The 47%: Another perspective
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

By Jan Bingham

When you analyze the content and tenor of Mitt Romney's incendiary speech in Boca Raton, Fla., you must also assess the audience it was intended to influence. What is also important to take from that speech is what those contributors value and inevitably are looking for Romney to deliver once elected.

To elicit their contributions, Romney had to appeal to the expectations that the audience placed on him before they would essentially open their checkbooks. It was necessary for him to put the frame of reference more in line with their judgment of the nation. Referring to the 47 percent who do not pay taxes is to validate for the attendees those who they consider worthy, and who they do not.

Those who do not contribute to government by paying federal income taxes are not worthy of receiving benefit from it. Romney was explicit in describing his image of those he values and why others do not earn his and their respect.

On the other hand, the attendees see a government providing structure with as little intrusion as possible, and asking little in taxes. Using loopholes to lower taxes to the least amount possible, even to the extent of paying no taxes, is their objective.

Many of the largest corporations and investors in that audience pay few to no taxes to the federal government, but they are not considered unworthy of receiving benefit from it.

Those major contributors to the Republican cause see the ideal government as small and useful. Government is to be minimized to prevent regulations from impairing the ability of business to do the most at the least expense. Government is to provide the substructure and as much tax write-off as possible.

As Republican President Calvin Coolidge once said, "the business of government is business," and so it goes today. The safety and security of the citizens as a whole, in their view, are not the primary purpose of government.

The oft-used term "job creators" gives the impression that the concern is for small businesses, but when you analyze the extent of the proposed legislation they espouse, it is the largest businesses that get the major benefit. Even though most of the hiring is done by small businesses, the positive effects of the legislation are more greatly realized by the major corporations and prosperous investors.

The average investor only gets the advantage to the extent they participate in 401(k) plans that invest in funds that carry those stocks.

When you look further, those attending the speech espoused the practices and policies that brought on the Great Recession that in turn required the massive bailouts they now decry. The voting public rightfully despises having to pay the price for the bailouts.

It took more than three years to create all of the house of cards that fell almost overnight just prior to the current administration taking office, but impatience with the Great Recession's deep effects makes feeding the anger an easy sell. As much as the auto bailouts are hated by those not affected, it does show that the steps taken had positive effects.

The purpose of the speech was to get funds to pay for ads that downplay the true cause of the recession and to lead the voters to blame government instead. The ads place the blame on those who had to take the unpopular steps to save the economy, and give the false premise that the fix is to go back to the policies of the past.

Those policies definitely benefit the audience of Romney's speech who created the Great Recession. Just keep in mind, a vote for Mitt Romney validates the narrow perspective of the audience of that speech.

Jan Bingham was a disability claims manager for more than 40 years; she is retired and living in South Jordan.