Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney defended his comment last week that he's not concerned about America's poor by explaining that his campaign focus is the majority of those in the middle class. But in an interview with CNN, he also said he's not concerned about the very rich either, because they're "doing OK." The very poor, he added, have a "safety net" in the form of public assistance, while the very rich presumably have the resources to recover financially.
Romney is part of the elite class of wealth, with an estimated net worth of $250 million, and though he is attempting to align himself with the struggles of middle-income Americans, the rich may see him as an ally too.
One of the hot-button issues for both the rich and the middle class is taxes. President Obama has made it clear he's no supporter of tax breaks for the rich, saying, "Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires," in his State of the Union address and pledging to tax those with million-dollar incomes.
Romney's stance on taxes isn't as unkind to the rich. The fifth priority in his economic plan is to "pursue a conservative overhaul of the tax system over the long term that includes lower, flatter rates on a broader base." In addition to maintaining the existing tax cuts on capital gains and income, he has talked about eliminating capital gains and dividend taxes for investors with incomes below $200,000, which will help the middle class rebuild their investment portfolios.
Romney has already received the support of one high-profile billionaire. Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Romney from the Trump hotel on the famed Las Vegas strip. Whether that support hurts or helps the presidential hopeful is not certain yet. One Republican consultant in Reno, Nev., Robert Uithoven, told the Boston Herald that Trump's high-profile image of conspicuous wealth may hurt Romney if he's seen as out of touch with average Americans.
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