My initial take will sound like electioneering if one chooses to focus on the initial statement instead of reading through, but who in the heck is advising Mitt Romney or can he be that uninformed about the United States? In the linked story from Mother Jones, Romney asserts that people who pay no income tax, 47 percent, will vote for Obama no matter what, who believe they are entitled and that government should give those entitlements to them. Sadly, I agree that a percentage of people who believe in entitlements exist. Sadly, that percentage gets grouped in with people who are truly in need of assistance but who have previously given or will give back to society for that assistance.
Where are the states with the higher percentages of people who pay no income tax? Either Romney or someone on that team should know that the majority of states with the highest percentage of individuals paying no income tax will be casting their Electoral Votes to the Republican ticket. Are the citizens of these states stupid? Are the citizens of these states ignorant? Or are they just undesirables who are not capable of providing anything of substance or value to the United States? (Please refer to map at top for state percentages of filers with no liability in 2008).
Being disrespected by the Presidential candidate solely for being reared in one of those states where a high percentage pay no income tax aside, I will argue that he has unknowingly touched upon a greater issue. That issue is the growing number of individuals who do not pay income tax and others who receive additional funds by way of various credits.
The focus, however, should not be on those who feel entitled; nor should it be on those with the resources to game the system at the upper end through the endless maze of loopholes. The focus needs to be on equity and fairness. My position is that the tax code is too complex, but initiatives such as flat taxes, consumption taxes, and so on will also fail because there is already too great of an income gap for those types of programs to be inheritably equal in terms of shared burdens. That is an overly simplistic statement used solely as a generalization of my impressions and is not intended as a substitute for a thorough code analysis.
Morality and attitudes should not be the result of governmental legislation. We as a society must work together to squash feelings of entitlement, too big to fail, and above the law because of my success attitudes. Things that we call rights are in fact privileges because of our government and the Constitution of the United States. Previous generations and their blood, sweat, and tears left on the soil earned and retained these opportunities for this generation. The beliefs of the United States and its system of government are not the only correct path as we sometimes forget. The same blueprint which proved successful in this country years ago, might fail today if laid out upon the very same soil.
Perhaps one of the more eloquent analyses of that sentiment comes from John Adams in his 13 February 1818 letter to Hezekiah Niles where Adams writes:
The American Revolution was not a common event. Its effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the globe. And when and where are they to cease?
But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. While the king, and all in authority under him, were believed to govern in justice and mercy, according to the laws and constitution derived to them from the God of nature and transmitted to them by their ancestors, they thought themselves bound to pray for the king and queen and all the royal family, and all in authority under them, as ministers ordained of God for their good; but when they saw those powers renouncing all the principles of authority, and bent upon the destruction of all the securities of their lives, liberties, and properties, they thought it their duty to pray for the continental congress and all the thirteen State congresses, &c.
There might be, and there were others who thought less about religion and conscience, but had certain habitual sentiments of allegiance and loyalty derived from their education; but believing allegiance and protection to be reciprocal, when protection was withdrawn, they thought allegiance was dissolved.
Another alteration was common to all. The people of America had been educated in an habitual affection for England, as their mother country; and while they thought her a kind and tender parent, (erroneously enough, however, for she never was such a mother), no affection could be more sincere. But when they found her a cruel beldam, willing like Lady Macbeth, to “dash their brains out,” it is no wonder if their filial affections ceased, and were changed into indignation and horror.
This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.
By what means this great and important alteration in the religious, moral, political, and social character of the people of thirteen colonies, all distinct, unconnected, and independent of each other, was begun, pursued, and accomplished, it is surely interesting to humanity to investigate, and perpetuate to posterity.
To this end, it is greatly to be desired, that young men of letters in all the States, especially in the thirteen original States, would undertake the laborious, but certainly interesting and amusing task, of searching and collecting all the records, pamphlets, newspapers, and even handbills, which in any way contributed to change the temper and views of the people, and compose them into an independent nation.
The colonies had grown up under constitutions of government so different, there was so great a variety of religions, they were composed of so many different nations, their customs, manners, and habits had so little resemblance, and their intercourse had been so rare, and their knowledge of each other so imperfect, that to unite them in the same principles in theory and the same system of action, was certainly a very difficult enterprise. The complete accomplishment of it, in so short a time and by such simple means, was perhaps a singular example in the history of mankind. Thirteen clocks were made to strike together—a perfection of mechanism, which no artist had ever before effected.
(The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856), 10 volumes).