Wow. Mitt just wrote off the 47%.
I saw this bumper sticker a handful of years back that puzzled me: “Annoy a liberal: Work for a Living!” I’m a liberal, and I’ve always worked. Most liberals I know do. Do the people with that bumper sticker genuinely think that no liberals work? Just this past weekend, we heard a similar line from Gary Bauer at the VVS 2012, but this is different:
This is Mitt-fricking-Romney! He’s running for president, for goodness’ sake!
Now, here’s the transcript, which I’m copy-pasta-ing from TPM:
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.
That’s one hell of an assumption he’s making about just who that 47% really are. He’s assuming that there’s significant overlap between Obama supporters and this group of “entitled” folks.
So, who even are these people? Well, this came up last year as a response to the Occupy:“We are the 99%” slogan, where some conservatives countered that they were the 53%. So Kevin Drum (among others, but his explanation came easily to hand) broke down just who the 47% were:
But put that aside. Even stated accurately, you might be wondering how it is that so many people end up not paying any federal income tax. Today the Tax Policy Center has the answer for you. In 2011 they estimate that 46% of Americans will pay no federal income tax. Donald Marron breaks this down:
23% pay nothing because they’re poor. A couple making less than $19,000, for example, doesn’t owe anything after their $11,600 standard deduction and two exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. As Bob Williamson puts it, “The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.”
10% are elderly and pay nothing because their Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes.
7% pay nothing thanks to provisions in the tax code designed to benefit low-income families: the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account.
And the other 6%? Their taxes are zero for a variety of reasons: above-the-line deductions and tax-exempt interest; itemized deductions; education credits; other credits; and reduced rates on capital gains and dividends. TPC’s report has all the gruesome details.
So, who is Mitt Romney writing off, there? Mostly the elderly and the working poor. He’s not concerned about them. And, now that we know that, I’m not sure why people who do think, for whatever reason, that elderly people, or the children of poor folks are probably entitled to food or shelter because of basic human decency, would seriously think Romney has a damn thing to offer this country.
Except maybe an apology. And while you’re at it Mitt? Prove you aren’t a mooch. Release your tax returns.