Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly has decided to get even more specific in his attack on people who voted for President Obama.
O’Reilly claims “entitlements buy votes.” He says, “it is a stone cold fact that lower income Americans largely re-elected President Obama.”
Here’s his explanation:
“20 percent of those who voted on Election Day make under $30,000 a year. Those folks are either poor or close to it. Many of those voters receive entitlements — food stamps, housing subsidies, that kind of thing. And of course, they don’t want those programs cut or reorganized. Among Americans making less than $30,000 bucks a year, 63 percent, 63 percent voted for Barack Obama. Just 35 percent voted for Mitt Romney.”
First, O’Reilly’s ascribing a pretty selfish motive to millions of Americans. He’s saying the poor cast their votes in exchange for entitlements without considering President Obama’s tax policies, foreign policy or financial plan in a record-breaking recession.
O’Reilly apparently doesn’t believe that someone could vote Democrat based on the issues. Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you can’t think carefully about the political options.
And O’Reilly’s silent on the middle-class vote: 31% of the voters made $50,000 – $99,999 in 2011. 52% of them voted for Mitt Romney. Did the 46% who voted for Obama want “entitlements” like their impoverished fellow citizens? What does O’Reilly think motivated the 44% of people making $100,000-$199,999 to vote for Obama?
In fact, O’Reilly’s own argument reveals two reasons the Republicans lost the election:
1. Alienating the poor. Apparently, disparaging the 47% wasn’t enough. O’Reilly’s getting a head start on the next election.
2. The Republicans must be using entitlements to “buy votes” from the wealthy. I’ll use O’Reilly’s own words (from above):
4 percent of those who voted on Election Day make over $250,000 a year. Those folks are either rich or close to it. Many of those voters receive entitlements — corporate tax breaks, subsidies, that kind of thing. And of course, they don’t want those programs cut or reorganized. Among Americans making more than $250,000 bucks a year, 55 percent, 55 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Just 42 percent voted for President Obama.
Ironically, O’Reilly advises his fellow Republicans, “you can’t disparage poor people.” He will probably continue to do so.