Monday, September 17, 2012

President of the 1%

Mitt Romney was caught earlier this year on a clandestine video that got leaked to Mother Jones. On tape, he shows both his contempt toward and his ignorance of the people he claims to want to lead, calling 47% of the population, in essence, dependent freeloaders who don't pay taxes. For once, David Brooks actually nails the guy, as having lost all sense of the social contract and all sense of the people he's actually talking about. Okay, Brooks nails him until the last paragraph, where he runs off the rails, but whatever.

Bizarrely, Romney doesn't seem aware that people like me - who pay plenty of taxes and are happy to do so - are also in the class people who are going to vote for Obama no matter what. But here's the Times helpfully spelling out just who the people are who don't pay income taxes:

  • Half the households that don't pay income taxes are too poor to do so.
  • The other half is families using tax credits, and consists of senior citizens and low-income working families.
I'll just quote the Times hitting the nail over the head here:
Put bluntly, these are not households shirking their tax liabilities. The pool consists mostly of the poor, of relatively low-income working families and of old people. The tax code is specifically designed to reduce the burden on them. 
Indeed, the recession and its aftermath have left tens of millions of workers out of a job or underemployed, removing more households from payment of federal income taxes. Moreover, the Bush tax cuts – the signature Republican economic policy of the 2000s, which doubled the child tax credit, increased a number of other deductions and exemptions, and lowered marginal tax rates – erased millions of families’ federal income tax liabilities.


Tom DePlonty said...

This is apropos.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Indeed it is. I have linked to it in my next posting!

Joe Barron said...

Well, Brooks still thinks Romney is basically a decent guy who went astray when he tried to pretend he's something he's not. I think that's rubbish. Romney didn't know he was being taped when he made his remarks about us 47 percent, he felt comfortable among member sof his own demogrpahic, and we have no reason to think he wasn't speaking from what passes for his heart.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I agree - that is what I meant by "until he runs off the rails."