Are voters stupid?
I was listening to the local public radio station this morning and the Liberal host of the talk show was debating - I mean, interviewing Herman Cain. In the interview he asked Mr. Cain to explain his public statement about voters being stupid.
I personally think this is a pretty harsh view on the part of the ex-presidential hopeful.
In my family we have a saying, "there are no stupid people." There may be stupid animals, a stupid tv show or a stupid computer, but we don't call anyone stupid. So when Herman Cain referred to stupid voters, my interest was piqued.
Over the last couple years since Obamacare passed I have been conducting a stealth survey on the subject. It involves no questions, just one statement and I evaluate the response.
On a regular basis I will throw out the comment, "I can't wait for Obamacare to begin so that I can get my healthcare for free."
The typical reaction to this statement may serve to prove Mr. Cain's point. An informed voter will immediately point out correctly that that is not how it works. Unfortunately the vast majority of the people will either agree with me verbally or nod in agreement.
The latter I might consider to be stupid.
Merriam Webster defines stupid as, among other things, "acting in an unintelligent or careless manner" or "lacking intelligence or reason."
So maybe on this topic those voters are stupid. They are certainly acting carelessly and lacking reason. If they are not informed enough to understand something that will have such a profound impact on their own lives and the lives of everyone around them that they care about, then I would have to say they are "given to unintelligent decisions or acts."
These people shouldn't feel bad though because based on these definitions of stupidity they may be in good company.
This week Governor Romney released another year of tax returns. Like 2010, his 2011 effective federal income tax rate was around 14% and he paid close to $2 million to the IRS.
I just happened to be meeting with a client who is a veterinarian, so she is no doubt very intelligent. The topic of Romney's tax returns came up and she shrugged and said that she wishes she only paid 14%. I informed her that the average middle class taxpayer pays less than that. The conversation ended there because I don't know her well enough to discuss politics with her.
I just happen to have access to her tax return information and calculated her family of five's effective federal income tax rate at a little over 7.2% on $144,000 income. Also on my desk was a tax return for another couple with about $116,000 of income and their effective federal income tax rate was 6.03%.
These veterinarians, engineers, nurses and such are not stupid if they think they pay more income tax than Romney. They are just misinformed. Misinformed by our Liberal media and misinformed by our president.
President Obama is claiming repeatedly on and off the campaign trail that somebody making $50,000 pays a higher tax rate than Romney.
My real life experience tells me that Obama may be "acting in an unintelligent or careless manner" or maybe just "given to unintelligent decisions or acts," but in my family we never call anybody stupid.