The old man was sitting at the kitchen table, holding a hanky over his weeping eyes.
“What’s the matter, Pa?”
In the movie Moonstruck, family and neighbors were pouring into the kitchen. The mother had just demanded her husband terminate his affair, and he meekly agreed. One brother had just proposed to his reluctant brother’s long-suffering fiancé. And now the grandfather was crying. Mitt Romney has a similar effect. I’m confused.
I can’t figure out where I fit into his view of America. Am I in the 99%, the 50%, the 47% or 100%? Being in the 1% in the top 1% of income and wealth would be nice, but I’m not. Even being in the top 13% and paying tax at Mr. Romney’s income tax rate would help. My rate is much higher because I work for a living and don’t have overseas investments.
Mr. Romney recently criticized 47%-ers for being 0%-ers and paying no federal income tax. He says they won’t vote for him anyway. Since I pay income tax, he must be counting on my vote. On the other hand, some say he has been 0%-er on some of his tax returns. If he is a 0%-er, can he vote for himself in good conscience? It takes real political courage to call half the country a bunch of moochers who feel “entitled” when you belong to that club. If he were a 35%-er, paying the top tax rate, surely he’d proudly tell us, but we’ll never know because his lips are sealed.
Learning that I’m not a 50%-er was a surprise. I thought I was doing pretty well. I got a good education, have graduate degrees, repaid my student loans, live pretty comfortably, don’t live paycheck to paycheck, own my home, and have some savings and retirement. Then, Mr. Romney said the average middle-income family earned $250,000. OK, I’m below average.
Even worse, this 50% thing makes me feel horribly guilty. Is my company a sweat shop? We don’t pay any of our employees enough to be a 50%-er, or even half of a 50%-er if someone else in their home earns enough to lift the household up to that $250,000 average. It’s a wonder all of my employees haven’t quit and taken an average job somewhere else.
If 47%-ers pay no tax and 50%-ers earn $250,000, that means only 3% earn between the point where the 0% bracket ends and $250,000. Paul Ryan is good at charts and graphs. You can bet that’s a good one.
To clear it all up, Mr. Romney now says his campaign is “about the 100% of Americans.”
Are non-Americans now 0%-ers?
I’m so confused.
Get me a hanky.