Wrong and Wrong Again: Romney’s Double Gaffe

Mitt Romney told the voters he “Didn’t care about the poor.” For a man who lifted an Obama quote completely out of context in a political advertisement already, the Mitt has a real gift for putting his foot in his mouth. Of course, the Mitt has hastened to tell us all what he really meant, that the poor have a “safety net.” It’s the middle class, said the Mitt, who have borne the “heavy burden” of the President Bush’s Great Recession.

Wrong again, Mitt.

Larry Bartels, writing in The Monkey Cage, has done a good job of analyzing where the recession has hit the hardest:

Larry Bartels: The Struggling Middle Class

Larry Bartels: The Struggling Middle Class

The “X” axis is the U.S. population by quintile, with the richest 5% appropriately at the far right; the “Y” axis is change in income by percentage. The change is admittedly imprecise, because the Feds aren’t good about posting current data, but as the Mitt’s “safety net” has frayed, the extent of the decline is probably understated.

As the chart makes very clear, the burden of the recession has fallen on the poor. As Bartels points out,

The average real income of middle-quintile households declined from $50,766 in 2008 to $49,309 in 2010, while the average real income of households in the top five percent of the income distribution declined from $298,437 to $287,686. The latter change is larger in percentage terms, and much larger in absolute terms, but may not entail nearly as much human cost. The average real income of households in the bottom quintile declined from $11,803 to $11,034; that sounds like struggling to me, with or without a safety net.

So Presidential Wannabe Romney is demonstrated to be clueless yet again. Or perhaps he thought he was pandering to middle class voters. Again. We’ve tried abject ignorance in a Republican president and it got us two land wars in Asia and a Great Recession. So a thinking voter probably wouldn’t want four years of conservative cluelessness. And pandering is contemptible.

Not what WC is looking for in a candidate.