Mitt Romney's chance of being elected president is steadily declining. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. Not only do Romney's policies make no sense (insofar as they've been explained), but he's a habitual shader of the truth.
More bluntly put, a liar.
So says PolitiFact about his newest falsehood: a claim that "redistribution" has "never been a characteristic of America." That lie gets him a Pants on Fire ruling.
We wondered whether Romney was correct to say that "redistribution" has "never been a characteristic of America." So we checked with historians and economists. Most agreed that Romney was ignoring the fundamental structure of the nation's progressive tax system, which has been redistributing wealth for a century, as well as a host of other policies, some of which predate the nation’s founding.
A progressive tax system is one that takes a larger share of the income of high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals. Since this revenue is spent on government programs -- which benefit people other than just the taxpayer whose income is taken -- a progressive tax system is essentially by definition redistributive.
...on Romney’s specific claim that "redistribution" has "never been a characteristic of America," experts agreed that he ignores longstanding fundamentals of our system of taxing and spending.
"Not to sound intemperate here, but the claim is completely ridiculous and false," said Shaviro, the NYU tax professor. "This goes way beyond hyperbole. Romney is trying to rewrite and falsify U.S. history."
Romney said that "redistribution" has "never been a characteristic of America."
Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of it, but redistribution has been a basic principle of the U.S. tax system and many federal programs, including some such as veterans benefits that have long attracted support from Republicans. Pants on Fire!
Romney also misleadingly edited Obama's actual 1998 remarks where redistribution was mentioned. Obama said he favors competition and the marketplace, along with redistribution "at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot."
That's the American way: using our progressive tax system to provide student loans and other assistance to help people move up the economic ladder. Most voters favor this sort of redistribution, which is one reason why Romney is doing so badly in the polls.