On Monday September 17, Mother Jones released a video of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressing donors at a private reception. In the one minute long video, the former Governor is speaking about his campaign and what he views as the "47% of people who will vote for the president no matter what."
For those who are unaware, the 47% he uses is a direct reference to the fact that only 53% of Americans pay federal income tax. That 53% was a widely circulated conservative counter-protest of sorts to the Occupy Wall Street cry "We are the 99%."
Although the assertion he is making, that all people who don't have to pay federal income tax are automatically going to vote for President Obama, is absurd, his fundamental argument is nothing new. The notion that the welfare state hurts more than it helps by reducing individual incentive and creating dependency is at the heart of conservative ideology.
This reality begs the question, why do some liberals seem to be outraged at this "revelation"? Because the comments were made at a private reception for donors, it's a pretty safe bet that he was addressing some quite wealthy individuals. If Mitt Romney had expressed sincere empathy for the people he, his party, and his donors tend to think of as lazy and parasitic, not only would it have been completely bizarre, but it is hard to imagine the room would have been thrilled.
Until the GOP ticket can provide some specifics on how they plan to cut taxes 20% in all brackets, increase military spending, and still balance the budget, there is a much bigger issue on the table. Not only was that video likely obtained by some illegal and unethical means, but it doesn't even prove anything except that politicians speak to high-level donors differently than the greater public. This should not be news to anyone.