Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Are the 47%?

Romney's 47% is really only 18%.
Only 18 percent of tax filers did not have to pay either income tax or payroll taxes.

Nearly all of the people who did not pay either type of tax were elderly – 10.3 percent of total tax filers - or had incomes less than $20,000 – 6.9 percent. ABC
Putting aside the fact that Romney thinks that 47% of Americans are freeloaders who will vote for Obama because they want free stuff, here's a tax expert:

If you haven't read conservative columnist David Brooks on Thurston Howell, you really should.
David Brooks: But these are not the sensible arguments that Mitt Romney made at a fund-raiser earlier this year. Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. Forty-seven percent of the country, he said, are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare? It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. NYT
Planet Money has a graphic showing the 47%. I think a problem for many republican voters is they don't comprehend that Social Security and Medicare are government services. The 47% also includes a few thousand millionaires. 

Here's a map of the states where people don't file income taxes. See the percent of people who don't pay taxes in each of those states here.

The people in the red states, clearly Romney voters, are probably these people who don't even know they're not paying income tax:
Many of these low-income earners may not even realize they do not pay income tax. According to an April Gallup poll, 50 percent of people who earn less than $30,000 per year said the amount they pay in income taxes is too high. More than 80 percent of those people do not pay a dime of income tax.

They are on the hook, though, for a host of other taxes such as sales taxes, property taxes, state income taxes and excise taxes on items like alcohol, gasoline and cigarettes. ABC