Thursday, February 02, 2012

Romney's Kinsley Gaffe, in context

I'll leave 'poor' Mitt Romney alone for a while after this, but I wanted to highlight Chait's identification of Romney's statement that he's "not concerned with the very poor" as a Kinsley Gaffe, where a politician makes the mistake of saying something that the politician actually believes.

Romney has deliberately lied about Obama, changing Obama's statement about the McCain campaign by removing the context in order to claim it was Obama's statement about himself.  Adding context to Romney's statement doesn't help him much though - he's not concerned because the poor have a safety net, and he even generously offers to fix any holes "if" any exist.  What this indicates is his true belief that there were no holes in the safety net before the Great Recession, and that nothing the Republicans have done or plan to do will create more holes.  He further believes that the very poor don't work, or apparently don't even want to work, so they're unaffected by increased unemployment and depressed wages.

Republicans with responsibilities at local and state levels are often a little more realistic than this (I know some of them), so that a former governor can actually believe this is pretty depressing.  Massachusetts is a prosperous state, so Romney didn't have to focus on the poor in quite the same way as elsewhere, but that's not a good enough reason.

Chait's one mistake is creating a distance between Romney and his campaign.  Whatever Romney "really" believes eliminate [EDIT:  should've said "does not eliminate"] his primary responsibility for his campaign.  And his Kinsley Gaffe tells us about Romney himself.


UPDATE:  Romney backpedals and acknowledges the safety net has holes, throwing under the bus those people who backed him with statements that the poor have more than enough safety nets.  Given that he's been running for president for over six years now, I'd expect him to be able to identify at least one of those holes and what he'd do to fix it.  Since he hasn't, we can weigh his promise to identify and fix the holes with an appropriate level of credulity. 

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Romney had a gaffe for sure, but if that is what he actually believes then you need to talk to Obama.

Based upon your example how Republicans create more holes in the safety nets for the poor, it seems they allocated more to that heating program than Obama requested.

"As reported yesterday, the bill provides $3.478 B for LIHEAP. In what appears to be a compromise between the House and Senate on the formula distribution, roughly $3 billion would be distributed under the old formula (tier 1). There is no reserve for contingency funding. Additionally, $3 million would be provided for Training and Technical Assistance.

This overall funding is less than current year’s level ($4.7 billion), but higher than the President’s request of $2.57 billion."

http://www.liheap.org/


Oops.



Celery Eater
Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

i dont understand, "if that is what he actually believes then you need to talk to Obama."

i need to talk to obama about what romney believes?

obama gets blamed for a lot, but are you blaming obama for a romney gaffe?

Anonymous said...

No. Eli wrote an article about a Romney gaffe and is making the claim that Romney showed his true beliefs about not caring for the poor. He then extended that to the entire Republican Party and used the recent funding of LIHEAP as evidence (via a thinkprogress link lol).


Eli makes a claim that the Republicans are poking holes in the safety net of the poor by taking funding for heat away from the poor and giving it to the military.

I simply went to the program's web site and quoted it, completly shattering Eli's attempt (yet again) as painting Republicans as evil poor hating monsters.


Obama wanted to take even more money away from the poor than Republicans, but Eli did not write an article about that, no he wants to continue this divisive narrative of the Democrats that Republicans do not care for the poor. Garbage.



Celery Eater

J Bowers said...

And I simply came to this website to discover Eli didn't write this post.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. So much for assumptions.

Brian wrote it.

all other points remain valid.




Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@Celery Eater

Can you please explain to me how Romney is villified for paying 15% taxes on capital gains, yet Warren Buffet is hailed as a hero of the left for doing the exact same thing? The only difference is Buffett gets way, way more money from the government, and then goes on tv and says he'll pay more in taxes. I would hope smart people like Eli are seeing through this, but as nobody in the media has pointed this out, I am not so sure?

Brian said...

CE - Romney's gaffe was indicating he doesn't think there are any gaps in the safety net. You haven't provided any info to indicate that Obama takes the same position.

I personally think there are significant gaps in the safety net and would also support cuts - less so this year, and more as we ease out of the Great Recession.

You also failed to react to this statement in the link, "Congress — and particularly Republicans in Congress — have made cuts to various programs meant to aid the poorest Americans" including all the links. Heating aid is one example of a gap in the safety net.

Finally, tu quoque isn't much of a response.

Anonymous said...

"You haven't provided any info to indicate that Obama takes the same position"

Yes I did, O bama proposed to cut the heating program far more than what Congress ended up passing. Actions speak louder than some speaking gaffe.


"You also failed to react to this statement in the link, "Congress — and particularly Republicans in Congress — have made cuts to various programs meant to aid the poorest Americans" including all the links. Heating aid is one example of a gap in the safety net."

Yes I did. Congress allocated more money to the program than what Obama wanted.

"we ease out of the Great Recession"

Obama certainly has made that statement very true.



Dr. Jay,

Notice how what is not reported is Romney gave 15% of his earnings to charity.



Celery Eater

Brian said...

As I indicated, cutting assistance (if it is a cut) doesn't mean no assistance is needed.

I am an elected local official. We recently negotiated with our unions a cut in the assistance we provide with medical insurance and other payments. It doesn't mean they don't need or deserve better compensation - it's a statement of economic reality.

Brian said...

I will give CE credit for distracting me though. He doesn't have anything to say in defense of Romney and whether Romney believes there are no problems with the safety net, whether the poor actually work or want employment, etc.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

What Romney said was a gaffe, I said is much, in fact first thing I said.

The poor have more than enough safety nets and we certainly as you readily admit, we really cannot afford the existing ones nevermind any new ones. So him saying that he wants to focus on 95% makes perfect sense to me.


This is the land of opportunity, not the land of guarantees.
Some people truly need assistance and there are a plethora of programs at Federal, State, and local levels and let us not forget charity.

There are also many people who choose to be lazy, expect the assistance and exert little effort going beyond that type of existence.

Your efforts are commended by the simple minded who want to believe such simple little theories that Republicans do not care for the poor and only want to help the rich. Garbage.

Your theory on Romney and the poor is countered by his donations to charity and RomneyCare in Massachusetts. Actions speak louder than words, but you keep following the words, I'll make my assessments based upon actions.



Celery Eater

J Bowers said...

"Notice how what is not reported is Romney gave 15% of his earnings to charity."

Which would be a tax deductible $3 million thus lowering his taxable income, at least $1.5 million of which went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not to homeless veterans, disaster relief, or homes for dogs.

Anonymous said...

J Bowers,
Your facts are not right, please correct and port again.


Celery Eater

Hardy Cross said...

Thank you for providing the context of the remark, since that shows it to be innocent. The pro-Obamans do expose their serious fear for a single term. Romney and Obama debating on the same stage will be a joy to watch. Change, yep.

J Bowers said...

Celery Eater, show us some of your facts first, and why would your facts be any more right than mine?

Anonymous said...

romney really gave till it hurt
(in stocks....to his own foundation)

"tens of thousands of shares of stock in Domino’s Pizza Inc., Sensata Technologies Holding NV, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. and Warner Chilcott Plc that went to their family’s Tyler Charitable Foundation, based in Boston."

Brian Dodge said...

What's the difference between Buffet & Romney?

"During an August 2007 appearance on Kudlow & Company, Romney was asked what he thought of the effort to close the loophole[the carried interest loophole, which gives Mitt a 15% tax rate}]. He wasn't happy. "I want people to be able to save their money and invest in America's economy tax-free," Romney said. "I want to lower taxes. I want to lower marginal rates across the board. I want to lower taxes for corporations..."

"“Buffett Rule” for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained that rich people like him pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers.

Buffett, on the other hand, wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece last month that he and his rich friends “have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.” And hence the 'Buffet rule' proposed to close the carried interest and other 1% friendly tax dodges.

But you already knew that, didn't you, Dr CADbury?

John said...

Another Kinsley gaffe:

At the United Nations, a US representative was giving a hearty welcome to a diplomat from a friendly Latin American country. The US diplomat intended to describe his Latin American counterpart as a "faithful servant of the United Nations," but instead called him a "faithful servant of the United States".

Which was closer to the truth.

Don Gisselbeck said...

If Mitt works as hard as a Florida tomato picker, he should make as much.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Dear Dr. Chocolate Bar,

I don't think Romney is villified for paying a low but legal tax rate and I'm sure Buffet isn't glorified for the same.

Romney is villified for proposing to further lower the tax rate for zillionaires and Buffet is praised for proposing to raise it to a tax rate more like that paid by the middle class.

CIP

J Bowers said...

Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@CIP

No I would say Buffett is heavily glorified. Buffett's secretary sat next to Michelle Obama at the state of the union. That does it for me.

@Brian Dodge

Your just proving my point! Again, I said Buffett raked in bailout money during TARP, around $95 billion. And just look at his holdings in Goldman, Wells Fargo, Ge, etc. He had over 7 billion invested in companies that all got bailouts, with the exception of GE. And he bought more stocks in Goldman right before they got bailed out, so he knew.

So your basically arguing that Buffett should be left alone because even though he takes a ton of government money, he's willing to pay a higher tax. He said that the congress is billionaire friendly?

hahahaha! So why didn't he turn down the TARP money! And did you also know he circulated a letter to Berkshire investors, COMPLAINING about the bailout!

Anonymous said...

J Bowers,

In the past two years Romney gave $7 million to charity or about 16.4% of their gross adjusted income according to their tax returns. $4.1 million went to the Mormon church.

"(in stocks to his own foundations)"

Oh you could have a point because the link below says.

"From a tax perspective, it makes sense for the Romneys to use shares of stock to make charitable donations, Mayer said. If someone donates shares that have increased in value, they can deduct the contribution while avoiding the 15 percent capital gains tax they would have to pay otherwise.

“It’s a very common strategy,” Mayer said.


But wait there is more...


Still, the large amount of cash donations reflects that Romney wasn’t engaged in an aggressive strategy to use charitable contributions to lower his taxes, said Miranda Fleischer, an associate professor of taxation at the University of Colorado Law School.

“In 2011, about 75 percent of what he gave was in cash and that’s not necessarily the most tax-advantageous method,” she said.


Oops more facts counter your narrative, sorry.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-01/romney-tax-returns-show-7-million-in-donations-over-2-years.html


Buffet talks a good game but as Dr. Jay pointed out he gets a lot of his money from taxpayers, is going to benefit if Keystone XL does not get built and on his other hand he is fighting paying back taxes for his Berkshire Hathaway company.

We have all learned from Brian what is important is what you say, not what you do, right Brian.




Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

i dont have a "narrative"
i was just pointing out he is a rich SOB who donated stocks
to his own foundation, which counts as a tax writeoff.
(period, full stop, just a fact not a narrative)

Anonymous said...

- i dont have a "narrative"

- i was just pointing out he is a rich SOB ..


lol Comedy gold right there

Thanks!



Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

So he gave tons of money to his own charitable organization. What does the Tyler Charitable Foundation do with that money?

You can see their 990-PF online (here for example http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-romney-tyler-foundation-tax-form-20120124-pdf,0,6924811.htmlpage)

They seem to actually only give out 3% of their money any given year. 2008 they gave out almost $2M, it would be interesting to see what that was for.

So he is not giving his money to "charity" -- he's putting it in a lockbox, to use for who knows what or when.

Gator

Anonymous said...

Here's a better copy of the 990:
http://c4230422.r22.cf2.rackcdn.com/Tyler-Charitable-Foundation-990-2010.pdf

Of the $647k the TCF gave away last year, $235 went directly to the Mormon Church or Mormon related services; $100k (the second largest single grant given)went to the George W Bush Library.

Yes, Romney is so charitable and helpful with his money.

Gator

Anonymous said...

Yes, Romney is so charitable and helpful with his money.



Agreed.

$7 million in 2 years or 16.4%. It seems you have a lot more "investigating" to do to track down the rest of his donated dollars.


But I see not only does Romney have to donate to charity he must donate according to "Gator" rules, whatever the "F" those are.

A truly pathetic effort.




Celery Eater

Brian said...

CE - what Romney has done is nothing, in six years of running for president, to fix the holes that he acknowledges as existing in the safety net for the very poor. Inaction speaks louder than words when he says that he would fix holes as president.

I've assumed that he was personally generous with charitable donations. Gator raises some interesting questions. I have no idea how it will play out. That issue is relevant to what you think of him as a person, but it doesn't weigh very heavily IMHO as to whether he'd be a good president.

Brian said...

To clarify, Rommney has proposed nothing in six years to fix safety net holes. If he had proposed anything, I'd expect it to have been dredged up by now.

Anonymous said...

"To clarify, Rommney has proposed nothing in six years to fix safety net holes. If he had proposed anything, I'd expect it to have been dredged up by now."

So?

We know Obama has proposed slashing aid to familes for home heat in half just this past December.

I am still waiting on your article decrying this most mean spirited action by the President.

Actions and Words Brian, learn the difference.

You are not very good at this are you?



Celery Eater

J Bowers said...

We know Obama has proposed slashing aid to familes for home heat in half just this past December."

But isn't that the kind of thing that happens when so many could-be tax dollars go to the Church of Latter Day Saints instead of to the Federal Gummint?

Anonymous said...

Donating to the church you belong to (really any church in my opinion) is more like paying your country club dues than donating to charity. By charity I mean something that might help people who actually need help.

When you donate more to the George W Bush Library than you do to anything that actually helps people, well, yes I think that says something about your "charity."

When you donate >$2M to your own private charity, and it disburses less than 3% of assets in a given year, in fact less than it made in investments, let alone your donation -- then yes, I think that says something about your "charity."

This may not have that much to do with whether Romney would make a good president. But it certainly says volumes about the kind of person he is.

Gator

Anonymous said...

Celery Eater -- BTW dummy, the point of the 990 disclosure is that Romney "donates" X amount to his Tyler Charitable Foundation. The TCF donates 0.03*X to actual causes, and only half of those are to things that might be considered "charities" like his kids' schools, Harvard Business School etc. He's not exactly spending $7M on the heating oil you keep harping about. The money is found -- it's all sitting safely in his TCF.

Gator

Anonymous said...

Celery Eater -- one last thing. From the DHHS 2012 budget justification for LIHEAP:
"This returns program funding to the historic levels provided for FY 2008 ($2.57 billion), prior to the energy price spikes. Energy prices are currently at or below FY 2008 levels and are expected to increase moderately through FY 2012. The Administration will continue to monitor prices going forward."

Gee, Obama is trying to save you money and you stab him in the back. Maybe you should try to understand some of the things you natter on about before making yourself look totally stupid. (OK, I know that won't happen based on your history but it has to be said.)

Gator

Anonymous said...

Gator,

Where to begin. Read the original post! Brian tried to use the funding of LIHEAP as proof of how little Republicans care about the poor. I see you did not provide the above information to him, funny that. Who is stupid now?

If it were up to me I'd lower the funding of LIHEAP to $1 billion. I actually wish they went with at least Obama's recommendation, dummy.


Please provide your list of approved charities so we may apply this list to everyone.


Your blind devotion to your side is almost religious in its levels of intensity.

You are a joke.



Celery Eater

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Dr Jay,

What was that PhD in, obfuscation? Missing the point?

That point, btw, is not whatever private virtues Romney or Buffet may have or lack, or how they treat their secretaries, dogs, churches, or wives.

The point is policy, to wit, that Buffett advocates policies whereby the wealthy would be required to pay something like the tax rates paid by the middle class, while Romney advocates policies which would further priviledge those same ultra wealthy. Try to comprehend that point.

Brian said...

CE: "Brian tried to use the funding of LIHEAP as proof of how little Republicans care about the poor."

I'd encourage you to read my original post as well. Let me quote the only sentence that seems to interest you, although you go off on a tangent instead of disputing the sentence:

"What [the context of Romney's statement] indicates is his true belief that there were no holes in the safety net before the Great Recession, and that nothing the Republicans have done or plan to do will create more holes."

The sentence is about Romney's beliefs as to potential holes that Republicans can make worse. The link was to Republicans trying to make things worse while increasing defense spending. The link emphasizes the combination of both factors, and emphasizes the many other attempts to create safety holes. I'm not capable of judging the best place to spend money on fixing this hole versus others, but the context that there are multiple holes that the Rs aren't trying to fix while increasing defense spending.

As for your demand that I write a post about Obama and LIHEAP, here's something I wrote 5 years ago: "The first argument RPJr. makes is a common rhetorical device on the right side of the blogosphere, and occasionally, the left: 'How dare you guys fail to write about the things that I demand that you write about?'"


I've never been impressed with that argument, but if CE wants to create a blog post somewhere trying to make sense of his own position on LIHEAP and Obama, I'd be happy to leave a comment.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

You said "What [the context of Romney's statement] indicates is his true belief that there were no holes in the safety net before the Great Recession, and that nothing the Republicans have done or plan to do will create more holes."

And you then use LIHEAP as an example via the link. That is some twisted logic to say the Republicans are poking more holes in the poor's safety net by increasing a program's funding above what the President had requested. You are not too sharp are you?

How you understand Romney's true beliefs with never have spoken to the man is truly amazing.

Btw I have never "demanded" you write any particular article, all I said is I am waiting for you to write one about Obama, I do this knowing the wait will approach the end of time in length.

Just to repeat, as you seem do have great difficulty in understanding, anything is; You attempted to understand Romney's beliefs based upon a statement he made about the poor and that his beliefs also included no possibilty that the Republicans did would/could create more holes in the poor's safety net. You linked an example of this on LIHEAP. I simply pointed out that the Republicans (all of Congress btw, for the record) funded that program above what the President requested.

So if Romney believes there are no problems with the safety net for the ppor and lets the Republicans in Congress deal with those issues and programs the poor will be better off than what President Obama would do for them.


Actions Brian, actions not words.



Celery Eater

Brian said...

I'm done repeating myself for CE. My comment immediately before his last one is my response.

Anonymous said...

Same Brian. Let us just hope Obama does not get re-elected so there will be more money funded to these safety net programs.



Celery Eater

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Celery Eater,
Actually, I'm hoping Obama does get re-elected so that I can watch your pointy, little, racist head explode.

Anonymous said...

a_ray,

Your above comment says much more about you than me. Of course all your little Rabett friends will give you a pass.

Comments like this from the "tolerant" left never surprise me, all that repressed guilt they have with themselves, always seeps out.



Celery Eater

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

CE,Fortunately, I have the advantage of not giving a tinker's damn what you think. I've never seen the point in being tolerant of lying, racist idiots.

Anonymous said...

a_ray,

And yet your actions counter your words. Hmm the entire point of this post.


Stay Classy a_ray.




Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Brian,

Speaking of people exposing their true beliefs.... lol

Another exposure of the true liberals.

My work here (this post) is complete and successful, as usual.


Celery Eater

Brian said...

Alright, CE, I don't see any evidence of you being racist, and I don't recall anything that makes you a liar, but I think others can judge whether you've been arrogant and insulting.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

Fair enough.



Celery Eater