Mitt Romney told reporters today at a press stop in South Carolina that he pays “probably closer to the 15 percent rate” on taxes. This is way lower than what most middle-class families pay in taxes. Taking into account this cherry-on-top consideration, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post today decided to add up the equation that pretty much equals unelectability for Mitt Romney in a general election:
1) At a time when the 2012 presidential election is expected to focus heavily on tax fairness, the GOP is set to nominate someone who is worth as much as $250 million, but pays a lower tax rate than many middle class taxpayers.
2) At a time when polls suggest public anger at Wall Street conduct is running high, the GOP is set to nominate someone who presided over corporate restructuring deals that resulted in mass layoffs and economic suffering — even as he raked in an enormous fortune in the process.
3) At a time when majorities support higher taxes on the wealthy and are increasingly preoccupied with inequality and the shrinking middle class, the GOP is set to nominate a candidate whose tax plan, by one analysis, would cut taxes on the top 0.1 percent by nearly half a million dollars, while marginally raising them on many lower end taxpayers.
4) At a time when Democrats are salivating to paint their opponent as the candidate of the one percent, the GOP is set to nominate a candidate who regularly says things that (fairly or not) can be used to feed this narrative. To name just a few, Romney has said that “corporations are people”; confided that he likes to “be able to fire people” who provide him services; and has refused to say whether any and all questions about inequality and Wall Street excess are rooted in anything other than “envy.”
Yes, the idea of Romney’s general election “electability” is probably delusional at best. I would add the following to the list: At a time when the Republicans most galvanizing issue with independent and republican voters is supposed to be the repeal of “Obamacare,” the Republicans are set to nominate a candidate who was intrinsically part of its creation. However much Romney tries to spin it, he will eventually have to fess up to the fact that his crowning achievement as Governor of Massachusetts was the blueprint for Obama’s alleged march towards ”European-style social welfare.” His fingerprints are everywhere.