VIDEO: Mitt Romney Repeats Misconception That 47% Of Americans Pay No Income Tax

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Romney, Taxes, Video

Oh Mitt…



Want to know where he got that number from?

The non-partisan Center of Budget and Policy Priorities breaks it down.

First…

The 51 percent and 46 percent figures are anomalies that reflect the unique circumstances of the past few years, when the economic downturn greatly swelled the number of Americans with low incomes. The figures for 2009 are particularly anomalous; in that year, temporary tax cuts that the 2009 Recovery Act created — including the “Making Work Pay” tax credit and an exclusion from tax of the first $2,400 in unemployment benefits — were in effect and removed millions of Americans from the federal income tax rolls. Both of these temporary tax measures have since expired.

Then…

Most of the people who pay neither federal income tax nor payroll taxes are low-income people who are elderly, unable to work due to a serious disability, or students, most of whom subsequently become taxpayers. (In years like the last few, this group also includes a significant number of people who have been unemployed the entire year and cannot find work.)

And last, but certainly not least…nearly everybody pays some form of federal taxes…

Tax Policy Center data show that only about 17 percent of households did not pay any federal income tax or payroll tax in 2009, despite the high unemployment and temporary tax cuts that marked that year. In 2007, a more typical year, the figure was 14 percent. This percentage would be even lower if it reflected other federal taxes that households pay, including excise taxes on gasoline and other items.

There’s a lot more over at that site that you can take a look at, but the one thing I thought was particularly interesting was this fact…

A GAO study found that in every year from 1998 to 2005, approximately 55 percent of large corporations paid no corporate income tax. ** But just 2.7 percent of large corporations reported no net tax liability in all eight of those eight years. This reflects a similar pattern as applies to families and individuals — those who do not pay income tax in a given year often do pay income tax over time.

This pattern also applies to small business owners and others who deduct business losses from their taxable incomes and thereby eliminate their income tax liability in some years.

So yeah…when you hear that number above mentioned at the next cocktail party…make sure you correct the record.


This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 and is filed under Romney, Taxes, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

35 Responses to “VIDEO: Mitt Romney Repeats Misconception That 47% Of Americans Pay No Income Tax”

  1. cranky critter Says:

    #1 They’re anomalies that, umm, happened.

    #2 “Tax Policy Center data show that only about 17 percent of households did not pay any federal income tax or payroll tax”

    Romney didn’t say “income tax or payroll tax,” did he?

    So it seem to me that the excerpts you cite actually show that Romney’s description is objectively true about a recent point in time.

    It’s not the whole story, of course. But there is an underlying truth that quite a few low-income Americans do not pay any income tax. Quite a few more than most folks realize. I noticed this years ago. Let’s everyone notice it, and also notice other relevant details. Something neither party seems to make much effort to do.

  2. Eugene McCain Says:

    Cranky Critter…sorry, but I must respond to your comments…You are doing your best to be an apologist for a really outrageous statement by Romney, a statement that reflects his true attitude for the poor and under privileged. The semantics on income taxes versus payroll taxes is just that, a semantic trick to make people believe something that is not true.. What Romney and so many in the GOP leadership say, is a straight up lie. Taxes on income….income taxes…of course include payroll taxes. Payroll taxes, by definition are taxes on your income. As Justin rightly pointed out, the real number that pay no Federal taxes on their income, no Federal income taxes, is more in the 14% to 17% range. Period. No further wiggling on this. The GOP talking point of providing percentage of households who have a payment to make on their 1040…as being the only ones who pay Income taxes is a talking point that may win points within the exclusionary mindset of GOP followers…who see the less fortunate as dead weights…but is still a lie (untruth, a fabrication.) And this doesn’t even include those that don’t pay federal but do pay state income taxes. Why do the rich, and their promoters, need to denigrate the less fortunate? I’ll never understand this attitude…especially from a party that pretends to be the “more Christian” party. “The meek shall inherit the Earth”.

  3. khaki Says:

    Its as if Romney is making his own negative ads about himself. I worry that when Romeny loses, there will be those who point to his loss as evidence that Citizens United is not currupting. I would argue Romeny’s mouth is itself a super pac for Obama and they cancel each other out.

  4. Jacob Says:

    “Romney’s mouth is itself a super pac for Obama” !!

    Hilarious.

  5. mdgeorge Says:

    @cc: this reminds be about the recent debate we all had about the facts in Ryan’s speech. Same thoughts apply here: yes his words were narrowly factually accurate. No he was not communicating the truth.

    But there’s another angle to look at this from. These kinds of facts are presented as part of a logical argument. Abstractly “I present fact A. It implies that the state of the world is B, and therefore we should pursue policy C”. In these discussions, we seem to agree that A is accurate, while B is inaccurate (i.e. that the facts are technically true, but the broader point is misleading). Which means that our evaluation of C is based on our previous position and not on the argument being put forward.

    So maybe instead of writing “fact checking” stories that “Politician P lied about fact A/B”, we should instead write stories that say “P gave an unsound argument for policy C”. Note that this is still an evaluation of what the politician said, and does not answer the question of whether C is a good or bad policy – it would be good to have some stories that read “P gave a sound argument for policy C”.

    The reason that unsound arguments are important is because they allow people to put forward a policy without giving an argument. The reasons for doing that mostly seem bad: maybe they really think B is true, in which case they inaccurately think C is a good idea. Maybe they have a different private “real” argument that they think is politically unviable. Or maybe they present lots of arguments and hope that if they throw enough shit against the wall, something will stick.

    I don’t know why so many of my arguments have variables in them. I guess that’s how I think :).

  6. Tully Says:

    That’s some pretty feeble conflation and rationalization there, Justin. Cranky is dead on. Romney spoke precisely, and correctly. 47% pay no federal income tax.

    Y’all can take all the exception to that you like, can rationalize and conflate and wiggle, but it remains a fact. Yes, those 47% pay other taxes. It’s pretty much impossible to breathe in America and not pay some taxes somewhere. But they don’t pay any federal income tax.

    The elephant in the room is, of course, those entitlement programs that were sold to the American people as being perpetually self funded through payroll taxes, that are now shelling out more than they are taking in and have to be subsidized by the people actually paying federal income taxes.

    “the non-partisan Center of Budget and Policy Priorities” Chuckle. “Non-partisan” as in “not an official arm of the Democratic Party.” But decidedly left-of-center liberal on spending and taxation issues.

  7. WHQ Says:

    The numbers aren’t the story. Romney’s subjective characterizations of the people who aren’t currently paying federal income taxes are. Feh, he’s toast.

  8. WHQ Says:

    But there is an underlying truth that quite a few low-income Americans do not pay any income tax. Quite a few more than most folks realize. I noticed this years ago. Let’s everyone notice it, and also notice other relevant details. Something neither party seems to make much effort to do.

    You’re kidding, right? This is a stat that gets thrown around quite regularly, particularly by people on the right side of the spectrum. It’s a rather popular stat as far as I can tell from just about any conversation I’ve had or overheard regarding federal taxes. On the list of facts people don’t know, this one is pretty far down.

  9. WHQ Says:

    Google with auto-complete, and you only have to get as far as “half of am” before the first auto-complete pops up as “half of americans don’t pay taxes.” But I’ll agree regarding “other relevant details.”

  10. RobInDayton Says:

    The real point he is making is that the 47% that don’t pay taxes are Obama voters. Older folks on SS vote pretty heavily Republicans, as well as White males with just a HS degree.

    So if we are going on just the facts.

    There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

    Is just false.

  11. cranky critter Says:

    I hear what Eugene, McD and WHQ are saying. I think the best way for me the answer folks is to quote what I just said to Simon Dodd about this elsewhere:

    If this is a problem, it’s not because of his words per se. It’s that what Romney said, as a dot, connects so closely and easily to the other dots of a narrative that many non-conservatives perceive when they hear it from outspoken conservative acquaintances.

    Bear in mind, I’m not talking about ALL conservatives. But most of us know at least one person who regularly professes very strong resentment towards all forms of government support. So it’s not simply that someone gets government support, but [1]that government support is generally wrong [2] that most people who get it don’t need it [3] or deserve it [4] or earn it.

    So when you say that what Romney said is accurate or indisputable, I understand what you are trying to get at. But Romney is tone deaf about human nature. The closer any politician traffics near an ugly stereotype, the more likely he is to be credited with that stereotype.

    This is especially the case with politicians, who have a practiced habit of trying to carefully “half say” things. People translate. They are quite likely to translate this as Romney saying “my big problem is all the lazy freeloaders who are going to vote for Obama just to keep their welfare checks coming.”

    People hold politicians responsible for what they think they meant, not their exact words.

    A few more points…

    Let’s let our interest be in trying to lend overall clarity to the issue of taxes instead of getting caught up in an argument about just how correct Romney’s words are, or those of his rising critics. Isn’t it a given that both sides are trying to muddy the waters by selectively arguing we should notice some things and ignore others? Each side has its own set of connected dots, and what we need is to connect ALL the dots each side prefers to feature, as well as the ones both sides prefer to ignore.

    Lots of Americans pay no income tax. Many conservatives are aware of this, many liberals find it inconvenient to notice or discuss, and many rank and file non-conservatives are unaware of exactly what’s being talked about, what the numbers actual refer to. WHQ is right that this factoid is well trafficked. My point is that if we tested 1000 laymen Americans, not many would be able to thoroughly explain it. That’s my guess, anyway, from talking a lot to people who lack a basic familiarity with any number of simple math related ideas about our country.

    Obviously, as someone suggested, one can argue that the payroll tax is a tax on income and therefore counts as income tax. Just as obviously, there are a small set of common names to describe the major sets of taxes that are collected from our paychecks. Romney was talking about federal income taxes, and most of us KNOW that, so again, let’s focus on lending clarity. About 45-47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes. We also pay state income tax. That’s separate, as we all probably understand from having read a paycheck of our own, right?

    And the payroll tax is the tax that funds social security, which we call FICA or the social security tax. Yup it sure is a tax on income. But the reason we have those other names is pretty much because as shorthand, we know when we say income tax we’re not talking about social security.

    I’m quite fine being associated with the basic true facts, whether Romney said them or someone else did. I don’t think that makes me an apologist. The numbers are what they. As it turns out, I’m just as happy to associate with lots of other related facts. IMO, it’s important to be able to talk about all of these facts without being typecast as someone who believes that the 47% refers to that idea of lazy freeloaders collecting stuff they don’t deserve.

    And like Tully suggests in backing me, the problem is that when the chickens come home to roost, we’ll get only what we have the resources to provide. Anyone who tries to run from or obscure that fact is not serious about problem solving.

  12. WHQ Says:

    I don’t think you or Tully buy this, but it is what Mitt Romney said:

    “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney is seen saying. “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”

    And when I say I don’t think you guys buy it, I’m not talking about the number. I’m talking about the description of the people who compose that number – people like my 92-year-old grandmother who lives on very little social security and wouldn’t vote for Obama in a hundred years. I don’t think you are an apologist for this sort of thing simply because you think people should be willing to talk about how our tax system plays out in the current environment. I do, however, think Mitt Romney is responsible for what he says, all of it, even if his stats are correct.

  13. Deadbeat Says:

    Newly published emails show the top spokeswoman at the U.S. Justice Department regularly collaborating with the liberal advocacy group Media Matters on stories that slam the administration’s critics.

    Once upon a time in America we the people were safe from both sides of the isle. Today the Communist progressives have totally taken over most of the media to the point that everything that happens in the world is the result of the “Proletariat” or rich and that all those who would oppose the “middle class” are most definitely dangerous monsters who must be stopped at all costs.

    When will true democrats and true classical liberals realize that this country is on such a dangerous tilt with the press no longer on our side but on the sides of those who would repress?

    I fear it will be much too late to ultimately matter….because even the ultimate nanny state RUSSIA….ultimately rebelled and threw off their shackles because freedom is after all much more valued everywhere then is government distributed food or clothing or welfare checks.

    As we plunge down the same roads others have trodden the true believers chant….”NOT US>>>NOT US” until they have walked into the ovens and the doors are closed.

  14. Deadbeat Says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/18/who-doesnt-pay-taxes-in-charts/

    46.4 percent of Americans PAY NO INCOME TAXES. Mr. Donkey man the title to your article reads…………

    VIDEO: Mitt Romney Repeats Misconception That 47% Of Americans Pay No INCOME Tax.

    The mindless minions continue to march for their version of the “LIE” no matter what it costs the people….

    and the cost to the people is the TRUTH….

    but of course in any country in which the first casualty is freedom the truth no longer matters does it?

    You may not publish this mr. donkey man but I hope you would consider my words. I am not a romney fan……I am an America fan and this country is going down the tubes if people like you just blindly climb on the horse of lies and aid and abet the liars because their ideals are closer then are the other guys ideals to what you believe.

    The truth must prevail….in America we are becoming a welfare state when almost 1/2 of 318 million Americans pay no income taxes and we borrow nearly half our budget every year to perpetuate the LIES.

    I hope you would join me in exposing the lies rather then encouraging them. This blog has a duty to reveal the truth…not perpetuate the lies. Your commentors can debate the facts…..But you sir should put out the truth or just raise the flag of surrencer.

  15. WHQ Says:

    If we’re going to be really technical about it, he didn’t say “federal income tax,” so he’s even wrong about that, since some people pay state income taxes, which are undoubtedly income taxes, but not federal income taxes. But I’ll give him a pass on that.

  16. cranky critter Says:

    I’m only talking about the basic number of what portion of folks don’t pay taxes. I think it’s important and useful to understand as one part of the foundation we all need to come to a realistic decision about taxes and the future path of spending.

    I agree, that 47% is not all in the bag for Obama. That’s easily refuted. As to the “state” income tax thing, I am fine saying that I knew what he was talking about even though he left out an adjective, and probably everyone else did too.

  17. WHQ Says:

    I think it’s important and useful to understand as one part of the foundation we all need to come to a realistic decision about taxes and the future path of spending.

    I agree completely. I think it’s also useful to consider when discussing a wide range of policy decisions, not just taxes and spending. I would rather that more people made enough money to be subject to federal income taxes. Too many people simply don’t make enough money.

  18. Tully Says:

    Nope, I don’t buy that, at least not in hooking Obama voting so directly to that 47% number. But that wasn’t the part Justin threw into play as a “misconception.” He threw the number itself into play, and conflated and misrepresented it, which I find downright dishonest, at least as much so as hooking not paying federal income tax directly to being a government-dependent Obama voter.

    FACT: 47% of American adults do not pay any federal income tax. More importantly, that number is at an all-time high for modern times. As is the percentage of people living in a household where at least one member receives some form of direct transfer payment from the federal government, which also approaches 50%. These are both established facts, not subject to dispute or debate.

    What IS subject to debate is the desirability and sustainability of those trends going forward. As is the thrust of Romney’s actual underlying argument — that the more direct payments people get from government, the greater their incentive to vote for the people who promise to maintain and expand that public largesse (whether or not the public treasury can actually sustain those trends, which it can’t). Which is hardly a new and unique thought ….

    “A democracy … can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.” –Alexis de Tocqueville, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, 1835

    When I entered the workforce the standard deduction for a single person was $1300 and the individual exemption was $750. Every penny I earned over $2050/yr (2012 inflation-adjusted equivalent $9500) was taxed by the feds at at least 14%*. There was no EITC.

    Let me put that comparison another way. At the time I started working, a single person who booked 1025 hours or more at minimum wage paid federal income taxes at a minimum 14% rate for every dollar over that $2050 exempted initial earnings. Even a part-time minimum-wage low-income earner had “skin in the game” when it came to tax rates and federal spending. Only 23% of adult Americans did NOT pay income tax then, and only about 25% lived in a household where at least one member received direct government transfer payments.

    Today, not so much. Now, due to recession those numbers are peaked somewhat above trend, but the trend itself is indisputable … and unsustainable. What we do about that is where the real debate belongs.

    (*–The FICA rate then was 5.85% for employees with an employer rate share of 2.05% on top of that for a total of 7.9%. Today it is 7.65% for both employee and employer shares for a total of 15.3%.)

  19. WHQ Says:

    He threw the number itself into play, and conflated and misrepresented it, which I find downright dishonest, at least as much so as hooking not paying federal income tax directly to being a government-dependent Obama voter.

    Maybe dishonest, certainly wrong. But I think, either way, that he swung at the wrong pitch, which was the point of my September 18th, 11:50 am comment. The focus of the top post sent the whole thread down a rabbit hole.

  20. cranky critter Says:

    The focus of the top post sent the whole thread down a rabbit hole.

    Exactly. Like I said, we should be trying to add clarity for ourselves, because partisans aren’t especially interested. The question of “how right” Romney is and whether he harmed himself are germane to the horse race, but not that germane to how we try to solve our problems.

    Romney’s problem now is that he’s likely to be held responsible for what people think he MEANT when he said that he should write off that 47% of people who don’t pay income tax.

    But regardless, the nation is stuck with the problem of 47% of people not paying taxes, and where to go from there. And like Tully says, the real issue is sustainability.

    So I have no issue with Romney calling attention to the large fraction of Americans that don’t pay income tax, but I disagree with his conclusion about their voting habits, and I think he’s a fool for saying something with the implied message “I can’t get elected because of all those lazy freeloaders.”

  21. cranky critter Says:

    I like how Tyler Cowen asks the question, in such a way as to get us to move the ball

  22. Tully Says:

    Cranky — yep. Except we don’t have the full context to judge from, dangit, which might have improved it to more than a GOTCHA sound bite. The “full tape” is not complete, but has a major gap of unknown duration that interrupts the remark in question. What de Tocqueville said in 1835, echoing others before him, is sadly relevant.

    I note in my prior comment I was not clear that I paid at minimum 14% in federal income tax on every dime earned past $2050/year (1025 minimum-wage hours, a half-time minimum wage job). That is on top of FICA, not including it. As now, I paid FICA from Dime One.

    I suspect there are quite a few lower/middle-income folks who do not pay federal income tax but vote reliably Republican. Unlike partisans, I don’t see a major contradiction there. It’s quite possible to want to see the government exercise some fiscal restraint and responsibility even if you’re not the one who has to pay for it all directly.

  23. David P. Summers Says:

    Cranky Critter…sorry, but I must respond to your comments…You are doing your best to be an apologist for a really outrageous statement by Romney, a statement that reflects his true attitude for the poor and under privileged.

    Well Cranky Critter was responding the main point of the article, which I also found to be dubious for the reasons that CC outlined. Whether you agree with them or not, finding a point in a article as “wanting” is not being and “apologist”. People can consider that a point being made to be wrong without having to buy into, or oppose, the partisan spin being applied.

    BTW, one point CC didn’t make is that, it is worth noting that the %age in 2011 46.4%,
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/09/daily-chart-9
    is not very different from the “anomalous” 2009.

  24. David P. Summers Says:

    What IS subject to debate is the desirability and sustainability of those trends going forward.

    Of course I’ve heard no mention of that in any of the coverage. Just spin about whether Romney cares for the poor or hates them. And of course this is based on partial representation of comments in _one_ speech.

  25. cranky critter Says:

    Thanks David.

    Again, this goes back to what I was saying about each of us trying individually to add clarity and detail to the picture, instead of playing gotcha. It troubles me that some get so caught up in trying to prove that Romney is a cold heartless bastard that they’ll try to obscure true things.

    Romney could be the greediest, nastiest scrooge on the planet, and it would still be true that about 47% of Americans pay no taxes. One bears no relation to the other, really.

  26. cranky critter Says:

    ..no ***federal income*** taxes

  27. WHQ Says:

    But, cranky, haven’t we already established that the 47% figure wasn’t the real issue, despite Justin’s post? Don’t we already agree that stating that simple fact isn’t in and of itself objectionable and no basis for a “gotcha”?

    I mean, you quoted yourself talking about how people took that stat and connected their own dots based on it, that they interpreted it through their own filters and preconceived notions. But Romney did a fine job of connecting dots on his own, well beyond a simple statement of fact regarding how many people are subject to federal income taxes under our current tax regime and current economic conditions.

    He explicitly imputed ideas and attitudes to people based on that statistic. He impugned the character of people based on the fact that they don’t pay federal income taxes.

    Does that matter to you or doesn’t it? Or can you at least recognize that it’s a separate issue from the simple statement of fact regarding what percentage of people don’t currently pay federal income taxes?

  28. cranky critter Says:

    I don’t really think of it though there’s any one real issue here, as you suggest. There are a number of them that come up in relation to this post, and I have tried to make myself clear.

    I think you make some very good points, WHQ. Yeah, I think Romney’s impugning non-taxpayers to curry favor with the particular audience he was addressing, no doubt about it. And that’s one issue, the issue of how Romney regards the less fortunate, and whether he’s in touch with regular folks. I’ve said all along that this is a huge problem for him.

    Another issue is the question of whether some or many folks collecting government money are exploiting the system, freeloading in some form. I have no idea what that fraction is. I would not simply assume it’s extremely small as some do. But I’m sure it’s a non-zero number, and in general, I do think that motivation matters, and matters more than some prefer to acknowledge.

    Yet another issue is the issue of understanding our country’s financial circumstances as they relate to accumulated debt, current revenue levels, and the nature of our future obligations over the next two generations. As I say so often, we’ll get what we have the resources to provide. if we want to keep the entitlements flowing just as they have been promised, we’ll need very substantial tax increases. And if we don’t want those increases, then those promises will have to trimmed.

  29. cranky critter Says:

    moderated

    (admin–released, sorry, don’t know why it was held)

  30. khaki Says:

    @cc: “Romney’s problem now is that he’s likely to be held responsible for what people think he MEANT when he said that he should write off that 47% of people who don’t pay income tax.

    Romney’s problem is that he was caught calling 47% of Amercans freeloading victims, whether or not he meant it in as political calculation or policy or whatever. No matter what he meant, 47% of Americans are not freeloading victims, period. It’s wrong and a cynical and pandering and unpresidential. His bigger problem is that in the lack of substance he’s offered for this entire campaign is now filled with this. This is his substance – to say whatever he needs to say whenever he thinks it’s to his advantage. Although we’ve known all along that this man was a pandering opportunist, to see him toss away 47% of the country to gin up enthusiasm to his rich buddies (whether he meant political strategy, or not) is just too much. He’s toast.

  31. Tully Says:

    Of course I’ve heard no mention of that in any of the coverage. Just spin about whether Romney cares for the poor or hates them. And of course this is based on partial representation of comments in _one_ speech.

    Bingo. We are well into the unbridled partisan spin phase of the campaign season, wherein every fart and chair-squeak is seized upon as Incontrevertibly Certain Proof of how Evil the Other Guy is. Witness the comments here, for example. Like khaki’s, immediately above.

    The real discussion should be about policies and the fiscal realities of our current situation, and what the candidates propose to do about it. The actual “discussion” we get from partisan-bots at this point in the campaign cycle is how Evil the Other Guy is, and how Our Angelic Savior will lead us all to the Promised Land. Despite thte fact the money to make that trip isn’t actually available.

    And the truth is that most of the histrionicly hyperbolic demonization won’t shift but a teeny-tiny-percentage of votes, if that. Mostly it’s a matter of keeping one’s base voters in rage-mode so they don’t think critically, so they will hopefully infect others with the same rage directed at the same target(s), and stay pumped up enough long enough to go pull that lever for Our Guy.

    Laughworthy: The Obama camp whining “Unfair!” about Obama’s “redistribution” comment being clipped short, when Romney’s comment was also clipped short in the exact same fashion. (Both camps will — rightfully — say that the quotes are being presented out of context due to the clipping. And both will claim their edits of the other guy’s words were inconsequential, inadvertent, and utterly innocent of any intent … )

  32. Eugene McCain Says:

    All of the comments in this string are collectively helpful in sharing our mutual understandings. I watch this site because there are often level headed liberals and level headed conservatives who are able to “debate” / discuss issues with an opportunity to find some common ground. As someone who grew up with a highly conservative father and highly liberal mother…and loved them both… I have found in my life I have dear friends who are both conservative and liberal. I often comment that we are each born with both conservative and liberal natures and the internal working of those two natures within ourselves is how we learn to govern our own lives. Sorry to philosophize…. but now this leads me to my general comment on all of the above string and Romney’s comments. While there were facts and elements of truth in Romney statements, there was also a pretty condescending view toward those who don’t pay taxes…and being very specific about the percentage of non payers being 47% and then also labeling them as the identical 47% that were Obama’s base….may work well in the 50k a pop dinner club for raising funds… but when shared with the American public…casts a pretty somber shadow on Romney ‘s character. Whether you are conservative or liberal, GOP or Dem… deep down we need to all, as American’s, be our brother’s keeper…and expect our President to be our brother’s keeper….and not one who would dismiss half the country as less worthy of his
    concern or interest.

  33. Angela Says:

    It would seem to me, considering the federal tax code, that if 47% of Americans do not pay taxes, it is more than likely because they do not make enough income. Also, if 47% of Americans are qualified for some kind of federal benefit, it is because they do not make enough income, at least by standard poverty guidelines. The comments that seem to arise over and over again in this string relates to whether we have 47% freeloaders or not and whether that is sustainable. Really, the focus should be on the fact that Americans are not making enough income. Either we need to change the income guidelines (poverty guidelines) for qualifying individuals for benefits, or we need to do something about creating better jobs and better wages and salaries, or both.

    In my view, it will make little difference who gets the presidency this year. We are in transition right now, as markets become more global, as production is shifted to other countries, as we figure out what and where American goods trade best. We need to strategize globally, allow the market to work, with a little (and I mean a little help from government), but putting into place policies that give American an advantage.

  34. Angela Says:

    I would like to see this blog site encourage more discussion on solutions for important topics and issues.

  35. Donklephant » Blog Archive » The Full Mitt Romney Fundraiser Speech Says:

    […] VIDEO: Mitt Romney Repeats Misconception That 47% Of Americans Pay No Income Tax Gallup: Romney’s Comments Make 29% Of Indies Less Likely To Vote For Him […]

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You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


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