WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney, at a private fundraiser some months ago, got real about the central difference between Mr. Obama’s far-out socialism and the Republicans’ free-market capitalism. He said, bluntly, that 47 percent of working-age Americans pay no income tax. He said, self-evidently, that his low-tax message would mean nothing to them. He said, rightly, that many of them believe they are entitled to free food stamps, free welfare, free health care.
He added, infelicitously, that his job was not to worry about the 47 percent. Earlier this week a hate-speech blog, Mother Jones, got hold of a video recording made by a member of Romney’s audience and – quivering with the partisan, pietistic outrage that is the hallmark of the hard left – condemned Romney for not worrying about the 47 percent.
A year or two ago, Mother Jones, trembling with the artificial angst of the instinctual Communist, listed me as the world’s second most influential climate skeptic (or, as the extremists poisonously like to put it, “denier”). ExxonMobil was no. 1.
In both instances, the blog very carefully avoided the obvious. The hate-speakers deliberately did not consider whether or not we skeptics might be scientifically correct, as (after 15 years without any global warming at all) everyone now knows we were.
And they deliberately wrenched Romney’s remarks from their obvious context, which was that he is fighting an election campaign and would gain little by trying to influence the non-contributing half of the U.S. electorate.
It is at this point that I part company from Mr. Romney. He is trailing quite badly in the polls, nearly all of which, over the past six months, show him around 7 points behind the “president.” It is vital, therefore, that he worries a great deal about how to explain to the beneficiaries of federal socialism that it is they, more than their involuntarily generous benefactors who pay income tax, who will suffer when the gravy-train tips into the gulch.
Derailment is imminent. On both sides of the Atlantic, unelected officials beyond the reach of any voter have decided to print near-unlimited quantities of money. Mr. Draghi, the catastrophic joke figure who presides over the catastrophic joke institution that is the European Central Bank, has announced that he will buy unlimited amounts of national debt with new euros conjured out of thin air.
Mr. Bernanke, the sinister head of the sinister Fed, has followed suit by announcing that he will buy $40,000,000,000.00 of federal debt every month with new dollars imagined into existence. Disaster will inevitably follow in the medium term, as seven dollars chase every five beans, but it is the short term Bernanke is worried about.
To be precise, he is worried about making things look rosy in the few weeks between now and Nov. 6. The stock market, reliably short-termist, loved his announcement and bounced heftily.
But just look at the record of the Fed, which was founded in 1913. From 1776 until 1913, the dollar grew in value by 8 cents. In the century since the Fed was founded as a profitable racket for absolute bankers, the dollar has fallen in value by 92 cents.
Rich people can largely avoid the damage caused by inflation on this monstrous scale, because they can afford not to keep their assets in cash. Poor people, on the other hand, are absolutely dependent upon what little cash they can get hold of. If the value of that cash diminishes, as the Fed’s politically motivated and economically absurd policy will now guarantee, it is the 47 percent who will be hurt the most.
And who is going to speak for them? The “president” certainly won’t. They are his cannon fodder. Mitt Romney won’t. With that fatal foolishness that will – as things now stand – consign him to an unconsidered footnote in the pages of history, he says it is not his job to worry about whether the 47 percent can be persuaded to vote for him.
Mr. Romney should talk to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Gov. Walker is a class act. He is a man who could (and, I hope, will) win the presidency one day. When he took office, his state was every bit as bankrupt as the federal government now is. So he confronted the voters with the hard, economic realities. He told them the socialist policies that had previously been pursued could no longer be afforded.
Crucially, he convinced a significant minority of the unionized state employees who were the chief beneficiaries of Wisconsin’s socialism that the gulch was just around the next curve. He won his recall election.
Mr. Romney, you need to do two things. Listen very carefully to Scott Walker. And get Monckton as your speechwriter. Do those two things, sir, and you will never again say you do not worry about the votes of the 47 percent who pay no tax. They are your voters, too, and you can win them over, if only you are willing at least to try. Yes, what was the Age of Enlightenment has become the Age of Entitlement. But it would be the height of craven folly for you to leave it that way.
To follow up last week’s puzzle: There are 17 heads on a U.S. dollar bill: Washington’s head, the eagle’s head, the heads of two owls nested in the border at the foot of the obverse, and 13 arrowheads clutched in the eagle’s claws. Hundreds sent in entries, but no one got the right answer.