[h/t John Aravosis]
This is a great mashup of Paul Ryan fearmongering to his fans and paymasters. By far the best line is the one he repeats everywhere, which goes like this:
“Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes,” Ryan said. “So we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers in America and that will be tough to come back from that. They’ll be dependent on the government for their livelihoods [rather] than themselves.”
This isn't a surprise to anyone who has ever had to listen to Paul Ryan bloviate about his imagined "crises" with regard to the debt and his endless need to try and spark intergenerational wars over Medicare and Social Security. But in light of Mitt Romney's Etch-a-Sketching of his "47 percent" remarks yesterday, it seems relevant to highlight, because that's all it is.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan sincerely believe that people who pay into social insurance for their entire lives and expect to receive the benefit of that compact when eligible are "takers." I wonder if he includes all the zillionaires out there who receive Social Security benefits as "takers," since there is no distinction between those who pay in as rich people and those who pay in as middle class or poor people, after all. Are they takers?
The only difference between Romney and Ryan is in the specific percentage each believe are takers rather than makers. For Paul Ryan, it's 60 percent. For Mitt Romney, it's 47 percent.
The Obama campaign is out with a new video today forcing Romney to own what he said then without the benefit of a phony apology. Here it is:
Also, beloved fellow moochers? Ryan and Romney want us all to know we're not "real Americans." Because "real Americans" are makers, doncha know? Via Americablog:
Particularly troubling is what Ryan says at the end of the Huffington Post video:
“The good news is, most people in America don’t want to be a ‘taker,’ they want to be American, they want to be a ‘maker’.”
So “takers” aren’t “American.”
In a different speech, Ryan explains that only makers “want the American dream… believe in the American idea.” So 60% of Americans don’t believe in the American dream, and don’t believe in the American idea, according to the Republican vice presidential candidate.
Mike Lux had this to say about the whole takers/makers nonsense:
The problem with the extreme right-wing philosophy of Romney, Ryan, and Ayn Rand is that they think being wealthy (no matter how you got that way) means you are automatically a good person, a producer, a "maker." On the other hand, if you are in tougher shape financially and get a hand from government, no matter what else you have done in your life, no matter how hard you worked when younger or how hard you will work when your get your degree, that you are a "taker." I would describe what I think of that philosophy, but it would cause me to swear and my mother wouldn't approve.
Lest we all forget, Paul Ryan believes in the takers/makers model as a matter of morality:
Ryan now frequently casts his opposition to Obama in technocratic terms, but he hasn’t always done so. “It is not enough to say that President Obama’s taxes are too big or the health-care plan doesn’t work for this or that policy reason,” Ryan said in 2009. “It is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack, and it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on.” Ryan’s philosophical opposition to a government that forces the “makers” to subsidize the “takers”—terms he still employs—is foundational; the policy details are secondary.
There's going to be a lot said about how Mitt Romney so sincerely explains his "47 percent mistake" to everyone over the weekend, and I have my doubts that the media machine will actually reach back as far as one month ago to call him on it. But an overview of Romney's career as a "maker-taker" and Paul Ryan's lifelong career in politics where government pays him to um...govern, should make everyone do a double take at their sudden turnaround.
They live in the world of Ayn Rand. Both of them. They can say whatever they want about how mistaken they were to say what they said, but the truth is they're just sorry they were caught. It's what they believe today, what they believe yesterday and what they'll believe tomorrow.