When Mother Jones released videos of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to a small, elite group of donors at a fundraiser, people immediately began forecasting the end of Romney’s presidential hopes.
What was it that was so troubling about Romney’s statements? This section in particular seemed to really stick with people:
[The 47 percent are people] “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”
People quickly called his math into question. That 47% of people who receive government benefits, according to many, includes children and the elderly, too.
David Brooks of The New York Times offers an insightful Op-Ed about the issue, explaining the problems of Romney’s statement:
In 1960, government transfers to individuals totaled $24 billion. By 2010, that total was 100 times as large. Even after adjusting for inflation, entitlement transfers to individuals have grown by more than 700 percent over the last 50 years. This spending surge, Eberstadt notes, has increased faster under Republican administrations than Democratic ones.
There are sensible conclusions to be drawn from these facts. You could say that the entitlement state is growing at an unsustainable rate and will bankrupt the country. You could also say that America is spending way too much on health care for the elderly and way too little on young families and investments in the future.
But these are not the sensible arguments that Mitt Romney made at a fund-raiser earlier this year. Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers.
So who are these moochers that Romney may have offended in that speech?
David Brooks sums it up:
Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?
What do you think? Did Mitt Romney misspeak or is this an inside peek to what Romney truly believes?
Watch the Mother Jones Mitt Romney tapes here.