Romney: If You’re Poor, It’s “Free Stuff.” If You’re Rich, It’s Job Creation

So Romney spoke to the NAACP and, unsurprisingly, laid an egg. Afterwards, he then played the ‘those people are lazy card’ by referring to Medicaid and other programs as “free stuff”, followed by “But don’t forget nothing is really free.”

Especially freedom–it’s not free. Or so I’m told.

Anyway, Charles Pierce notes the absurdity of the ‘free stuff’ argument:

But let’s leave aside the Negroes-Stole-Our-Dates politica[l] dynamic for a moment, and concentrate on that last part — about how the moochers don’t realize that their “free stuff” isn’t free but, rather, ripped bloodily from the hides of the country’s most productive owners, namely, white people like him. In a couple of weeks, his wife’s horse is going to be competing in the Olympic Games in London. In 2010, the Romneys declared a $78,000 tax loss on the horse. (All but $50 was disallowed.) Did he not consider for a minute that, if he got that full deduction, his fellow citizens would have to make up for it in some other way? Nothing, after all, is every really free.

It’s very simple–when money is spent on ‘unacceptable people’, it’s wasteful, but when it’s spent on ‘good people’, it has value.

Same as it ever was.

*A tax deduction is spending. In a world with no deductions, if you paid your taxes, and then the government cut you a check equal to the amount you wouldn’t have paid due to the deduction (rather than letting you do it when you pay your taxes), we would call it spending. Tax deductions are often called tax expenditures for this reason.

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2 Responses to Romney: If You’re Poor, It’s “Free Stuff.” If You’re Rich, It’s Job Creation

  1. Misaki says:

    Calling generalized tax deductions ‘spending’ is only semantics. Does paying just a 35% tax rate, instead of a 90% tax rate like in previous decades, mean that the government is ‘spending’ 55% of your marginal income on your lower taxes? Does a 0% interest tax rate for the very poor mean the government is ‘spending’ to keep their taxes low?

  2. Misaki says:

    (Getting a few billion in tax credits is a different matter though: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?pagewanted=all )

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