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Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in Economy, Media, Politics | 15 comments

Mitt’s Bain Math About the Poor

After spending all that money to win Florida big, the $21.7 million-a-year man takes a victory lap and disgorges a perfect line for attack ads on him in the future.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” he tells CNN. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

Must be some kind of esoteric Bain math, where you add 95 and 1, leaving room for the U.S. Census latest estimate of 15.1 percent of Americans living in poverty.

Asked about the poor, Romney writes them off at the ballot box as Bain would a bad investment:

“The challenge right now–we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor. And there’s no question it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor.?.?.we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it, but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”

Obama’s people will be counting on Romney’s tin ear for income disparity to keep providing spontaneous proof that, despite all the pandering, he is more comfortable in a world of gated communities and tax avoidance.

In dirt-poor South Carolina, he kept saying “I’m concerned about the poor in this country,” but that didn’t go over too well…


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  • dduck

    I am not here to defend the way Mitt expresses his thoughts, good or bad, but let me just drop this item which is at the very bottom of a NYT article today:
    “He also made a substantive nod to low-income workers, renewing his support for automatic increases in the federal minimum wage to keep pace with inflation — a position sharply at odds with most of his party.

    “I haven’t changed my thoughts on that,” he said.”

    Just sayin.

  • slamfu

    I don’t think this quote is that bad actually. I mean its a little insensitive, but its an honest answer to a ubiquitous and unsolvable question. What about the poor? The truth is there will always be a poverty class. We can never erase it. And as for reducing the 15% poverty rate, fixing the middle class will address that. As median income goes up, more jobs appear under a general economic recovery, that 15% will go down. Its the best way to deal with it. Better the answer he gave than some BS about how we are going to eliminate homelessness and poverty, which will never really happen.

  • dduck

    Slam, I’m shocked and pleased at your comment.
    If I said that, roro would kill me.

  • RP

    Just wonder how far Truman would have made it in the Presidential race had his every word been parsed like they do politicians today. I doubt very far.

    But this statement will make it into every negative ad Obama’s goons can come up with in the general election. The statement has some merit. The middle class is declining in America and when you lose the middle class, you end up with countries like China and Russia where you have the elite and the poor. We need a President that will help the middle class and not just divide the country like Obama has done during his administration with his class warfare.

  • ShannonLeee

    His statement was pure political idiocy. Say well you will about the actual logic of it…logic is irrelevant in politics. It was a very very very dumb thing to say.

  • zephyr

    Well that’s a pretty enlightened thing for a person of Romney’s background to say about the minimum wage. It’s really been a joke for long enough – especially to those who know firsthand how much people sweat for those paltry few dollars.

  • dduck

    Z, I guess Mitt and others of his ilk, might need to know a little about businesses including wages, benefits, retirement plans and of course other financial data; these guys are not neophytes,

  • roro80

    “If I said that, roro would kill me.”

    Until reading your first comment on this thread, which seems to contain actual sentences that seem to put forth a relevant point to the topic, and miraculously contains no snide puedo-intellectual jokes about the idiocy of those who disagree with you, I would have thought you incapable of putting an actual articulated position onto this board, as slam did. I disagree with some of slam’s points, but ze’s not just being an ass about it.

    And I’m pretty adamantly anti-violence, so you needn’t worry about being “killed”.

  • dduck

    Yeh, the 10% club got through.
    “puedo-intellectual jokes” LOL, nite

  • adelinesdad

    I’ve been defending Mitt a bit on here lately, but unlike his “I like firing people” and “corporations are people” gaffes which were taken out of context, I’m finding this one more inexcusable, and not just because it was politically stupid. For one thing, he vastly underestimates the number of poor, something I’d think a serious candidate for president should know. Then he implies that he doesn’t know if there are ways to improve the safety net, but if there are he will fix them. Of course there are ways to make it better, Mitt. There’s always ways, and it’s the President’s job to define what “better” means, to have a plan to achieve it, and then lead. You can focus on the middle class, but to say you are not concerned about the poor is troubling. I’d like to be able to buy the explanation, but I suspect he, at least at some level, meant what he said the first time.

  • slamfu

    In the same paragraph, Mitt says “I dont care about the Rich”. Yet he is not quoted on just that part and hailed as a populist. This is absurd parsing of someone making a statement. I’m not a Mitt fan but this kind of thing is way outta control.

    If you want to knock anything on that statement knock the math. Says he cares about the “middle” 95%? Assuming the 1% are rich he thinks only 4% of America is really poor when 16% of us are categorized as in the poverty level. That is a fact a presidential candidate should have well under his belt in this economy focused election cycle.

    But nonetheless he doesn’t care about poor people, you heard it folks!! Even though he decried worrying about the rich not 5 seconds later. Reminds me about that joke, “But you f#$k one sheep…”

  • dduck

    Slam, the point, not expressed as an adroit politician could, is that he feels he needs to concentrate more on the middle. If he had the ability to use politician talk, it might have been considered by some to be a good strategy.

    If the middle gets better, economically and in a more positive frame of mind, they might spend money shopping and mom and pop stores that sell things might hire a “poor” person, to help out, and so on, and so on.

  • adelinesdad

    I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, being the only one defending the liberal position here. 🙂

    And hearing trickle-down arguments? Is it April 1st yet?

    OK, seriously, maybe I’m completely wrong on this one. I stand by my assertion that the context doesn’t help him. But, I suppose it’s still possible it was just a massive brain fart and the entire answer was one big misstatement. It’s baffling to me, though, why people weren’t defending him when he was being accused of saying things that clearly were taken out of context.

  • dduck

    A, my version of trickle is not from the top down but from the middle down and also up (sorry Newton).
    Am, I wrong?

  • adelinesdad


    I’m not saying trickle-down doesn’t happen. I’m just surprised to see it brought up by both right and left leaning commenters and not have it be ridiculed.

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