The narrative of Mitt Romney’s campaign has been rooted in his ability to connect with middle America. Many question if there is too great a disconnect between the millionaire Romney and the average American. While such questions warrant consideration, the liberal media, attempting to incite class warfare, has been merciless in their attempts to make Romney’s wealth his electoral Achilles’s heel.
But many who call into question Romney’s wealth are wealthy in their own right. To placate his “99 percenter” audience, Jon Stewart has been vocal about his disdain for Romney’s wealth, but has not discussed his own considerable wealth nor his tax dodges to maintain it.
I typically try to admit when I have a bias against someone or something, even if that bias is based upon good cause. Jon Stewart is an intellectual anchor, dragging down the quality of political discourse in America. A snide comedian who throws political jabs and then hides behind the “I’m just a comedian” line, Stewart has neither the brains nor the guts to engage fully in honest political discourse. Beyond his own shortcomings, he provides one-liners to many who are too unintelligent or apathetic to research issues to discuss. His latest Republican joke, regurgitated around a water cooler without an understanding of the issues, is now accepted as a substitute for legitimate political discussion when it is anything but.
In his broadcast earlier this year, Stewart called into question why Romney had earned nearly $43 million in 2010 and 2011, but only paid $6.2 million in taxes, a 13.9% tax rate.
“How in the world do you, Mitt Romney, justify making more in one day than the median American family makes in a year while paying an effective tax rate of the guy that has to scan your shoes at the airport?”
Though I am in no way connected to the Romney campaign, maybe I can take a shot at answering this. I surmise that he justifies this by citing that it was he who earned an MBA from Harvard, then got a job making others millions. After that, he helped start a private equity firm; a firm so good at producing enterprise for America, that it became rich in its own right. Then, once he had reaped the benefits of a life of hard work in the financial sector (a sector that typically pays more than the airport security sector), he became governor of a small New England state. So, in essence, as a result of good decisions and hard work, Romney makes more money than most of us. And, quite frankly, I would prefer a president that does.
It is this kind of Castro-esque rhetoric that is gaining a foothold in the left. Wealth is equated to venality and evil. There is no longer room in the American experiment for someone to succeed without Marxist cries to share the wealth. But they do.
Stewart represents a bastardization of both news and comedy that weakens the state of American political discourse. However, he is certainly not the worse offender. A by-product of his “schtick” is that occasionally, poking fun at the ridiculousness of stances can serve as a wake-up call to those that might have taken the issue seriously. A good example of this could be seen in his recent jabs at MSNBC and other liberal media outlets in the wake of the Scott Walker victory. Calling it “denial”, Stewart discussed the ridiculousness of the left’s utter inability to concede defeat. While I may not appreciate the bulk of Stewart’s approach, sometimes shining a light on the absurdity of an issue is exactly what is necessary to propel a conversation forward.
Absent from Stewart’s rant is the fact that Romney paid $3 million in taxes in 2010, which is slightly more than the $2.98 million he had given to charity that year. Yes, this elitist monster must be stopped!
Around the time of Stewart’s broadcast, Rachel Maddow, while discussing Romney’s tax rate, ridiculously summarized,
“So, welcome to the next phase of the campaign. The ‘Mitt Romney’s taxes’ phase. Where upon the nation learns that Mitt Romney’s plan as president would be for guys like himself to keep paying their special, mini tax rate of 15% while everybody else- feh!- your fault for not being a master of the universe financier getting coddled by the system.”
In an America where only half of households pay taxes, should we really be griping that Romney should be paying more simply because he still has money in his pocket? If Stewart, or any other liberal, wants to pay more, then they should do so. If liberals were so concerned with people “paying their fair share”, perhaps they should finally consider a streamlined, flat-tax system so loathed by those who wish to rob Peter to pay Paul.
But wait! While we have heard of the evil ways of this nefarious capitalist, we have overlooked the snake right under our noses; Jon Stewart makes an estimated $41,000 per day. While that is less than Romney’s estimated wage of $57,000 per day, it hardly qualifies Stewart to criticize Romney’s earnings.
Stewart is no 99-percenter. He is worth an estimated $80 million and he owns three mansions, all of which were purchased through trusts in his pets’ names. Trusts are a handy trick of the wealthy as they limit tax liabilities. Of course, I hold no objection to his wealth; I merely reject his hypocrisy.
We, as a nation, must decide what we want in a president. While the left tries to demonize success, we should ask ourselves, do we want to elect success stories? Or do we want Joe Everyman who holds no expertise of value? I suggest that as we have tried the constantly-absent senator and radical community activist, we give the private-sector powerhouse a whack at fixing the economy.