David Brooks writes an interesting article on Mitt Romney’s heritage in a recent column, The Wealth Issue. He writes that Mitt Romney’s qualities come, in part, from his heritage, including not just his family upbringing, but his grandparentage as well. Good parenting engenders good human beings.
I am reminded of George Lakoff’s (Moral Politics) conservative model of the family, where the object of parenting is to instill obedience in children, so they can be self-reliant and win in the competitive arena that is life. Winners, conservatives believe, at least deep down, come from good families. Good families produce winners. Those who are at the top, deserve to stay there, because their heritage gives them the upbringing to keep them there.
Conservatives and Republicans will successfully frame the debate over Mitt Romney’s taxes to the detriment of the Democrats. They will persuade many in the electorate that Liberals and Democrats think Mitt Romney is evil, and so simply because he is wealthy. It will start with articles like David Brooks’, which paint a positive portrayal of Romney and his upbringing. And with that will come the undercurrent that Romney and others in his economic class deserve the favorable 13.9% tax rate they pay on their millions.
But that is not the issue. Mitt Romney has earned his millions, and he is paying the legitimate tax on them. The issue is not with him personally, it is with the tax system itself. Do we believe in a tax system which favors wealth over wages? And do we want a president who embodies and seeks to promulgate this tax climate which is so favorable to the rich?