Mitt Romney 47 percent
Critics suggest that Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comment, leaked from a secretly taped video, widened the gap with Latino voters. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

When the facts hit the mainstream, Mitt Romney’s 47 percent who don’t pay any taxes could come back to haunt him in November with moderates.

By now millions of voters have taken a peak at the Mitt Romney secret video taped at a fundraiser several months ago. In the video, Romney says he essentially sees no point in trying to get the 47 percent of voters who are dependent on the federal government to make ends meet. This is quite interesting for two reasons. First, the information he states is inaccurate and  secondly, it appears many of the very people Romney is criticizing are from his own party.

Mitt Romney 47 percent
Screen grab of Tax Policy Center: Mitt Romney’s 47 percent.

Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comment, a false fact he believes is true

In the Romney secret video, the former Massachusetts governor says 47 percent of the country doesn’t pay any federal income taxes.

Fact: 47 percent of the country pays no income tax when they file on April 15. However, where Romney got his facts wrong is that 65 percent (or two thirds) of this group pays payroll taxes.

Mitt Romney 47 percent
Screen grab of Tax Policy Center: Mitt Romney’s 47 percent.

Here’s what Mitt’s Romney’s 47 percent really means, according to Tax Policy Center:

  • 46.4 percent of households in 2011 paid no Federal income tax.
  • Of that 46.4 percent, 28.3 percent paid payroll taxes and 18.1 didn’t pay payroll tax however they were making less than $20,000 in income a year and more than half were elderly.

At the same time, over 50 percent of the country not paying federal income taxes today, are retired, after paying into the system for decades. Some are also returning veterans who are disabled and unable to work. Some people sadly, really are too disabled to work, as well. While the number of people abusing the system should be zero, to suggest 47 percent are not paying any taxes, is just insulting.

Mitt Romney 47 percent
Screen grab of Tax Policy Center: Mitt Romney’s 47 percent.

There is no doubt that some people abuse the system, just like some people get abused by the system.

Romney is stating that after you pay your payroll taxes, if you don’t owe money when you file on April 15th, you are essentially a leech on the system. Romney’s 47 percent comment shows how out of touch he is with the average person trying to navigate this economy.

Poll on Mitt Romney’s 47 percent

Yesterday, Yahoo finance conducted a poll asking this question: Are you more inclined or less inclined or not swayed by Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comment?  The results were 47 percent were more likely, 29 percent less likely and 24 percent agreed it had no impact.

It is curious that people, in almost a majority fashion agreed with Romney’s 47 percent comment, even though it was 100 percent factually inaccurate. It seems like there is a high level of hypocrisy with the folks engaged in this debate.

An article by Jeffrey Frankel, a Harvard professor who previously served as a member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, examines the psychological makeup of the types of people who vote red or blue.

Contrary to what Mitt Romney states in his secret video, first made public by liberal magazine Mother Jones, Frankel shows that the abusers of entitlements are significantly greater in red states.

“The unspoken truth is that, compared to “blue-staters,” those who live in red states exhibit less responsibility, on average, in their personal behavior: they are less physically fit, less careful in their sexual behavior, more prone to inflict harm on themselves and others through smoking and drinking, and more likely to receive federal subsidies,” Frankel writes in his Project Syndicate column.

According to Frankel’s analysis:

  • States with higher rates of obesity, according to statistical analysis, have a tendency to vote Republican.
  • States with higher rates of teen pregnancy (girls aged 15-17), have a tendency to vote Republican.

These same “red states” also voted against Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010 “though many of these unhealthy people free-ride on their fellow citizens when they show up uninsured in hospital emergency rooms.”

The Republican party used to be a lot more compassionate. When Ronald Reagan was president 65 percent of the party believed the government bared responsibility in helping the needy. Today that number is down to 40 percent. Even Mitt Romney’s father (who became quite wealthy) was a recipient of welfare when his family fled Mexico for the U.S. The Republican party and its members use the system to get themselves established financiallyvia student loans, small business loans and grantsthen once they succeed financially they feel no obligation to help out the very system that helped them succeed.

It appears the very core of Mitt Romney’s supporters, are the most likely to abuse entitlements. Perhaps it is difficult for Romney and the Republican party to see their own entitlement issues, because they feel entitled.

 

Full Mitt Romney fundraiser video part 1

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUEHpc6JKw8]

Full Mitt Romney fundraiser video part 2

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBj0joyCeag]

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