Fact-Checking the 47%

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    I’m not going to discuss the current political mess Willard “Mitt” Romney made for himself by letting his disdain for half of the American population be exposed for all of us to see. Instead, let’s look at just who these people are who pay no federal income tax. The Romney-Ryan campaign has already told us that they are disdainful of “fact-checking,” but I’m not. So, here goes:

    Fact: Among those who paid no federal income tax in 2010, there were 7,000 multi-millionaires.

    Fact: Among those who paid no federal income tax in 2010, 62% made less that $20,000 a year, the majority of them elderly Americans.

    Fact: The earned-income tax credit that enables some of the working poor to avoid paying federal income taxes, which became law in 1975, was greatly expanded during the Reagan Administration. Twenty-six states have now copied it, including Virginia. Why? Because it is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs we have.

    Fact: Payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare are paid by all working Americans on their gross income. These regressive taxes, with all people no matter their income paying the same percentage, comprise 36% of all federal revenue. If we add the payroll taxes that businesses pay for their employees, that segment of government tax income is just about equal to that of income taxes.

    Fact: The only people who can avoid payroll taxes are folks like Mitt Romney who make large annual incomes from dividends, capital gains, and deferred interest.

    I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. All Americans contribute to our government. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to try to create class warfare by making false comparisons between the supposed “makers” and the “takers.” Such talk, fed by obscene greed and selfishness, is extremely dangerous to the cohesiveness of the nation.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has concluded in a recent study that lowering tax rates on the top earners does not increase investment or result in greater economic growth. However, doing so does result in greater income inequality.

      “The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.”