Election 2012

Romney's (and Obama's!) Limited Understanding of Dependency


The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney dings Mitt Romney for parroting "the mistaken liberal view that the growth of government mostly redistributes wealth downward."

Carney, a fierce foe of crony capitalism, notes that most of the dough flows into the pockets of the already-rich:

Romney was correct that a portion of America backs President Obama because they "are dependent upon government" and "believe that they are entitled." We even know these dependents' names: Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, General Electric boss Jeff Immelt, Pfizer lobbying chief Sally Sussman, Solyndra investor George Kaiser and millionaire lobbyist Tony Podesta, to list a few….

When government controls more money, those with the best lobbyists pocket most of it. The five largest banks hold a share of U.S. assets 30 percent larger today than in 2006. Also, as Obama has expanded export subsidies, 75 percent of the Export-Import Bank's loan-guarantee dollars in the past three years have subsidized Boeing sales.

Read the whole thing for a spirited attack on the idea that not paying taxes (Romney's definition of irresponsibility) is the same thing as feeling "entitled" to government support.

In 2010, Reason TV interviewed Carney (no relation to Jay!) about his book Obamanomics: How Barack Obama is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses. Take a look:

NEXT: David Harsanyi on Mitt Romney's "47 Percent" Comments

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  1. You know Nick. I don’t think Reason has covered the 47% comment enough. Is there a reason why you have decided to beat this dead horse?

    1. They should have stopped after posting the Judge’s piece this morning.

  2. It’s the twelve noon massive thread dump. Thanks Reason!

  3. Except that Romney never proposed such a definition.

    Romney mentioned people who didn’t pay taxes only after he moved on to a different topic from where he talked about dependency.

    What Romney actually said in the video was that lots of people will get behind Obama for a variety of personal reasons, with some being swayed by their feelings of being dependent on Obama’s vision of government.

    He then went on, a paragraph later, to talk about the specific issue of campaigning on a tax-lowering message, saying that people who pay no taxes wouldn’t care about an offer to lower taxes.

    The conflation of these two statements is a media fabrication, a really dishonest twisting of his words.

  4. It’s also relevant to note here that in the full video, Romney and his group spoke out strongly against cronyism and government’s way of pandering to the powerful at the expense of the common man. They minced no words in saying Romney wanted to battle that.

    Believe him or not, but it’s at least worth noting that he talked the talk.

    NPR’s Morning Edition reported on that segment by only saying Romney wanted to fire government workers, which Romney didn’t even explicitly say.

  5. Related: I have discovered Tony’s identity, and HuffPo doesn’t know what “dependency” means either:


  6. Romney was correct that a portion of America backs President Obama because they “are dependent upon government”

    It is also correct to note that Obama is running on the idea that he can get votes through providing loot to his constituency. In fact, I have seen few politicians so naked about it as he. Free birth control justified through the thin premise that it is a woman’s right (just suddenly sprung into being like fair Athena!), for fucks sake.

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