2012 September 19 Wednesday
But Was Romney's 47 Percent Comment Wrong?

Consider all the people who do not work and who collect a government check. People who are old or on disability or welfare or criminals who sit in prisons and really mentally ill people who sit in care facilities or who collect unemployment. They might not add up to 47 percent. But still others get stuff from the government even as they work some. How far off is Romney with the 47% number?

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who 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.

There's a negative income tax for low earners. So a lot of people get money from the government, a substantial portion of the population.

What I'd like to see quantified: what percentage of the population are net taxpayers? In other words, what percentage of the population pay more in taxes than they get in subsidized housing, foodstamps, medical care, unemployment, old age benefits, and other stuff paid for by the government? Is it even half the population?

Whether Romney's 47% number is accurate he's closer to the truth than Obama's liberal supporters in the media want to admit.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 September 19 08:58 PM  Politics Redistribution


Comments
stan chaz said at September 19, 2012 9:46 PM:

Romney and Company smirk ...and smile ...and say to us:
TO HELL with all those “moochers” and “free-loaders”
receiving Medicare, or Veterans Benefits, or Pell Grants,
or Social Security, or Unemployment, or Medicaid, or Food Stamps, or on Disability,
Romney says TO HELL with all of us that are struggling to stay afloat,
to those in the Middle-class, and to those hoping to get there.
Romney says TO HELL with the hungry, the homeless, the helpless,
and the hopeless, ....to all the biblical “least of these”.
Romney says TO HELL with the “47% of America” -- the “losers”
that Romney so easily dismisses and disrespects as “dependents”.
Romney wines... INCREDIBLY ...that we’re shamelessly sponging off of him,
and off of all of his poor-poor-poor super-rich friends
.....all those super-rich folks who want to BUY this ELECTION,
.....all those super-rich folks who want to BUY this COUNTRY.
Trickle-down economics? Hey, sure , let them eat cake. It’s all the same. Always has been.
It’s crumbs for us, and Cadillacs and car elevators, and loopholes & lower taxes for them.
That is, if they, and the bailed-out banks, and the big corporations pay ANY taxes at all....
If THEY get a break- they deserve it. But If YOU get a break, it’s a handout. BULL!
Tell me - who are the REAL “takers”, who are the REAL creators,
who are the TRUE workers and builders?
Wo are the REAL “victims” here?
Who gave their LIVES and limbs ...in unpaid and un-needed wars?
Whose sweat, .....on whose brows, has BUILT this great country?
Was it the Romney’s of this world ...or us?
But we still have a voice. It’s called our VOTE.
Loud and Clear -- Just say NO.
Say NO to Romney & Company ...and what they stand for.
This is STILL our country. Our children’s country.
And we mean to KEEP it that way. Period.

Jared said at September 19, 2012 10:37 PM:

You'd have to factor in rent-seeking to get an accurate picture here.

For example, a lawyer pays taxes on his income and doesn't get food stamps, but his income derives from rents provided by the government, from law licenses to various laws and regulations that help make work for him. You'd have to find out how much rent he enjoys and then compare this with how much tax he pays.

Mercer said at September 20, 2012 7:41 AM:

"There's a negative income tax for low earners. "

It is not only low income if you have children. It is common for households earning up to 50k to not owe income tax. This is the result of the child tax credit which was doubled under Bush. It is dumb of GOP members to complain about more people not paying as the result of laws they passed. They can't think coherently about taxes. Here is what increased non payers in the last decade:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit


I would rather give tax breaks for middle income parents than for owning real estate or operating a hedge fund.

Mike M said at September 20, 2012 10:42 AM:

I don't think Romney has an issue with those who "are struggling to stay afloat." I think his problem and comments were directed at those who don't want to bother struggling to stay afloat, but who feel that they are entitled to have the rest of us struggle so that they can not only stay afloat, but enjoy the same level of "comfort" enjoyed by those who are out there struggling every day. There also seems to be a misperception that the big banks and corporations are the Romney supporters when in fact these folks are typically Obama supporters. In fact, Obama supporters tend to fall into four camps: (1) the entertainers and college age kids who think it's cool or politically correct to vote for Obama, (2) blacks who vote for him because he's black, (3) bankers and corporate fat cats who are buying favors, and (4) people willing to trade their votes for their entitlements. Most Americans have no big gripe about providing a safety net for others who are truly UNABLE to work. What they object to is setting up an entitlement hammock for those who prefer to kick back and demand a high level of benefits while others work. A safety net shouldn't be something that provides yo with a level of comfort that encourages you to not work. It should keep you alive, but still leave you uncomfortable enough that you have an incentive to get a job - any job. Instead, the entitlement crowd has been taught by the left not only that society owes them benefits, but that they should demand a level of benefits consistent with the level of comfort enjoyed by middle class workers and above.

Black Death said at September 20, 2012 11:14 AM:

I've been lukewarm about Romney's candidacy, but this remark has raised him in my estimation. I think forty-seven percent is an exaggeration, but probably not too much of one. The dependency class, which has been growing for years, has really expanded dramatically under Obama. We now have 47 million people dependent on the government for what they eat (food stamps), plus welfare (Obama has rolled back Clinton's reforms), public housing, Medicaid, etc. Of course, these folks pay no income tax, but half of the employed people don't pay any either. Plus we have the ever-expanding pool of government employees (some of whom are necessary, of course) and their wonderful unions, and the high-flying rent seekers in industries such as banking, finance, automobiles and "green energy". These people vote, of course, and what they vote for is MORE from the government. Romney seems to "get it" that this can't go on forever, and, as someone once said, if something can't go on forever, it will stop, and we may already have past the tipping point where the decline is irreversible. What will the crash look like? Greece, Spain, Portugal and now France provide a clue of what will happen when the wheels start to come off. But there won't be any Germany or ECB to help the US, so we'll have to deal with the mess ourselves. It won't be pretty.

Style Nazi said at September 22, 2012 12:11 PM:

Paragraphs

are

your

friend.

Lono said at September 24, 2012 9:12 AM:

You would have to be pretty naive to believe Romney has any intentions except to further enrich the current 1%.

Ron Paul accurately pointed out how candidates like Romney spout a lot of hot air about self-sufficiency and accountability - but still quite hypocritically support bailout after bailout for the corporate kleptocracy.

Also - so now the so-called "greatest generation" who are receiving the money from the programs they paid into (social security/medicare) are now moochers? - very interesting that.


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