• The Mitt Romney Guide to Social Mobility

    There's a lot to be said about Mitt Romney's remarks, made at a private fundraiser, about  the 47 percent of Americans who, according to him, "believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."

    We can ask precisely what Romney plans to do about these moochers. Of the layabout Americans who pay neither federal income tax nor payroll tax, a majority are retired Social Security recipients, so one wonders whether the Romney plan is to raise their taxes until they "take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

    But in the interests of avoiding class warfare — mostly because I don't want to see what World War II veteran retirees can do when they're called freeloaders — let's focus on the part of the Romney tape that gets things right…

    Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this." Contending that he is a self-made millionaire who earned his own fortune, Romney insisted, "I have inherited nothing. [Everything I earned I earned the old fashioned way.] " He remarked, "There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America."

    Let's set aside Romney's desire to be Mexican and agree with at least one thing he said: he did earn it the "old fashioned" way. Being sent by your father to elite private academies, following in your father's career footsteps with the help of an internship in the governor's office (coincidentally, also his dad's office! Wow!), all the while being brought up in privilege is a path of social advancement as old as feudalism.

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Mitt Romney, Money


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