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September 26, 2012 / needhamgrassroots

The Pentagon and Welfare

From TruthOut – Forget the laid-off workers, disabled veterans and elderly retirees. Pentagon contractors are far more dependent on taxpayers to pay their way than Mitt Romney’s fabled 47 percent; and rest assured, Mitt can count on their support.

Mitt Romney’s recently-exposed statement disparaging nearly half of all Americans as hopelessly dependent on government may actually make a valid point, however churlish it may seem on the surface. To be sure, the Republican presidential nominee was most likely denouncing purported scroungers and moochers like the unemployed person who rakes in a princely $293 a week on average from unemployment insurance, or the 60-percent disabled veteran who is dependent on government to the tune of $1009 a month.

But if Mr. Romney were to broaden his focus, he would find that there are welfare queens beyond his imaginings. In the last four years, Wall Street moguls such as Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein have reaped tremendous public scorn for their outsized paychecks, so their transgressions are not exactly a secret. At least in theory, however, bankers operate private enterprises not dependent on the taxpayer (that is, in good years when the government is not bailing them out). Their executive compensation – again, in theory – is a voluntary concession by shareholders. Whether, for that matter, a financial institution – the deposits of which are insured by the federal government – ought nevertheless to submit to executive compensation limits is an argument for another day.

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