So he thinks almost half of all Americans are moochers?
If you’re surprised by that, you’ve been in a coma.
The myth that “Half of the American people are mooching off the other half” has been a country club fantasy ever since the New Deal. But, true to form, Mitt’s facts are a little skewed.
There’s a difference between paying taxes on income and paying income tax. Every working person pays income taxes, including FICA, social security tax, SUTA taxes, FUTA tax, and medicare taxes. If you get a paycheck, you pay those taxes.
It is true however, that because of deductions, some people (after paying federal payroll taxes) end up paying zero federal taxes on their incomes. But it’s not just the poor who aren’t paying taxes, and Mitt Romney sure knows that trick!
The facts are that families with incomes of less than $30,000 make up the majority (99 percent) of all the nontaxable returns. They’re known as the “working poor.” They pay income taxes, but not taxes on their income. And reasonable people know that annual earnings of $30,000 ($15 per hour) won’t go very far for a family of four. It won’t even get you dinner at a Mitt Romney fund raiser.
It’s also a fact that 475,000 people filed nontaxable federal returns with income between $75,000 and $100,000 in 2009. Still, that’s a pittance to Romney, who recently told reporters that the middle class is made up of people who earn between $200,000 and $250,000 per year.
Are you part of Romney’s “middle class?”
The working poor are eligible for deductions which allow them to eliminate or significantly lower their tax liability. These deductions are primarily an aid to families, the elderly, the disabled, the poor and those on active military duty. Mr. Romney may not know about those deductions because he doesn’t have any poor people or military veterans in his family.
But, there are other deductions tailored specifically for folks like Mr. Romney, and he knows the ins and outs of those deductions like he knows the banking laws of the Cayman Islands.
That brings us to the untaxed millionaires in our society. More than 1,400 millionaires paid zero federal taxes on their incomes in 2009. Do you suppose Mitt believes all those millionaires are moochers voting for Obama?
There’s a better chance that some of those millionaires who pay zero taxes were sitting in on Romney’s fund raiser when the video caught him with his silver foot in his mouth.
There are also question remaining about Mr. Romney’s own taxes. He released a summary last week that says he paid an average of about 20% income tax but he refuses to release specific information.
Romney did release a full tax return for one year. It shows that, even though he made over $21.5 million, he paid a tax rate 15 percent lower than mine. Some people might call that “mooching,” but I attribute it to a sense of entitlement. The old “Golden Rule” — Those with the gold want to make the rules. And some people certainly feel entitled to it.