Time to trim the fat and eat the poor

by Leonardo Castaneda

America, leave Mitt Romney alone. He is sick and tired of hearing you complain about being sick and tired. For years he’s been accused of being an elitist multimillionaire white guy who is either unable or unwilling to understand average Americans. It’s time for him to embrace his Monopoly man persona, stand on the highest balcony of his biggest McMansion and proclaim: “Poor Americans, get off my lawn.” For too long, Romney has hidden behind the linoleum veneer of Joe Six-pack. He’s regaled commoners with tales of his NASCAR-team- owning friends and his wife’s Olympics-attending horse. But it’s clear as blood diamonds the real Romney has been itching to break through, and I’m glad he’s finally done it. Mother Jones magazine recently released a secret video of Romney at a meeting of multimillionaires. The footage doesn’t depict the Satan- worshipping orgy expected from a secret summit of the mega rich, but it still managed to cause a stir. The centerpiece of the video shows Romney explaining how the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income tax view themselves as victims dependent on government handouts, such as Medicare and food stamps. He can’t worry about these people, he says, because they’ll never learn personal responsibility. Unfortunately, Romney is trying to dismiss his remarks as ill-spoken criticism of overreaching government welfare programs. This is a disastrous strategy. Now is the time for him to reframe this issue from a conflict between greedy moneybags and the lower to middle class, to one between America-loving patriots and whiny communists. Others will debate the finer points of Romney’s speech. Critics will trot out lame facts arguing about how the majority of the 47 percent still contributes payroll taxes, or how everyone pays sales taxes. They’ll call Romney a hypocrite for demanding tax cuts for himself and his mega-rich buddies while he hides untold millions in offshore tax havens. Those are petty details compared to the real question at hand: Who loves the U.S. the most? The obvious answer is, the rich do. At least they love the idea of America as the Founding Fathers intended. They love a land free of taxes and oversight, where labor is cheap and the armed forces stand poised to defend their business interests at home and abroad. Unfortunately, this great dream took a wrong turn somewhere and a whole lot of destitute people had the audacity to think America is the land of opportunity where everyone deserves a fair chance and where kids shouldn’t starve to death. But the destitute don’t really love America the way the rich do. Take Romney’s hidden millions, for example. He’s not paying taxes on them, but it’s not because he’s an amoral fat cat. He’s hiding them because he loves America too much to see his tax money squandered on feeding poor children and the elderly. I’m calling on Romney to demand what his 24-karat gold- plated heart desires: that people who don’t love America shouldn’t be allowed to vote. How can we tell who qualifies? Romney answered this when he defined middle income as $200,000 to $250,000. Anyone earning less, especially those who don’t pay income tax, don’t love America enough to vote. Otherwise they wouldn’t choose to be so poor, old or sick. Romney deserves to be president because he loves America so much he chose to be born as the wealthy and white son of a governor and one-time presidential hopeful. He chose to destroy and outsource jobs in his endless quest for profit. On the other hand, Obama represents people who chose to be poor and sick, people who hate America and who want to destroy it with their selfish demands for food and basic medical services. Romney knows if the government gives away medicine, the freeloading sick will never learn how to stop being lazy and get a job. It’s time Romney takes a stance for the voiceless and powerless millionaires who have toiled endlessly against oppression at the hands of the poor, the yearning and the huddled masses. He must channel the enlightened monarch Marie Antoinette and tell the dependent “victims” to go eat cake somewhere else. Because nothing says, “I love America” the way his La Jolla mansion’s car elevator does.