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Are You One of the 47 Percent? What Are Your Thoughts on the Recent Romney Video?

Posted by on Sep. 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM
  • 5 Replies

This year's election season has brought a focus on percentages -- the 1 percent versus the 99 percent, the percentage of unemployed workers, and now the 47 percent of people that, as highlighted by Mitt Romney, do not pay taxes. 

At a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in May, Romney told supporters, "There are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe 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." His words were captured on video in secret and reached public ears when the video was released by Mother Jones magazine just this week. The video has put Romney's campaign on the defense, but he stands by his words. 

"I’m sure I can state it more clearly and in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that, and so I’m sure I’ll point that out as time goes on," he said.

If you are like me, you may be wondering: Who are these people who make up the 47 percent that do not pay taxes? As it turns out, the figure comes from a 2011 report by the Tax Policy Center that shows that only 53.6 percent of the estimated 164 million U.S. households paid federal income tax in 2011. 

For you math geeks, that leaves 76 million households in America that did not pay federal income taxes last year. It's easy to hear a number like that and become frustrated, but to really understand you must look at the details. Of that 76 million, roughly half did not earn enough to have a tax liability. 

Of that 47 percent of non-payers, 11.6 million are low-income families who work but benefit from the child earned income and child care tax credits. According to the News and Observer: "The Earned Income Tax Credit is the nation’s largest anti-poverty program and helps pull the incomes of more than 5 million families over the federal poverty line each year." The elderly make up about 17 million.

However, it is not just the old and the impoverished that are escaping federal income tax. According to Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the tax center, millionaires are also escaping the tax taking advantage of foreign tax credits or charitable donations to lower their liability, credits Romney himself has benefited from according to the one year of income tax returns he has released. 

How do you feel about Romney's statements about the 47 percent? Many of us fall into this group of Americans or know someone that does. Do you agree with Romney's remarks? Are you offended by them?

Photo credit: wikipedia

by on Sep. 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM
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by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Yes, I found his comments offensive.  We file are taxes based on tax code...we work hard to provide for our family and it's not our "fault" that we end up getting it all back at the end of the year.  We are not on government assistance nor are we "victims" that believe the government should take care of us.  We take care of ourselves.  

I don't like Romney....I never have liked him.  I think he's a giant ass.  Typical business man.  I voted for Santorum in the primaries and if I sai it once I've said it a million times, "WHY is Romney running again??  We already told him no last time around!"  haha!


My dislike for Romney isn't nearly enough to make me vote for Obama.  We NEED an arrogant ass of a business man to get our economy back in shape.  So....the lesser of two evils gets my vote.  Still wish is was Santorum we are.

by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM
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I don't love Romney, I'll admit, but I much rather give him a chance then watch Obama do nothing (except repeal Welfare to Work) for another 4 years.

He has a point though. There Are a great deal of people in this country who are lazy, make excuses for their circumstances, and rely on the government to take care of them. I don't believe in long term welfare use, and I believe people should take responsibility for their own choices, actions, and situations.
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by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I think he's probably kicking himself for that one. He ticked off a lot of people. I'm on PA, and I don't see myself as a victim. I don't think I'm owed anything. Life threw me a curve ball, and I'm greatful those services were available. I'd rather be paying my own way, and am actively trying to do that. Not everyone takes advantage of things like that. Romney is taking the statistics and blaming them on his opinion of the few that do take advantage.

by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I'm one of the 47%.. thanks to having 4 kids and getting tax credits. wink mini


by on Sep. 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I am in the 47% and I didn't take offense to what he said.  I work hard everyday, pay taxes, and am not on assistance and I'm doing the best I can to survive.  He's right.  There are far too many people relying solely on the govt for assistance.  There's nothing wrong with a hand up but don't make it a career.  

It's a vote for Romney/Ryan for me!  

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