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Where does Mitt Romney’s 47 percent live?

By Josh Richman
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 at 1:12 pm in 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney, taxes.

The nation continues to mull Mother Jones’ scoop of Mitt Romney’s unguarded comments to a private fundraising event this past May in Florida:

“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.”
[snip]
“[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

So where are those 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax?

The Atlantic has the answer, with data from the Tax Foundation. In California, 37 percent of residents pay no income tax, but that only ranks us 16th among the states:


(click to enlarge)

As the Atlantic notes:

This measures only those Americans who filed for taxes with no liability. Millions more didn’t even file; it’s those millions, added to the estimated 52 million here, who combine to make that 47 percent.

It’s important to remember that just because people aren’t paying income tax doesn’t mean they’re not paying taxes — they pay federal payroll taxes and state and local sales taxes, for example. Once those taxes are factored in, the tax regime is basically flat. And the reason that most income tax nonpayers don’t pay is they simply don’t make enough income to qualify to pay. As one might expect, the map of states with the highest poverty levels resembles this map fairly closely.

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  • Truthclubber

    Twit Romney and Paul Lyin can kiss this election…good-BYE!

    Down goes Florida!
    Down goes Ohio!
    Down goes even North Carolina!
    Down perhaps goes Indiana!
    Down maybe even goes Missouri!
    Down, unthinkably, might even go Arizona! (Given the large number of elderly SSI and Medicare “moochers” who live there.)

    It is not gonna matter about any of the Voter ID fascism taking place to steal this election away from a democratic society — because this massive self-aimed Exocet missile just sunk Twit’s battleship!

    Obama is going to hand Twit’s head back to him on a platter when this “utter disdain and loathing for the less fortunate among us” comes up in the debates — and my, oh, my, it most surely is GONNA come up!

  • JohnW

    That’s a great map!

    Mitt, often described as highly analytical and numbers-driven, could use a refresher course on Venn diagrams. He made it sound like the 47% who pay no income taxes and the 47% committed to Obama are the same universe.

    I guess I actually am one of those moochers. The GI Bill and government-subsidized loans (fully repaid ahead of schedule) helped pay for college. Government paid for my K-12 education and the portion of college costs that tuition doesn’t cover. I’m not on Social Security but am eligible. Medicare too. On the flip side, my average effective federal income tax rate (% of gross pay) for years 2000 through 2011 is double Mitt’s 13% (assuming he paid that much for the years he is not disclosing). Part of those taxes helped underwrite Mitt’s tithing to the Salt Lake City Vatican and his mortgage deduction (government subsidized housing entitlement).

    I somewhat disagree with my fellow Democrats who like to counter the point about income taxes by saying that people who work but don’t pay income taxes do pay SS and Medicare payroll taxes. Income taxes pay for the general costs of government. Payroll taxes are a form of individual pre-payment for individual future benefits. I believe even people with gross income of $20,000 or less should pay at least some income taxes, even if very small. Everybody should have skin in the game, and it would shut up the conservatives who like to demagogue the issue.

    David Brooks has written a great column on this latest snag in the Romney campaign.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Yeah, Mitt expresses himself clumsily. His latest blunder is plain dumb. That said, BHO is clueless when it comes to speeding up the recovery, is a flop at Mideast diplomacy and ain’t much better at dealing with China, Russia, you name it.

  • JohnW

    So, “speeding up the recovery” would entail what? The economy right now is probably about where it would have been througout the 2000′s if it hadn’t been propped up by the real estate madness.

    Not sure what is meant by “a flop at Mideast diplomacy.” Far as I know, the last meaningful achievement was Camp David. It may ultimately not be enough, but I think the administration has done a good job of organizing the international community on very tough sanctions against Iran. And despite all the Benjamin/Barack soap opera stuff, Israel has received more military weapons support under Obama than under any former president. Arab Spring fallout is a mess but pretty much beyond our influence.

    We’re rebalancing military resources toward the Pacific in support of all the Asian nations seeking to keep China from dominating the region and it’s ocean resources. We have a pretty strong alliance with Vietnam, S. Korea, Japan etc.

    Russia’s a pain. Bush looked into Putin’s eyes “and got a sense of his soul.” McCain did the same and saw” a K, a G and a B.”

  • Elwood

    Re: 47% What Mitt said is true. People just don’t want to hear it because the truth hurts. This is a tempest in a teapot whipped to a froth by the salivating liberal media.

    Have they forgotten about the dog on top of the car and the dancing horse so quickly? Next week, another blast of media sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Oh, and David Brooks? He is the NYTimes “conservative columnist” because he is one click to the right of V.I. Lenin.

  • Elwood

    “It’s important to remember that just because people aren’t paying income tax doesn’t mean they’re not paying taxes — they pay federal payroll taxes and state and local sales taxes, for example.”

    That is probably the biggest piece of bull**** I have ever seen.

  • Truthclubber

    @5 –

    Oh, God, I love it SO!

    You know you’ve scored a direct hit when the rabid righties like Elwood throw the likes of David Brooks under the bus for not spouting the “Romney-(fascism)-approved talking points du jour”!

    Who’s next? Rush Limbaugh, because his last name begins with the dreaded “L” and “I” — which is what the demonic word “L-I-B-E-R-A-L” begins with????????

    Only 49 days until Twit Romney and Paul Lyin get sent to the dust bin of electoral history, and the rest of their anti-democratic, neo-fascist supporters are left staring at the wrong side of the locked gates that they could have passed through to flee to Canada, now locked by the likes of Nepolitano and Holder at the stroke of midnight, November 6th, 2012.

    The 99% will have spoken — and majority rule is a bitch, trust me!

    Don’t like it? Move to some third world backwash country-lite, and try to re-make your millions THERE!

    You’ll find out soon enough — that best-of-world-class infrastructure you counted on when you were here so as to exploit others out of their money for your profit — oh, yeah! YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!

  • GV Haste

    Clearly that video was secretly taped by the “staff” who were waiting on those fine folks.
    Mitt’s words were only meant for those who could afford to attend.
    Those staff members should have known their place.
    After all, they owe their jobs to the wealthy folks attending the event.

    You just can’t get trustworthy staff anymore.
    Mitt will just have to whisper around the staff from here on. What is the world coming to.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    I’m voting for Gary Johnson for president. He is the only candidate that will be on the November ballot, with experience in government, who the obviously corrupt mainstream media hasn’t made me sick of. If you don’t know who he is, look him up on Wikipedia. If he was allowed into the debates, he would win.

  • Truthclubber

    @9 –

    Great! Every vote for that wack job Johnson is one less vote for Twit Romney and Paul Lyin — and that just helps the math for Obama, not that he needs much more help!

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Ok, you Occupy cranks! You’re the 47%! (Doesn’t sound as inspiring, huh?)

  • JohnW

    I wonder if Mitt was part of the 47% in some of those years for which he is not releasing tax returns.

  • Truthclubber

    Speaking of 47, it’s now the number of days until Twit Romney and Paul Lyin get tossed into the Wikipedia trashbin of obscure historical politics trivia — and it gets BETTER!

    The Senate is now poised to remain in Democratic hands, even before Twit’s boffo act before his fat-cat cronies in Miami — and that film is gonna give Pelosi & Co. a whole lotta steam to recapture the House for 2013!

    Way da go, Twit!

  • JohnW

    I don’t take much comfort in the polls. As somebody pointed out, Reagan was 14 points behind Carter at this stage in 1980.

    What could go wrong for Obama?

    Being vastly outspent by Romney and his Super-Pacs. Romney beats “expectations” in the debates. September jobs report far worse than even the recent numbers. Global economic contraction currently underway. GOP steals the election with voter suppression in Ohio and Pennsylvania. A major international development. Obama seizes Romney’s assets and redistributes them to the 47%. Obama rounds up the Congressional Tea Party caucus and ships them to Gitmo. Ditto for Sean Hannity.

  • Truthclubber

    @14 –

    Well, you haven’t made the kind of money I have made (and will make) on InTrade…fortune favors the bold (and insightful).

  • Elwood

    @ 13 & 15

    de·lu·sion·al
      [dih-loo-zhuh-nl] Show IPA
    adjective
    1.
    having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions: Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
    2.
    Psychiatry . maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness: He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/delusional?s=t

  • Truthclubber

    @16 –

    Resorting to personal insults and ad hominen attacks as the last bastion of defense against the obvious truth ahd fact again, are we?

    L-O-S-E-R.

    You fail.

    Escape to Canada while you still can, before we invade it again.

  • Elwood

    @ 17

    de·lu·sion·al
      [dih-loo-zhuh-nl] Show IPA
    adjective
    1.
    having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions: Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
    2.
    Psychiatry . maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness: He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/delusional?s=t