Liberal bloggers and pundits have been up in arms since GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had this exchange with voters yesterday in Iowa:
ROMNEY: There’s various ways of [preserving Social Security and Medicare’s solvency]. One is we could raise taxes on people. That’s not the way . . .
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Corporations! Corporations!
ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend.
Is what Romney said wrong? Apparently it depends on what side of the ideological spectrum you fall on.
As columnist James Pethokoukis points out today, Romney was most likely not speaking in a legal sense, but pointing out that policies affection corporations affect people:
I don’t think Romney was making a legal argument about corporate personhood, which is well established concept in US law...
I am pretty sure he was trying to say that corporations are made up of people, but not in a Soylent Green sort of way. Rather they are comprised of workers generating goods and services for customers. And when you punish corporations, you punish workers and shareholders and customers.
This just makes sense and has been proven -- an increase in corporate taxes almost always means dips in workers' wages and higher prices for consumers. So Romney's point -- that we shouldn't think about corporations as some monster robot of doom, but instead think about the people behind the corporate logo -- seems logical.
But where would the liberal left be if they couldn't pit "the workers" against the "corporations"? Where would Democrats be without the class warfare rhetoric? This liberal tradition helps explain why just hours after Romney's remark, the DNC managed to start marketing tee-shirts depicting him as a "best friend" of those eeeevil corporations:
Amazingly, they've also been able to cut an ad so hell bent on pitting the "rich" against the "poor" that the mere image of a private jet is supposed to energize voters and throw Democrat voters into an anti-Romney frenzy. Obama can deny it all he wants, but what is the point of this ad other than to begrudge people for their success and encourage envy?
Side note: It's interesting how liberals don't consider corporations in the context of the people behind them and scream about how corporations spend soooo much money to get Republicans elected. Yet in the same breath, Dems praise labor unions as real people while completely ignoring the "corporations" that employ them and the astronomical amounts they spend to elect... well, what do ya know... Democrats.