(as the Dems found out under Dean’s 50 state strategy).
Oops; that should be “…if the Rs weren’t worried…”
I think Goldwater was off a little bit. The eastern seaboard needs to be placed in a drill press and Washington DC and NYC need reaming.
We would of course pick a day when Yves is on vacation somewhere.
I remember 1964 very well. Goldwater was the candidate who wanted to escalate the VietNam war. Johnson was the peace candidate from Haliburton and Bell Helicopter. Gosh, it’s a good thing Goldwater made that gaff, we might have gotten sucked into a terrible war!
As for Romney, I don’t find his credentials particularly persuasive. Why does anybody think he’s an entrepreneur? He cons clueless pension administrators and stip mines productive businesses. That’s just looting.
And Obama is just a windbag shyster, so why is anybody so thrilled by him?
And we do have an irresponsibility problem: irresponsible poor, irresponsible rich, irresponsible politicians, irresponsible businessmen, irresponsible academics, irresponsible pundits, journalists, clergymen……
You can’t take this shit seriously without going nuts. Being an adult means trying to keep things from going from bad to worse, while knowing you are going to fail.
Not quite, we used to have a bunch of creators in this country, but when they’ve offshored our jobs, our technology we created (and now as soon as it’s created), and investment to foreign shores, it’s useless. Period.
My last 17 jobs were offshored — of that I’m certain — the last 30 of 33 jobs were offshored, I’m fairly sure.
Longest job I’ve held (and my situation isn’t all that unusual or abnormal, I’ve checked the BLS stats) before they’ve laid off everyone and offshored the jobs: 19 months over the past 25 years.
Too much time spent in hustling work, or looking for work, by too many American workers today — all due to the chronic and continuing growth in jobs offshoring, destruction of employment by PE LBO types (like Romney) and mass speculation by hedge funds.
And don’t forget jc that things in 1964 were far from certain – they didn’t have Diebold. (I keep thinking that the only way Romney won the MA gov election was Diebold – but there is no info on it.) Anyway, without the bond buyer of last resort for the rich, Diebold, the only other thing to do is form a breakaway third party. So in 1964, republican Henry Cabot Lodge, at that time LBJ’s Proconsul to South Vietnam and already orchestrating the war to come, came home to run as a third party candidate against Goldwater because the democrats just weren’t confident they could win the election on Goldwater’s dumb comments. So it should be seen with Romney. He still has a chance because stupid statements do not put off an even stupider constituency.
Yes, well, do pick a day when Yves is on vacation, but I admit to being disappointed about her support for Obama, whose “principled stewardship” is just as toxic as Romney’s, and even more dishonest.
The Repubs tell you they’re going to F- you over, and then they F- you over. The Dems tell you they’re going to help you, and then they F- you over.
Based on a lifetime of evidence (mine) I believe the Republicans and I don’t believe the Democrats. And the possibility of slightly less bad is no longer good enough for me. I’m voting Green — Jill Stein for President!
You are apparently confusing NC with Daily Kos which is suppose is possible because both sites are mainly black and orange.
Just because I go after Romney does not mean I support Obama. See this in addition to a lot of other critical posts:
Let’s see….seems like I’ve heard something like this before….ah, yes…..”Let them eat cake!”
Romney must think he needs to be a cartoon character to win over the gooper base.
Or maybe he is one.
A lot of “progressives” I know are torn between voting for Obama as the “lesser evil” and not really voting at all.
Every time I cave into the lesser weasel theory, we get another piece of news like: “Will Erskine Bowles be our next Treasury Secretary?”
My current theory is that it’s necessary to re-elect the sorry SOB and then start an immediate movement calling for his resignation.
That’s not very practical either, but it eases my conscience more than simply voting for someone who is unfit to hold the office.
Voting for the lesser evil is still voting for evil.
Thats multi-party democracy.
It’s ALWAYS a choice between 2 evils. Romney though, is really quite remarkably and unusually evil.
And Obama is even worse than Romney.
If you want to see Social Security gutted, vote for Obama. Only a Democratic president will be able to accomplish that goal of the Washington Consensus.
If you want more gun control, vote for Romney. Only a Republican president will be able to accomplish that goal of the Washington Consensus.
I think the whole point is to keep us guessing. If Romney had run as a moderate patrician, something like the Mitt Romney who had governed Massachusetts, this election would’ve been a no brainer: Vote Romney.
However, his repeated and creative attempts to “take a dive” in mobster parlance have made things much more difficult. Could he actually be worse than Barack Obama? And what would be worse than Barack Obama? The idea that there might be something worse than Obama is terrifying. (As, frankly, is Obama himself.)
Still I really don’t think that the Washington Generals (here played by Romney/Ryan) are going to be the Harlem Globetrotters.
However, a caution: It did happen at least once, according to Wikipedia. Terrible when a complicated Kefabe breaks down…
Two spelling errors: It’s Kayfabe (sorry my Pig Latin is rusty)
Also, “The Washington Generals are not going to beat the Harlem Globetrotters.”
But, again, it did happen once.
less evil is better than more evil
D vs R is not the only alternative. There are excellent candidates in emergent parties. A few have been mentioned here on NC.
Mr. and Mrs. Erskine Bowles, the perfect plutocrat couple: she on the BoD of JPMorgan Chase (and others), he on the BoD of Morgan Stanley (and others).
No doubt we’ll be lucky and see Henry Kissinger (Bowles old mentor) back at the Oval Office or in the vicinity — something we’d all look forward to, no doubt (just being incredibly sarcastic here).
You got me interested in looking at Mrs. Bowles. She has quite the number of board directorships, etc. What I thought was interesting is that it took a bit of Google-fu to figure out how the hell she got all those directorships. And then I found this article from 1997 http://www.businessweek.com/1997/25/b3532119.htm
Where I found this little bit of info:
Great-great-granddaughter of the company’s founder, Bowles is heiress to a $2.5 billion complex that produces such household names as Wamsutta, Springmaid, and Ultrasuede…[snip]By herself, she’s a rising power in Corporate America. She sat on the boards of Deere, Duke Power, and Wachovia. For a decade, she ran the $700 million Close family fortune, and she still leads her mother and seven siblings in overseeing the real estate, insurance, and railroad holdings that complement a controlling stake in publicly held Springs.
So, I see the Bowles really are cut from the same cloth as many other plutocrats. The other thing that burns me thought is that she is a member of the Committee of 200, which is an invitation-only network for powerful women. The website notes that they are “Fostering, Celebrating and Advancing Women’s Leadership in Business.” Which from what I can tell must mean getting Upper Class women together and patting each other on the back for being so brilliant.
Erskine Bowles wife is the heiress,to many north Carolina textiles and industrial concerns,and Erskine was the son of Chester Bowles…here in north Carolina the democrats were the political party in power since 1898 ,when they and the klan burned out the blacks and the carpetbaggers,in Wilmington…..the republicans were the black party…..hence lincoln….that switched in revulsion to the 1964 civil rights bill…….but democrats were still a strong party here,since”my daddy voted democratic”,for a long time …..both of them were important textile people in the nineties ,springs industries and VF corporation,respectively…..both off shoring like mad to help kill North Carolina’s economy.then erskine was president of UNC chapel hill, where he raised costs, blew money and looked the other way like every good plutocrat who gets an academic job between wall st and politics……..for that moron to have his name associated with a plan for the US to be fiscally responsible….we’ll, don’t that beat all…
Obama vs. Romney? The Lesser Evil?
We need the Federal gov’t to loosen the purse strings, and it is Congress who has the power to do that. Vote the Republicans out of Congress!
Agreed . . .
That’s not the way it works any more. The Democrats are just as sold out as the Republicans.
If you take one step downward to the state level, their replacements are already in place as prospective sell-outs. Actually many of them have already sold out – just for smaller bucks.
TGhe only rebellion that has a chance is OWS “Strike Debt” program and I am not yet sure that they have a workable plan. So far, you can’t pepper spray someone for not making their house payment or student loan payment.
The current state of the financial system is best represented by this YouTube Video:
The President sets the agenda. Congress works from what the President sends to them because 435 House members and 100 Senators all looking to get re-elected which means they don’t want to piss anyone off and want to bring home some bacon at the same time. The average voter doesn’t have a clue who represents them in Congress, but they know the President. If the President needs support, the President can get it.
The too small stimulus, the betrayal on healthcare, and the Libyan fiasco, read up on our efforts and results, were not the result of horse trading. The stimulus was designed around the advice of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. The healthcare plan was done from the beginning. There were some changes such as alterations for Nebraska, but no one in Congress can challenge the President once he sends over the deal.
Even the defense cuts. They are cuts to future increases which were already raised in anticipation of the horse trading. The President could do way more with the current Congress if he challenged them. Look at the DADT repeal. The Conservative Democrats got in line pretty quick once the President said it was time because no one can oppose the President except the official opposition. Congress X from the X district of the great state of dumbfuckigan will be lucky to have an elementary school named after him in his hometown where the previous most famous resident’s tombstone was “I ate the whole thing.”
Yes, I know what the Constitution says, but the Constitution was written prior to a mass-suffrage elected President. It seems like a subtle change, but its as important as the different between Emperor and Consul.
He would giggle and smirk at your call for his post-election resignation. If one thinks the DemSenators would prevent Romney from achieving the same agenda which they would support Obama achieving, then one would vote for Romney and for DemSenators and DemReps. If one suspects the DemSenators and DemReps may be just as anti SS/Medicare under a President Romney as under a President Obama, then one votes third party all the way. If one isn’t quite sure the DemSenReps would help Romney dismantle SS/Mcare the way they clearly would help Obama do so . . . but one isn’t sure that they wouldn’t . . . one might vote for President ABOOR and then vote for DemSenReps.
NC trader-speak rules, KO!
Anyone even considering voting for Obama sure as heck ain’t progressive. A vote for Obama or Romney is truly a wasted vote. Nothing improves until we stop giving this regressive horror show the imprimatur of our votes.
If Yves supports Obama, she should be ashamed. Deeply ashamed. As should anyone else with the temerity to consider themselves progressive.
She doesn’t. See above reply.
Think of the mandate Obama will have to gut SS and Medicare……
Pure kabuki for the masses who are eating it up.
Spot on. And Dems in my neck of the woods refuse to hear it just as much as any FOX watching teabagger who relies on both SS and Medicare. In fact they would rather reach through the internetz and club me like a baby seal for saying so. I’m as appalled by Democrats right now as I was by Republicans who reelected Jr.
Yves is dead-on here. While this is indeed a ‘gaffe’ by Romney it will quickly be forgotten after a few episodes of “The Voice” and “American Idol” are viewed by the masses.
Let’s face it, know one is even going to see the folks doing the most shouting today (MSNBC/CNN). No one watches them per the ratings folks.
Yves is only dead-on if you agree there is anything to be gained by Obama winning.
Psychohistorian and EurekaSprings are spot-on. It does not appear to me that Obama is redeemable, so I hope Yves (and millions of others) will change their views and vote Green (or if they must, even Libertarian).
No matter what else can be said about the two “legacy” parties, one thing is sure: they ain’t working for us.
And why would we vote for someone who is not working for us?
Team Red and Team Blue seems so ingrained in some people that they seem to fail to grasp that any victory by either bought out party is actually a loss for progressive/liberal principles at this point.
I’d rather lose with Jill Stein and retain my principles than win with Barack Obama and know that I had some responsibility for voting the guy who has actively stated that Social Security belongs on the chopping block and that corrupt bankers are “savvy business folk.”
(Cue the “she can’t win brigade.”)
Jill Stein isn’t the only third partier running. There is also Rocky Anderson in some states. There are little socialist parties in some states.
For those who wish to express pure frustration at this point, I think Caucus of Labor Committees (Lyndon LaRouche ) may be on some ballots, though I am not sure of that.
I don’t know what your angle is, but blatantly and repeatedly misrepresenting my views is a form of reader assisted suicide request.
Less binary thinking, please. If Yves shreds Romney, that does not mean she supports Obama!
The enemy of my enemy is sometimes my enemy!
I beg your pardon; i don’t count state-mandated vagina/uterus inspections to be an insignificant difference. All other corruption being equal,I will choose to preserver corporeal sovereignty.
Interesting how my thread ‘devolved’ as it did. I think Yves is an independent thinker and is certainly no blind Obama supporter:
However, more telling is how quickly everyone lines up to defend and/or press their specific views and opinions. When reading posts and comments all over the web it is clear both ‘parties’ (not that the ‘D’ or ‘R’ are different in anyway) can easily continue their activities.
“However, more telling is how quickly everyone lines up to defend and/or press their specific views and opinions.”
You may as well state that as a general principle and apply it to all human discourse. Most people believe they already possess the Truth. There are very few engaged in an actual search for it, wherever that might lead.
Blogs and Circuses. I like the juggling acts myself, but we could probably use a few more lions.
“So Mitt goes to a fundraiser and tells his donors just what they want to hear. 47% of Americans are lazy, parasites.
In 2008, Obama went to a fundraiser and told his donors just what they wanted to hear. A lot of voters are stupid, gun totin’, knuckle draggers.
You know what this tells me?
Big money donors don’t know squat about what it’s like to live in America without a trust fund and a portfolio of hedge fund investments. AND they tend to judge books by their covers and their mamas didn’t raise them right.
In other words, these people, and their candidates, have nothing to do with me.
You can elect whoever you want in 2012. There will be some people who will tell you that picking a specific presidential candidate makes a difference. Based on how they talk to their donors, I don’t see it that way. I don’t like either of these people and how they talk to their donors doesn’t phase me in the least. Last year, I was paying more than enough in taxes to keep a family of four above the poverty line. This year, I make below the poverty line in income. So, in a year, I’ve gone from 25 years of responsibility as a drug designer of cancer therapies to a deadbeat, indistinguishable from the trailer trash, high school dropout without teeth who thinks Jerry Springer has high-falutin’ guests.
I think we have the donors to thank for that.
I’ve got more important things to worry about than how clueless a bunch of rich people are. Their day is coming when they have taken the last bit of value off the top of the mountain and their whole reason for being is suddenly meaningless. Maybe after that, they’ll realize that they’ve got a problem.
But that is not my concern right now. And, frankly, I don’t really give a damn.”
You should put New Economic Perspectives on your blogroll. It’s not there.
Mitt has been trying to lose this for his and Obama’s handlers since day one. He keeps having to lower the bar because they are still close enough that it will look weird when the voting machines cast the votes to put Obama over the top.
What that tells me is there is definitely a reason to put out the word on 3rd parties. Neither man has some giant, immovable base. They each have a group of people who will vote for them, no matter what. But I think there’s many more people than ever before who can’t stand either of them.
And it’s very convenient that this came out at the same time Obama is sceaming because a judge ruled he can’t imprison American citizens without trial. I’m sure he’ll get that overturned in no time, but apparantely he is quite angry that a judge read him the Consitution act!
I agree that Mitt’s a gimmie to keep Barry in office. And it’s a measure of Barry’s repellant performance Mitt has to keep making the upper class twit skit broader and broader. Soon it’ll be pies in the face, ala Rupert.
Still, it’s quite true the big money set confuse cash with character. Whether the Richistan operators or the Old Money Old Guard, they need the flattery of hearing how those who haven’t benefited from the economic system are somehow an entirely different species.
Imply they’re got the inside tickets of the Soft Genocide lottery, and people with money will want to back a winner.
Mitt isn’t a sacrificial lamb. He is the best modern GOP can offer. Who is out there that isn’t? That Senator from Ohio? This is a shallow country. He wouldn’t last a second before people started falling asleep at his appearances. Taliban Bob of Virginia? Chris Christie or Mike Hucklebee? They might steal candy from babies if they were too hungry.
The GOP and its recruitment process has been dominated by Newt and now George W. Bush, who wasn’t exactly a popular President running against a good campaign, since the mid-1980’s when Newt took over that operation. The Teabaggers brought some energy to the GOP, but ultimately, they were just less refined versions of Newt.
Rick Perry would have walked it if he’d have been able to remember his own policies.
Actually when you think about it, the Tea Party has been a death blow to the conservative (not the new pogrom-on-the-poor Rs, but the old conservative ways) wing of politics. It has split off a huge population of people who are knee jerk reactionaries who used to be cajoled by the better statesmen of the Rs. If the Rs can win this election you can be certain they did it with Diebold. Not much has changed since 1964.
Hey, Jill, if I recall correctly, you’re in Toledo.
Well, I’m Carla in Cleveland.
I think you may be another Ohioan who is planning to vote common-sense this year: Green Party candidate Jill Stein for President. She’s a family practioner, Harvard Medical School graduate, and she can heal America.
Jill Stein is on the ballot in Ohio and at least 34 other states, folks. Stop saying you don’t have a choice.
Hey Carla, if your memory is that good why are you misremembering Yves as being an Obama supporter? You’ve done that not once but twice on this thread and ignored her responses. If I were Yves and you didn’t retract your remarks and apologize promptly you’d be out of here.
What’s surprising to me about this whole flap is that it is treated like news by anybody. These statements are not revelatory, and hardly even off message.
Well, I did learn one thing. When he’s saying what he really thinks he is sharp, shrewd and persuasive. Notice how rarely he is sharp, shrewd and persuasive.
or maybe he’s just more relaxed around billionaires and that’s why…
Is it job creators or environmental exploiters?. If you are not paying a living wage and your employees are on food stamps and they have no insurance, are you not receiving a Goberment mule ?
I don’t know which is worse.
The hubris, arrogance and downright ignorance of Governor Romney demonstrating his complete lack of understanding of the problems and challenges of the poor and addressing them directly with proposed solutions. Maybe he thinks flooding the labor market with people working minimum wage jobs will restore our economy?
Or the cold hardheartedness or cowardice of President Obama, who claims he understands the problems of the poor and working classes, but failed to challenge the status quo when he had the opportunity. Whether out of political calculation or just a lack of caring, I don’t know.
Both claim to be Christians, both know Jesus Christ the Master and my hero’s ministry was directed to the poor, yet both serve the rich and powerful and themselves. Servants of the people? I don’t think so. It’s a strange world.
And these are strange days, bro John. These are evil men, they are NOT our friends.
Ironically, Mitt himself is among the 47% who depend on the government. His takeover deals would not be possible without the interest deduction permitted under current tax law
The difference between Mitt and Social Security and Medicare recipients is that they are receiving benefits for which they have paid through the payroll tax. These programs have never been in the red nor contributed even one penny to the deficit, unlike Mitt’s tax deductions. Unlike Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries, Mitt is a beneficiary of government policy that didn’t require him to contribute anything in order to become a “job creator” for people in other countries..
Well, bless you, Mary Bess. I hope someone puts you on TV. SOON.
I did learn something from Romney’s speech that was heretofore not part of the message—food is now an entitlement.
Check Mary Bess’s statement above to learn about real entitlements. Mitt is at the very top of the list of the ENTITLED.
Can we start a trend? Let’s not refer to programs that feed, house and clothe those among us who are struggling as “entitlements” ever again.
We all know who the ENTITLED are. They dwell on Wall Street, in Congress, in all parts of the FIRE sector (finance, insurance, real estate) and in the White House.
ENTITLED people do not qualify for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) or Medicaid or “section 8” rental supplements.
ENTITLED people make the rules, for the benefit of themselves and their cronies, and then they demonize those whose jobs they have callously off-shored.
Let us please never forget who receives the entitlements in this country. You can see many of them in political ads, but others, those who paid for those ads, remain faceless and enjoy their privacy. They are ENTITLED.
Your comment is better than the article.
Oh, by the way, for all those out there that don’t know the challenges of the poor, here’s a hint. It’s not all about a lack of material things, although that is part of it. It runs to a “class” thing. It’s a human self-worth and dignity thingy, and this nation better get their act together, and I mean “together” or it’s going to fall apart for practically all of us. We are all in this together and all men are created equal in the eyes of God.
For whom the bell tolls. I fear if things don’t change we are going to end up with a caste system of untouchables.
Bill, good call. Being in government gives you one up on the biz world types, who unfortunately, have been socialized into the lala land of the commanding heights of capitalism aka The Last People to Know.
Yves, you need to borrow someone’s salad fork, and stick it in Romney. Studies show that studies don’t mean shit during the end of times, if you know what I mean. FDR got re elected over and over during mass unemployment, out right starvation, and a Japanese attack on American soil. Mitt is such a bad candidate, even I can’t believe it, but the fact that Peggy Noonan inter alia is kicking the shit out of him too, well, it is just too much fun for one guy to have without controlled substances or someone else’s wife.
I’ll betcha that 47% includes retired people on social security and medicare. That’s not an entitlement, we paid into it even though the government raided the account for the general fund.
Further, a good percentage of the 47% are stuck in the twilight zone regarding jobs. Anyone who expects support from the people needs to understand the fact that we’ve gone through a paradigm shift on how many employees a company needs in order to operate at maximum profit. I think a lot of these larger companies are playing with people’s lives and livelyhoods just to see how lean they can run things without stalling out. This needs to be discussed and we need to hear detailed plans for solving the problem of no jobs.
The idea that just because an American reaches out to the government for support somehow makes them a “mooch” is contrary to the last 100 years of progress; these guys want to see “Hoovervilles” pop up across America with lots more homeless in the streets. And if benefits are cut that’s what we’ll have, because in many areas there are no jobs.
I think this revelation about Romney is important not because of American politics per se, but rather that Mr. Romney is truly emblematic of the spirit of the financialization of American business culture for the past thirty years.
He is the embodiment of Gordon Gekko. And a number of people will resonate to his message. It is an old story, might makes right, and the strong prey on the weak. We the fortunate have worked for what we have, and the unfortunate, after we are done with them, are a drag on us, a burden, losers, things which are to be ignored, used, and eventually eliminated.
As a reader so eloquently put it this morning:
Greedy sociopaths would rather be extremely rich in a suffering nation than modestly rich in a successful nation. The greater the misery, the greater their power, since power is the difference in wealth and influence between one person and another.
At the heart of wealth concentration and economic cannibalism are two simple pieces of tax policy: the interest expense deduction for non-productive activity, and the policy of taxing wages at much higher rates than capital gains and dividends. This is what breathes life into financialization.
Instead of viewing government as a failure, consider the possibility that it is a success. The question we need to ask is: “what is government actually trying to accomplish?”
If in economic policy he is a domestic form of economic hitman, in foreign policy, Romney is what used to be called The Ugly American.
It is not that he is the worst. He just disguises it badly. But he is the epitome of the financialization process, an extractive force that feeds on the real economy around the world.
Its worse than that. Many of these sociopaths are more sadistic than greedy. They would rather be modestly rich in a failing nation than extremely rich in a successful nation.
I think that is what that box the fox guy is trying to tell us with his xtrevilism comments.
“So it’s important to repudiate the Romney message without giving Obama a free pass (and Black is doing this in separate posts, for instance, his new piece on Lanny Breuer of the DoJ’s abject defenses for failure to go after elite financial crimes).” (Yves Smith)
When Yves says “Black is doing this,” I understand that she means he is repudiating the Romney message, NOT giving Obama a free pass.
And don’t forget: never, EVER, mention Jill Stein or her Presidential campaign!
Why don’t you volunteer to do PR for the Greens? I checked their website today and there’s no friggin press release on Romney’s 47% gaffe, which ought to be like shooting fish in a barrel for them. More constructive, perhaps, than complaining that others don’t write the posts you would prefer them to write.
To anyone who is afraid to vote third party: this election won’t be close enough to steal. There just is no realistic scenario for Romney getting 270 electoral votes. Won’t happen. Even with election rigging via voter ID laws, Deibold legerdemain and every other dirty, baldly antidemocratic trick the GOP can muster. There simply aren’t enough angry, low information, old white men left to get it done any longer outside of regional enclaves. Voting for Obama changes nothing; helps nothing.
Furthermore, Obama has done something a Republican President could never do and something incalculably valuable to the corporate supervillains pulling the strings behind the scenes, he has completely taken the American left out of play. It is fashionable to proclaim there is no American left because there is no organizational umbrella for them to gather under, but on actual policy — issues — the American left is in many cases an actual majority of Americans according to reams of polling data. Yet they have no influence whatsoever on the American political process because the putative party of the left in America is in fact a right wing party that has no use for or need of that American left and is indeed openly contemptuous of it knowing full well they have no other viable options.
Obama is a far more effective tool of those billionaire corporate supervillains than Romney ever could be, he can enact their legislative agenda without even a pro forma pushback from the electorate. Romney doing essentially the same thing will necessarily inspire a pitched opposition from the demograhically huge yet currently disempowered left locked out of the political process. One that might even coalesce into a viable political force as opposition. Those corporate supervillains can trust Obama to reliably do their bidding and further to ensure no effective opposition can be mustered from within his party to their agenda. That’s a deal too good for any corporate supervillain to pass up and one the Republicans can’t deliver.
The line: Obama -50 or 60 electoral votes.
A compelling rebuttal to voting for the “lesser weasel”, as Pierce put it. You nailed it. Obama is a Neocon warmonger in messiah drag, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the great deceiver, the fork-tongued serpent peddling snake oil . . . Wall Street’s nicely-bronzed Trojan horse.
But still, the professional liberal elite are so idolatrous, so comfy in their padded veal pens, they continue to promote him, upon whose fortunes their own salaries depend. Turn on the feed from Obama campaign headquarters, MSNBC, for just 60 seconds to see the captured tribalism on full vulgar display as Ed, Al, and Rachel sing praises to the lamb.
Poor Mitt is doing his utmost to take a fall, even while Big Ben paves Wall Street in gold bricks. If this doesn’t do it, what will it take, getting caught with a goat on his lap?
Obama has such an abysmal record that even if people vote on the “Bell Curve” (Murray’s book), he could still wind up winning this thing. Then Wall Street’s designs on Social Security could be at real risk. We can’t have that of course, so if Mitt fails to lose, we can expect an October surprise — war on Syria and/or Iran.
“Mitt could still wind up winning this thing.”
“Romney defines his prospective job as President as “not to worry” about the desires of 47 percent of his fellow Americans. ”
He was talking about how to get over 50% votes and making the assumption that those who pay no taxes will vote overwhelmingly for Obama – not that if he were elected president he wouldn’t care about them.
Yes Mr. Romney, we do look upon ourselves as victims. Victimized by people like you who make the rules to benefit yourselves. If we challenge them we are called mal-contents who want the nanny state. No matter what venue we take, your “morality” (which is just a pseudo-religious mask for greed) will always declare us wrong which will lead to perpetual domestic war which is anti-humanity. Where’e the morality in being anti-humanity Mr. Romney? I doubt seriously if you’ve even spent one second in thought on the matter.
like father like son – re: george Romney – Romney gave “the impression of an honest and decent man simply not cut out to be President of the United States.” Governor Jim Rhodes of Ohio more memorably said, “Watching George Romney run for the presidency was like watching a duck try to make love to a football.” Wikipedia
The Monkey Cage presents comparison charts for The Romney’s gaffes, including 47%, and The Obama’s 2008 gaffes, including “bitter”/”cling to” (both secret recordings, at a fundraiser, with a class warfare message).
Conclusion: Neither gaffe made any difference to the electoral outcome. Of course, prediction is hard, especially about the future.
The future is not hard to predict all.
The rubes will again, with their obeisant attention, validate and legitimize the crooked system that ensures the power of the Xtrevilist few rich pigs and their continued enslavement to them.
Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.
Every time I see that Xtr…, I quit reading.
Thanks! I’ll try to work it in closer to the beginning of my comments to save you your valuable time…
Abstract: The less than 1% of the population who control the greater population are afflicted with an aberrant disease of the mind with many readily identifiable characteristics that negatively affects their morality. It is known as Evilism. In the post WW II years the disease has mutated. The old fashioned form of Evilism, which had developed over the past two to three hundred years, was relatively stable and came to be identified as “Vanilla Greed for Extraction”. It has been overtaken by a newer more virulent form of Evilism called Xtrēvilism, which is now identified as, “Pernicious Greed for Destruction”.
Evilism , the original disease, (the old fashioned Vanilla Greed for Extraction), expresses itself as a parasitic form of cannibalization that sustains its host victim for future cannibalization. It is a milder form of the disease.
Xtrēvilism , the new mutation (Pernicious Greed for Destruction), expresses itself as a parasitic extreme form of cannibalization that minimally sustains or eliminates its host victim with no concern for future cannibalization. It is an extreme form of the disease.
Xtrēvilism relies on; the Noble Lie, the corporate structure, scam finance, ownership of media, and the trusting gullibility and complicity of its victims for its propaganda based divisive control. The effects of Xtrēvilism have caused governments around the world, once marginally responsive to the will of the people, to now be totally NON responsive to the will of the people. The goal of Xtrēvilism is a two tier ruler and ruled world with the ruled engaged in a spirit exhausting perpetual conflict of controlled elimination. Ironically the goal of Xtrēvilism includes stripping the assets of the once powerful old fashioned Vanilla Greed For Extraction class and subsuming it into the ruled class of perpetual conflict.
The disease can be eradicated with Fairism.
Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.
I honestly wish you’d just stop with the Romney/Obummer charade altogether. It doesn’t matter. Either candidate is going to continue to lead the nation down the road into perdition. Getting into the gossip about it doesn’t help.
as an aside, a lot of the enlisted ranks of the military are in the “moocher” 47%. I did my taxes for my brother who is in Afghanistan, given his low pay and exemptions, student loan deductions, tax liability = $0.
By Romney’s logic, the US should institute a draft (with no deferments) to get some of the moocher rich to fight, bleed, sweat and die for the country.
“No need to hold elections; simply make whoever tops the Forbes list of wealthiest people the president.”
Actually, at the present, that could be a big winner for the 99%.
The two richest people in America are still Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Sure, Bill Gates is a major believer in the divine right of charter schools, which is a big negative. But, his politics strike me as being a big improvement overall compared to Barack Obama. And Warren Buffett thinks the rich should pay more taxes.
And the third richest person in America is Larry Ellison. Another Democrat.
The best President to hold office in the past 100 years was FDR, who was a very wealthy guy. He was pushed by Huey Long’s popularity, but he did more than anyone for the 99%.
The second best President in the past 100 years for the 99% (he had severe flaws when it came to foreign policy, of course) was Lyndon Baines Johnson, an avowed New Dealer.
We could do worse than having a plutocrat President. Like anything else, it just needs to be the *right* plutocrat.
Note: after ellison, the list of the richest is a who’s who of Republican big name donors, starting with the Koch Brothers. Then a slew of Waltons. And Michael Bloomberg.
sidebar: Interestingly enough, the combined fortunes of the Koch brothers is still below Bill Gates wealth – $62 billion total for the Charles and David Koch, $66 for Gates. The 4 big Walton fortunes exceed $100 million, though. So, they exceed Gates.
I’m kind of amazed that Gates still tops the list, after all he’s given to his foundation, and given that Microsoft isn’t flying so high these days.
Yves, first, we as a society divide our social hierarchy by how much money we have and make. The last bastion of equality resides in what’s left of the gov’t. Even when discussing incomes that are smaller ($9 an hour versus $15), ppl feel they are somehow better than the other guy because of money. And as ryan says, we should use money to make ppl strive to better persons. Yet, he forgets about that whole greed thing. I guess somehow the good is supposed to outweigh the bad.
Second Yves, I tend to be a sci-fi person and look at the world of Star Trek. In that world, the human race succeeds in what Ryan is supposedly trying to accomplish (ppl living up to their full potential, I guess) by holding each other accountable. There are persons in their society that misbehave and are criminals that get punished. But if u watch say the first episode of the series “star trek: voyager”, an admiral’s son is in some sort of “jail”. Yet the character is embarrassed to be there. He let other people down. He is a really good pilot and yet made mistakes and let himself down. He knows that humans need him and his talents and by making those mistakes, he wasn’t living up to expectations. Now, not everyone follows those rules. But characters talk about how by the elimination of money as the ultimate goal of society, so much was made better. Yet what these ayn rand crazies (and obama is one too) seem to think is that personal responsibility will cure all these ills of society. But where is the proof that ppl will feel “morally obligated” to behave? Where is the accountability by your fellow man? You can be jesse james and end up having statues being built to you. Sure, u killed a lot of ppl on your way to fame and fortune. But the money outweighs it all.
Your story has a crucial omission.
Whenever you mention Charles Murray, you need to mention that as a teen, he burnt a cross next to the local police station.
Charles Murray, and Mitt Romney, are not lambasting people on public assistance, they are using code words for , “The government is taking your money and giving it to the n*****s.”
47 percent? The guy’s being generous. If he gave you the real number you’d have to stop pointing at the “other” and actually look in the mirror.
While the electioneering gaff by Mitt Romney is illuminating, I would much prefer reading a transcript of the debate Dr. Black had with Dan Mitchell several weeks ago. As I believe that neither of the two main candidates is deserving of my vote, having both displayed wanton immorality, a discussion of the role of the social safety net on both society and individuals would be quite illuminating. I am not nearly so well read as Dr. Black, I too have gazed at the dilemma of providing sufficient support for the unfortunate while avoiding the disincentive of dependency as described by George Gilder three decades ago. Unlike Gilder, I attribute the primary impediment to individual responsibility and independence to be hopelessness, not dependency. We cannot, on an intellectual basis, discuss the morality of say, a Bain Capital business model, without considering its effects on individuals and society. No one, it seems, is willing to consider that the transition from a manufacturing economy, with reasonable spreads between line worker and CEO, to a service economy, with enormous differences between line workers and CEOs, with the latter living so much better than the former, that they “despise most Americans and they believe they are superior and entitled by their wealth to rule” is a decent into an immoral society, with all its trappings.
It seems to me this Romney video was just dripping with irony….besides the obvious fact that Romney is just another born rich arrogant prick,who can’t even fathom what real work is like…and real life for that matter.,…
Here is a guy who is dodging releasing tax records that ever so possibly might reveal he is one of those people who doesn’t pay income taxes,talking about people who feel entitled and get their money from the federal gov’t.All this in the house of another private equity leech,like himself…these two guys were benefactors of special tax rules that allowed them to be enriched by a business model that allows the non-payment of a fair share of income taxes…as the series of articles on this blog recently showed…as well as using the monies from gov’t pensions and other savings- like programs….
And then when he talks about those who don’t make enough to have to pay income taxes,surely many of them are actually republicans…..republicans might bitch like hell about the gov’t but dammned if they don’t take advantage of every program like everyone else.be they in a trailer somewhere,or at an army base, or wherever,why the poor vote republican,who knows.It is like the cow voting for McDonald’s.
I don’t understand the hate for Romney. Nearly everyone believes that half of Americans are economic parasites. People only disagree over which half.
October. I keep having waking nightmares about October. The worse it looks for Romney in October, the more likely it is that Willard’s BFF Bibi throws a Hail Mary for him straight at Tehran. A small flicker of hope is that Ehud Barak will have Netanyahu sleeping with the fishes before he can unleash hell on the world.
Someone please talk me down.
I agree with several of the above posters in that Mittens was commissioned to be an electoral dud, to play obvious bad cop (to the “median” voter in a desperate, dwindling pool) to Obie’s good cop. After all, Obie’s bankster bros are banking on another imperial term: SS/Medicare won’t privatize themselves, and a Dem emperor provides the path to least public resistance (at least Dem politicians had to pretend to be against privatization when baby Bush was emperor). SS/Medicare privatization will be predicated on hitting the mythical/self-imposed debt ceiling and/or a Eurozone “crisis” and/or “insufficient” “revenue” (another reason for planned disemployment as the preferred policy objective among both legacy parties).
Let’s play analogies:
confession : Social Security fire sale to banksters ::
plea bargain : Grand Bargain(TM) consisting of token tax “increase” on super-wealthy* in “exchange” for fire sale of Social Security ::
good cop : Obie ::
bad cop : Mittens ::
prosecutor associated with cop duo : bankster recipients of Social Security at fire sale prices and directors of the party duopoly ::
unwitting, frazzled, over-stimulated suspect : public.
Are suspects as prone to “cultural” tribalism, waiting for cultural markers to take sides? I suspect that’s the case oftentimes in the selection of good cop. Or maybe that’s where analogy falls flat.
Which cop usually extracts the confession by presenting a plea bargain – running interference for the prosecutor in the background? Which cop usually “loses”? Would the good cop be able to extract what the prosecutor wants without the illusory choice dynamic? Too bad for the Repub tribe, reminiscent of the forced enthusiasm for obvious electoral-dud Kerry c. 2004, that Mittens doesn’t confiscate cell phones at his fundraisers too; one can never know how many “bitter” “clingers” will be in attendance!
* A tax “increase” on the wealthy that leaves the bulk of their wealth (capital gains) untouched – “sacrifices” for “everyone”! The sting of austerity is supposed to be soothed by a tax-in-name-only for the wealthy. Even if tax revenue under a fiat money system “paid” for spending (HINT: it doesn’t), raising taxes on the highest paychecks instead of the highest capital gains incomes would effect relatively modest increases in revenue. After all, the “savvy” rich make the bulk of money through accumulation. Plus, taxing production/paychecks and consumption/sales obviously adversely affects supply/demand. On the other hand, taxing pooled wealth doesn’t impede economic activity b/c
(1) when corporate and capital gains taxes 50 years ago were much higher, the “normal” level of unemployment was correspondingly much lower (there’s a very robust inverse correlation), so throwing money and tax cuts at companies to “create” “jobs” has the opposite effect – like preemptively rewarding kids for unrealized good behavior and hoping they’ll be well behaved; and
(2) direct public sector job creation can compensate for market failure of chronic unemployment if private sector firms refuse to hire under the pretext of excessive taxation – if they’re unable/unwilling, for any reason, there’s an employer of last resort.
In short, the money-sovereign government is shutting off fresh water for the poorest 99+% – even if they let it flow for the wealthiest <0.1% (who can't/won't use it all, allowing it to pool) – letting the standing water breed disease while screaming at the former about saving water. Running surpluses is another form of "standing water" money that would/could otherwise spur exchange of goods/services.
I really like Stein's Green New Deal, but she – and any leftist party – would do well to dispel the debt terrorism. "How are we going to pay for it?" Is a question that needs to be dispensed with – taxing is the element that makes a fiat currency acceptable (legitimacy), a remedy for preventing standing money with the super-wealthy that would otherwise be involved in the exchange of goods/services (demand), and a distributive mechanism (distribution).
Romney has chutzpah, I’ll give you that.
Bain & Co (and Bain Capital along with it) would have failed outright if not for direct cash injections by the FDIC in the form of bank loans from a failed bank that Romney strongarmed them into forgiving at an 85% rate.
That’s government bailout #1 for Romney.
15 years later, Bain and Romney received a second bailout when their trading and investment accounts at failing financial institutions were backstopped by TARP and the Federal Reserve.
Two large bailouts saved Mitt’s bacon in less than 20 years, and he wants to blather about what entitled losers the working poor are?!? Ridiculous.
Without extensive welfare and bailout payments from Big Government, Mitt himself would have next to nothing.