Who Are the 47% of Americans Who Don't Pay Income Tax? (VIDEO)

Politics at Play 55

mother jones still from romney videoNow that Mitt Romney has had the Foot-in-Mouth Moment to end all Foot-in-Mouth Moments, I bet the only stat we'll be citing until Election Day (and likely, even after) will be "47 percent." After all, that's the percentage of Americans Romney said "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."

Can't believe I'm about to put these two words next to one another, but -- Romney's right ... about one thing: According to the Tax Policy Center, in 2011, 46.4 percent of American households paid no federal income tax. But let's explore WHO these Americans who he says won't "take personal responsibility and care for their lives" truly are ...

  1. People who don't make enough money will not qualify for income tax. (Duh.) Four of five households that do not owe federal income tax earn less than $30,000 a year. The Tax Policy Center elaborates: A couple with two children with an income of $26,400 had no income tax liability in 2011, due to an $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each. But, it bears noting, these people will still pay federal payroll taxes and state and local income taxes.
  2. Unemployed. If you're not making any income, you can't pay income tax.
  3. Underemployed. See #1.
  4. SAHMs. See #2.
  5. Americans on permanent disability. See #2.
  6. Some middle-income/middle-class are exempt. 12.8 percent who don't pay are those with incomes between $33,542 and $59,486.
  7. But higher-income earners are included here, too. 78,000 tax filers with incomes between $211,000 and $533,000 paid no income taxes; 24,000 households with incomes of $533,000 to $2.2 million paid no income taxes, and 3,000 tax filers with incomes above $2.2 million paid no income taxes.
  8. Seniors. The elderly -- who worked for years and then retired -- make up about one-fifth of all non-income tax payers. They benefit from the exclusion of some Social Security income.
  9. Certain parents. Some parents benefit from tax credits for children and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  10. Republicans. Ironically, The Atlantic reports, 8 of the top 10 states with the highest number of non-payers live in red states.

More from The Stir: The 47% Responds to Mitt Romney in 15 Quotable Zingers

Here's the original clip/quote if you want to cringe all over again ...

Do these facts change how you feel about Romney's sweeping statement?

Image via MotherJonesVideo/YouTube

2012 election, economy, taxes, mitt romney


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

wamom223 wamom223

Yeah shesliketx you keep blaming the fillibusters GOP for the loss of jobs in this country.  I own a small business, so do four of my friends, my father, my brother, and my uncle.  We aren't hiring because of Obama and his threat of tax hikes, and what he has done with health care.  I am so thankful for you husbands service but so sorry you don't know who to blame for you problem.  You vote for Obama again and you have no one to blame but yourself.

shesl... shesliketx

You have a problem with having to provide a benefit plan to your employees?

God forbid they be able to take their children to a dr and not have to pay a bill for 10 years.

bleed... bleedingheart8D

Anyone who votes for Romeny is a fool. He DOES NOT CARE about this country! He care only for money. Period!

Corey Backman Nicolosi

Yeah bleedingheart. All he cares about is money. That's why he ran the Olympics and the state of Massachusetts for a salary of $0.00. Such a money grubbing scum! Mitt Romney is a better person than most of us. Have no idea where you people get the whole Mitt Romney is evil meme.

wamom223 wamom223

You are damn right I do sheliketx.  I would way rather pay them a higher wage and let them pick a plan this is right for them and their family.  At this time we have no employees, but when we did we gave them the choice, a raise or health care.  Guess what they picked?  Life is different when your a money maker not a money taker. Seriously, why would you want someone else to pick your plan?  I wish you all the best, honey,  but only because of the sacrifice you and your family are making for our country.  Your views are part of the problem not part of the solution.  Companies all across the nation are trying to figure out right now how many people they have to lay off to pay for the rest of their employees insurance.  I would way rather no one lose their job and people get their own insurance.  Also it worries me that you trust our government with health care when our soldiers are getting such shitty insurance now.  

AniAngel AniAngel

I'll be happy to pick my plan when one of my options is the same plan the house and senate get. Obama care, originally known as romney care isn't a good solution. All the other developed countries have managed functional plans that allow better access for everyone, obviously the USA should be able to offer the same or better.

wamom223 wamom223

AniAngel we are bigger than those countries and we are already low on doctors.  No one wants to spend eight years in school and almost $200,000 to have a job where you don't make any money.  We need government out of the way and let it become competitive.  I think it would work, because of what has happened in the plastic surgery industry.  

Pinkmani Pinkmani

It's really upsetting when people misinterpret what either candidate says. And it's even more upsetting when their words are taken out of context. I pay attention to both sides by watching the entire speech instead of these 30 second clips from Fox News, CNN, and ABC.

Even though I don't plan on voting for Mr. Romney, I know what he is talking about. Do I like what he says? 9 times out of 10, no. 

tinyp... tinypossum

Regardless of whether or not you like what he's done, when Obama was elected, he said the even though 47% of the electorate didn't vote for him he would still be their president and still do his best for all of us. Romney has now informed us that he'll only be president for the people who vote for him. The rest of the country can go screw itself. What kind of despot is that?!? Do we really want someone in the White House who doesn't give a shit about half the people in this country? 

And all you who think that 47% of the people in this country are on the government teat are clueless. The "welfare cow" is a tiny percentage of that 47%.  And yeah, if I was part of the working poor, I'd be damn offended that the man who wants to be my president thinks I'm a deadbeat. I'm actually an upper-middle class, working tax payer and I'm damn offended. If you aren't, you are delusional. 


21-30 of 55 comments First 12345 Last