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2012 Fall Issue 4 (October 12, 2012)

Thoughts on the 47 Percent

October 16, 2012
By Editorial

As most of you probably know by now, this week’s vice presidential debate was a lot more heated than the first presidential debate. Here in the office, we were a bit undecided over who actually won the debate, but we all agreed that it was much more interesting than last week.

Most importantly, though, we were interested to see what would happen regarding one of the most obvious points of contention: Romney’s now-infamous “forty-seven percent” comment, which was leaked a few weeks ago. It wasn’t even mentioned last week, so we were pretty curious when Biden arrived at the subject within thirty minutes. Ryan’s response was to simply point out that Biden, of all people, should understand that “sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.”

Fair enough (sorry, Biden!), but we’re more inclined to side with the Vice President’s response: “if you think he just made a mistake, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

The comments in question do not just represent a small slip of the tongue. Romney stated that forty-seven percent of the electorate do not pay federal income taxes. He then characterized these people as “dependent on the government,” feeling “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

Let’s just ignore the questionable use of statistics here, or the fact that many of these people are actually parts of Romney’s core demographic. We were more concerned with the actual “entitlements” that Romney brought up.

Maybe we’ve been in the office for too long, but doesn’t our own Declaration of Independence state that all men have the inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and happiness?” In our humble opinion, the ability to eat, to have shelter, and even (gasp!) to have access to healthcare meet these criteria.

To be fair, even Romney has changed his tune, saying last week that his comments were “completely wrong.” So why is Ryan still writing them off as a minor mistake when even his running mate has changed his tune? We’re not sure, but we’re pretty excited to see how tonight’s debate affects the electorate’s feelings as a whole.

(Also, we were moderately amused to learn that a google search of the phrase “completely wrong” now brings up pictures of Romney. Whoops.)

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