A feint and a debacle

It was bad enough that the GOP was running around virtually in drag pretending to love women and minorities all week, while quietly or not so quietly nailing down planks on their platform that would more appropriate if read to the illiterate masses by a 14th century small-town crier. Plus Clint Eastwood was up there, a debacle that will be cruelly dissected elsewhere — just not here. Then there was touching witness to the generous side of Romney that We the People and billions dollars worth of media have somehow failed to perceive:

WaPo— On April 4, 1995, four of Mark and Sheryl Nixon’s six children were driving back from a youth group meeting outside Boston when the driver of the minivan they were in lost control of the vehicle, which side-swiped a utility pole, struck two trees and flipped over.

The two front seat passengers—Rob and Reed Nixon, both high-school athletes—were severely injured in the wreck, their necks shattered, their bodies paralyzed. The boys underwent numerous surgeries, and the family quickly incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses, not only for the treatments but also for a special van and an addition to their house to accommodate their sons’ conditions. New to the Boston area and without the means to pay for their sons’ care, the Nixons had few places to turn for help.

Enter Mitt Romney. On Christmas Eve, the Romney family showed up at the Nixon home unannounced, bearing large boxes full of gifts, including a stereo system, VCR and a generous check for Rob, Reed and the entire Nixon family.

And now we’re all supposed to say “aw, isn’t that nice of Mitt Romney!” Except I am not going to say that. In fact I’m concerned this is evidence for real sociopathy on Romney’s part.

For starters, is there anyone reading this who doubts that coming to the attention of a near billionaire governor could result in badly needed relief at a crucial time? Anyone? Is there anyone reading this today, who, if you won the lottery, let’s say, 20 million dollars after taxes, would not be damn generous and would keep every last cent for themself? ANYONE?

I thought so, because it’s damn easy to be generous when you have disposable income, and it’s a piece of cake when you are a mini-billionaire. But in this case, I’m not certain is was just generosity.

I could be wrong, there’s no way to prove it. But it seems to me that a guy like Romney might have been thinking ahead here. He knew he was going to run for governor of MA, maybe even president one day. So, how huge of a sacrifice did Romney make to help these folks out?

Let’s say Mitt Romney spent on average 100k each year on these folks over several years, after deductions and all. A hundred grand out of pocket as a percentage of $20,000,000 in compensation a year Mitt earned during that time. That’s half of one percent of his income and a tiny fraction of his $100 million networth. If you were making 40k a year, that’s 200 bucks out of your salary, if you have 10 grand in savings it’s ten bucks.

Would you help cover a family’s medical bills and put their injured kids through college, if it cost you 200 bucks, or ten dollars out of your savings? I bet a lot of people would.  I bet a lot of people do.

A person might do something like that out of sheer charity. It’s entirely possible that’s exactly what motivated the Romney’s. But Mitt is also a Jedi Knight investor stud, remember? Is it possible, is it at all untoward, to suggests that maybe, just maybe, in the back of Mittens’ mind somewhere, was the thought he might make use of such a gift one day?

Say for example, when he’s running for President on a platform of gutting the very programs that would help people like the Nixon’s, it might make a great feint before delivering the kill shot to thousands and thousand of other people. People who didn’t have the fortune of coming to the attention of a mini-billionaire at their time of need. And that would leave Mittens flirting with  pure evil incarnate.


  1. baal says

    Thanks for the post. His wealth is so huge that it’s hard to keep in mind just how big it is. As a corollary, I would happily double my tax % if my salary were to double – why? My take home cash and % of earning that’s not encumbered by basics of living would go up. If this deal (paying more taxes but getting more spendable cash) is good enough for me, you and everyone you know, why isn’t it enough for the Romneys? Why do they need hundreds times as much spendable cash and a lower tax rate too?

  2. jakc says

    It’s not just percentages. If you make 20 milion and give away 10 million, you still have 10 million. That’s not the same as someone with 20,000 who gives away 10,000. The bottom line is that people shouldn’t have to rely on charity for health care.


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