Numbers (aka arithmetic) provide clarity to choices.
There is, for example, an enormous amount of hot air bellowing forth from the right about raising taxes on incomes (i.e., everyone is untouched for all income under $250,000) over $250,000 to what they were in the Clinton years. As pointed out several years ago, "socialism" turned out to be a difference of 4.6 percent, from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.
That change would generate $70 billion per year in revenues, or, since we now measure the budget in decades, $0.7 trillion. If that is "socialism," what would Ronald Reagan have been called since taxes for most of his presidency were 50 percent on the top 1 percent of income -- a conservative Communist?
Under the President's American Jobs Act , there is a 5.6 percent "surtax" (i.e., a tax on the taxes one pays) for incomes in excess of $1 million.
Mitt Romney reported income of $13.7 million for 2011, on which he says he paid $1.95 million in taxes. A 5.6 percent surtax would cost him $109,000 extra.
That would leave him with $11.64 million instead of $11.75 million. They would not have to cancel a single car elevator in their garage.
That is the difference for which the wealthy are waging holy war to protect and to deny the American people some good, important jobs, and the economy a more accelerated recovery.
Mitt himself, in describing his speaking fees of $362,000, said that they were "not very much." If $362,000 is "not very much" to Mitt, then what words might he use to characterize less than a third of that -- $109,000? "Chump change?"
America's children could have smaller class sizes. Cities and towns could have more police. Roads and bridges would be repaired and rebuilt. The foundation for a new economy could begin to be cobbled together.
Between one and two million more Americans could be working. It would cost Mitt "chump change." But, he and his right-wing friends say "no."
That represents the values of the man who is trying to become President of the United States. That is what he thinks of "you people" -- small-minded, not even worth his chump change.
The 47 percent Mitt disdains in private, but swears in public is his is raison d'être for running for president, would be well-advised to take heed.