Last Updated:November 25 @ 11:06 am

Napolitano: Gov. Romney Was Correct

By Andrew P. Napolitano

As readers of this column and viewers of Fox News Channel may know, I have not hesitated to criticize Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and the governor himself. I have argued that his message is muddled and his values are unknown beyond his ardent wish to improve economic conditions through the use of free market mechanisms rather than central economic planning, a position with which I agree entirely.

I have also maintained that his willingness to abandon, or not to accept, first principles has made these questions reasonable: If Romney is elected president, which Romney will show up for work on Jan. 20, 2013? Will it be the Romney who ran to the left of Ted Kennedy in 1994, the Romney who governed Massachusetts as Mario Cuomo governed New York, or the Romney who now claims to be a "severe" (his word) conservative? Will it be the Romney who spent the entire presidential primary season assuring conservative Republican primary voters that he'll dismantle Obamacare on "Day One" (his phrase), or the Romney who told reporters last week that he approves of a limited federal role in managing health care? Or will it be the Romney who, when caught by the press saying something not intended for public consumption but demonstrably true, sticks to his guns?

A few months ago, at a private fundraiser, Romney spoke to supporters and contributors and observed that 47 percent of Americans do not pay any income tax, and thus his call for not raising taxes (though he wants to eliminate some familiar deductions, which is the functional equivalent of raising some folks' taxes) will not resonate with the voters in that group. Then he went on to say that this is roughly the same 47 percent who are dependent upon the government for part or all of their subsistence; and to that subsistence of food, shelter, education and clothing, the feds have now added health care. Then he referred to those dependent upon the government as "victims" (his word). Then, among my leftish colleagues in the press, all hell broke loose.

The reason hell broke loose among most of the media is that Romney spoke a painful truth, and often a painful truth is difficult to accept. I have argued that FDR deliberately set out to create dependence upon the federal government -- and hence upon virtually all Democrats in Congress and Republicans afraid to resist them -- by establishing entitlement programs and inducing reliance upon them. FDR went so far as to lie to Americans when he stated that the federal government will "hold" (his word) your Social Security contributions for you until you retire, and then you'll receive your nest egg of cash. We know he lied about this, because at the same time he was saying that the money deducted from your pay is yours, he dispatched Justice Department lawyers to argue in a constitutional challenge of Social Security before the Supreme Court that the money deducted from your pay is the government's money, and the government can spend it as it wishes. The Supreme Court agreed with that argument.

Now comes Romney to say that this has gotten out of hand. The feds have deliberately created a class of persons -- 47 percent of people living in America today -- dependent upon them. The governor is right. Anyone lulled into a false sense of security is a victim, and any government that has deceived members of the public to get them there is dangerous. Thus, the revelation that the big-government types who have dominated the federal government for 100 years, who want voters dependent upon them so that they can count on their votes, and who have made those voters victims have stung the Obama campaign and its media supporters. Romney was correct to call the 47 percent who are dependent upon the government victims of the government's deceptions and lust for power, and he is courageous to stick to his guns.

Dependency breeds a sense of complacency and entitlement and fosters a government that -- in order to stay in power -- will further that dependency. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton agreed on little publicly, but they did agree that when the public treasury becomes a public trough and the voters recognize that, they will send to the government only those who promise them a bigger piece of the government pie.

Then, sooner or later, the government will run out of other people's money. Romney understands that.


Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written six books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is "It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom."



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  1. cxComment by genesal
    September 20, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    Napolitano: Gov. Romney Was Correct

    That’s funny I didn’t hear anything, SPEAK UP MITT!

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    • dfinchComment by dfinch
      September 20, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

      This is reference to Romney’s comments reported to Mother Jones. And yes…Romney was correct.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      September 20, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

      If he was correct, then it should be SHOUTED over and over and over. McCain was right and look where we are now. Good one,.

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  2. cxComment by genesal
    September 20, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    It’s starting to sound like Mitt is running just because his father ran.

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    • lokdnloadedComment by lokdnloaded
      September 20, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

      It sounds to me like you either read or heard a totally different statement by both Mitt romney and Judge Napolitano, both of which have my utmost respect for being willing to say the truth even when it can be painful for both them and the listener. Else your a libturd just ranting for fun

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    • cxComment by genesal
      September 20, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

      Most articles I read and most programs I see all say that Mitt isn’t going anywhere at the speed that he is going now, so might as well get used to Hussein as your President for awhile longer!
      “America is looking for a leader, and has been begging Mitt Romney to stand firm and lead”, Gena Loudon

      “Romney’s Campaign Needs Turnaround Artist”, Mona Charen

      Didn’t believe me on McCain either, look where that got u all.

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  3. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    September 20, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    No where in the Constitution does it state the government owes anyone a living. Social Security on the other hand is a different matter. Everyone who has worked has had it taken out of your pay. That was okay until the damn thieves in Washington raped, robbed and plundered the money. That is what people should be up in arms about. This lying and saying that by the time you retire, you might not get any of the money that you paid into from the first place. Cut out every cent of foreign aide until every penny is in place for all the people who have worked all their lives and paid into the plan. For the bums who have never worked, well they are on their own.

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    • thecitizenComment by thecitizen
      September 22, 2012 @ 2:53 am

      @ jenersea: “No where in the Constitution does it state the government owes anyone a living.”

      You don’t work, you don’t eat. Learned that on the farm when I was 5 – 6 years old and it stuck.

      “Social Security on the other hand is a different matter.”

      Social Security is ABSOLUTELY a whole different matter. By legislative fiat they took our money for decades and squandered it all. They took a funded liability and turned it into an unfunded liability. Nonetheless, it is on the books as a US Govt – debt.

      Constitutionally speaking the US Govt debts MUST be paid before any other discretionary expenses (congressional salaries, defense, etc.).

      But that just the Constitution and who cares about that anymore …

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  4. KAHR50Comment by KAHR50
    September 20, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    When one robs Peter to pay Paul, they can always count on Paul’s vote.

    The scary thing is that there are now too many Peters (pun intended) who are still blindly accepting the theft – until they are striped of it all and join the ranks of the rest of us…

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  5. bna42Comment by bna42
    September 20, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    “The reason hell broke loose among most of the media is that Romney spoke a painful truth, and often a painful truth is difficult to accept.”

    Romney and Napolitano are both accurate. It is a painful truth, but it must be addressed. Look at the number of people who complain about the economy, the uncertainty of our future, the fact that we are under a mountain of debt, and our direction is no longer sustainable, BUT the same people attack Romney because he has the courage to speak the truth.

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  6. hart65Comment by hart65
    September 20, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    I AM America. My population is split between Givers and Takers. My doctors have told me that the Taker cells are now multiplying faster that the Giver cells, so my blood is not working as it should. They told me that they can do a stem cell transplant and some chemotherapy to slow down the Takers; but that won’t be enough to keep me alive much longer. They say there is no cure for what I have. So I AM NOT America. For over 200 years, most all of the “Cells” in America’s population were Givers. Now, not so. Some became Takers by the choices they made; some have recently become Takers through no fault of their own. We’re in some tough times for America; and no one knows, for sure, who has chosen to be a Taker; and who has been trapped by happenstance. So unlike the rapidly multiplying Takers in my situation, there is a cure for America. Make every person standing for election on November 6th take a simple pledge… “I will support any idea that offers Trapped Takers a chance to prove themselves.” Then we must humanely seek out those who are vulnerable and deserve the help of a just nation. What’s left is America’s cancerous tumor. I’m not the best person to recommend treatment.

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  7. MutantoneComment by Mutantone
    September 21, 2012 @ 3:25 am

    Dear Judge Andrew P. Napolitano A question please if you will just what does it take to bring chargese of Treason?
    I want to know why charges of treason have not been laid against the Obama administration for his inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood inside our security network, the White House and the Office of the Secretary of State. Obama facilitated their expansion in the Middle East through the “Arab Spring” placing our troops at risk to expand the Brotherhoods reach in the region. And on 9/11 they showed us just what they intended to do. Obama did not stop there just as the Regime in Egypt was about to fall
    he pushed through the advance of 125 M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt and now two nuclear submarines. Just when will the Congress step up and declare these treasonous acts.

    “Article III Section 3 defines treason and its punishment.
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them,” or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained.

    Seditious conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 2384) is a crime under United States law. It is stated as follows:
    “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
    For a seditious conspiracy charge to be effected, a crime need only be planned, it need not be actually….”

    What they need to do is level charges of treason against the Obama administration, it only takes two witnesses to that treasonous act, at the very least sedition. His turning over our Security and government over to the Uses of the Muslim Brotherhoods’ agenda. Call me strange But that sure would seem to match the criteria a treasonous event. How did the Muslim Brotherhood gain security clearance based on the F.B.I reports below?

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  8. WVFComment by WVF
    September 21, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    When I read some of the comments like those I’ve been reading today, I can easily understand why the American people are so easily mislead. Judge Napolitano has merely reinforced that 47% of Americans don’t pay INCOME TAX; however, most of those folks pay lots of other taxes, such as property and sales taxes, among many others. What Romney said was correct, but he should not have sounded as though he dissed the 47%, because I don’t think that is what he meant. As usual, the media has created an anti-Romney feeding frenzy. The bottom line is that, I dare say, most of those 47% will support Romney when they enter the voting booth, because the continuance of America is at stake. Romney/Ryan 2012! Nobama 2012!

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      September 21, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      “Judge Napolitano has merely reinforced that 47% of Americans don’t pay INCOME TAX; however, most of those folks pay lots of other taxes, such as property and sales taxes, among many others.”

      This is the argument used by the liberals to continue their agenda of government dependency. However, this excuse doesn’t hold water because EVERYONE else also pays all these other taxes in addition to FEDERAL INCOME TAX. And we must remember that “property taxes and sales taxes” do not in any way support the federal government, so the argument is bogus. In addition to that, most of the 47% don’t pay “property” taxes because they don’t own property, and they pay far less in “sales” taxes because they buy far less than others and a lot of what they buy is paid for by government money given to them from other taxpayers.

      It is impossible to justify WHY 47% of the American people DO NOT support the federal government in ANY WAY except voting for those who promise to keep them dependent. Even the “poorest” people in the U.S. are in good shape in comparison to the actual poor around the world, and everyone in this country has an obligation to support the federal government, meaning everyone can pay SOMETHING. However, the Democrats insist on raising taxes on those who ACTUALLY pay taxes while protecting those who don’t pay federal taxes by making excuses like the argument stated here.

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  9. noveldogComment by noveldog
    September 21, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Help get him elected and then hopefully he will make you one of the Nine Supreme Court Justices. The you can help keep him and everybody else straight when it comes to law.

    As for his changing positions he has to, or even try not to have a position because the national news media will dissect it and try to make him look bad while they hide BHO’s record of ineptitude as well as his many failures!

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  10. grandmashirley77@aol.comComment by grandmashirley77
    September 23, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    Top Ten Reasons To Dislike Mitt Romney

    1. Successful, self-made businessman. (Dad didn’t give him a hand-out… he and Ann had to make it on their own)

    2. Been married to ONE woman his entire life, and has been FAITHFUL to her.

    3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)

    4. Can’t speak in a fake southern black preacher voice when necessary.

    5. Knows the real meaning of giving service to his fellow man and quietly shows it in his everyday life.

    6. Has pots of money (made it all himself) and since nobody else in this country has any desire to have pots of money… we don’t like him!

    7. Has a family of great boys… none of them are in drug rehab.

    8. Doesn’t smoke (even in secret), drink alcohol, or do drugs (not even in college, where other people were NOT inhaling)

    9. Represents an America of “yesterday”, where people believed in God, went to Church, didn’t screw around, worked hard, and became a SUCCESS! (We can’t relate to such an anachronism!)

    10. Oh yes… he’s a MORMON. The religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic, fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, honest, upright, MORAL and Love Jesus Christ!

    And one more point… pundits say because of his wealth, he can’t relate to ordinary Americans. I guess that’s because he made that money ALL BY HIMSELF… as opposed to marrying it (as in John Kerry) or inheriting it from Dad (as in Jack, Robert & Ted Kennedy.) We didn’t understand that actually working at a job and earning your own money made you unrelatable to Americans. S-t-r-a-n-g-e!

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