Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brad DeLong on the "47% Moochers" Meme Bit of Prolefeed that Duped Willard Mitt Romney

Rainy evening in the electric city, 17th and K Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 7:19PM, Sept. 18, 2012. I was walking to the YMCA from Farragut West Metro.

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I guess I should update this damn blog. But I am just going to post the link to Brad DeLong's amazing blog entry:

The Republican Noise Machine and Mitt Romney: The Con Artist Conned.

The key point -- in regards to Willard A-Hole Romney's A-Hole revealing comments about "the 47 percent" -- is the following:

If ANY word is omitted from the following sentence: "Last year 47% of tax units paid no net federal income taxes," then the entire sentence becomes nothing but a Big GOP Lie, so much "prolefeed" for the masses (to borrow a term from George Orwell's 1984 that Paul Krugman used on his blog in a recent entry). This prolefeed is also (as noted) known as "boob bait for the bubbas."

DeLong writes (italicized below):

"Low-information voters are supposed to hear this and process it as "47% pay no taxes" and conclude "they--not me--are moochers!"

"Republican operatives and candidates are supposed to know that almost every word in "last year 47% of tax units paid no net federal income taxes" is necessary for the deception.

"'Last year' because right now the share of taxpayers is far below normal because of the lesser depression--and that is a good thing. 'Tax units' because we are talking not about a share of Americans but rather of pieces of paper flowing through the IRS. 'Federal' because lots of people pay state and local taxes. 'Income' because lots of people pay payroll taxes. 'Net' because for historical reasons we channel our Child and Earned Income Tax Credits--programs loved by, among others, Ronald Reagan--through the IRS rather than through HHS.

"Omit any of those words, and the 47% figure becomes a lie.

"And in the form that it was intended to be received--as '47% pay no taxes, the moochers!' it is a lie.


"Of the 47%, 7% points are there because of the Lesser Depression. Of the remaining 40% points, 6% points are non-elderly with incomes under $20,000/year--people who are not supposed to be paying income taxes. Of the remaining 34% points, 8% are elderly--people who are also simply not supposed to be paying income taxes at all. Of the remaining 26% points, 24% points are workers paying payroll and other taxes who are receiving the CTC and the EITC, and hence not owing 'net taxes' to the IRS. That leaves 2% points."
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"We are, overwhelmingly, both contributors to and drawers on the national treasure--that is what it is to be a citizen.

"There should have been people to deprogram Mitt Romney when he began to fall victim to this AEI cult. Wall Street Journal editorialists should have warned him not to confuse the 'prolefeed' they distribute with the way the world actually works. Economic advisors like Eddie Lazear ought to have straightened him out about the state of the labor market, while Harvey Rosen and Greg Mankiw ought to have convinced him that you would not expect Social Security recipients to pay income taxes. Somebody should have told Mitt Romney that roughly half of those who are currently paying no income taxes will vote for him in November.

"Does Romney spend so little time talking to real policy advisors that these issues never came up?

"Does Romney suffer from CEO disease to such an extent that pointing out that he believes something that is not true is such a career-limiting view that nobody dares do it?

"Whatever: in this case one of the con artists has managed to get himself conned."

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Speaking of AEI (home to that corporate moral gigolo James K. Glassman) ...

Here is sidewalk outside of AEI on 17th Street NW in Washington, D.C., s seen on a rainy evening at 7:24PM, Sept. 18, 2012. Of note, my walk from Farragut West Metro to the YMCA takes me right past that place.

Of note, my walk home -- if I do it up 17th Street -- takes me right past JRs, where the D.C. Gay Mafia have been headquartered for, like, 20 years now. Well, at least 12 years.

OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be Friday evening or over the weekend. I'm not going to promise what will be the topic or content.

-- Regulus

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