Interestingly enough over the last couple of days, I have seen some people defending Mitt Romney’s most recent flub – relating to the “47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes” – and referring to them as exclusively Obama supporters who “mooch” off of the Federal system, expect something for free, are dependent on government to take care of them and “who do not take personal responsibility for their lives.”
I say “interestingly,” because many of these people I know for a fact are included in the same 47% that they are denigrating…evidently, taxes are a subject that eludes their understanding.
Let’s take a look at who these “moochers” – according to them and alluded to in Romney’s comments – actually are:
- Active military personal.
- Retired seniors.
- People with Disabilities.
- The long-term unemployed.
- Wealthier people whose deductions outweigh their tax debts.
- People who make less than $30k a year.
It is true that 47% of Americans do not pay Federal income tax. However:
- 61% of those work and do pay federal payroll taxes, which funds Social Security, Medicare and contributes to the system.
- 22% are senior citizens who benefit from higher tax deductions and Social Security benefits that aren’t taxed…and who have worked their entire lives, contributing to the system that they are now benefiting from in retirement.
- The remaining 17% is made up of our men and women actively serving in the military, students, people with disabilities and the unemployed.
Romney’s intention is clear, which is to push the tired and old class-warfare narrative that the rest of us are paying for a bunch of freeloaders who sit at home all day collecting welfare checks and food stamps…and that these people are all Obama supporters.
The President’s detractors point to Obama’s own “hidden camera moment” during the 2008 election in which he said that there are those in the mid-west who, “cling to their guns and to their bibles.” However, there is one major and important difference between that video and Mr. Romney’s…Obama still wanted and asked for their vote. He even included this sentiment in his 2008 victory speech, as he addressed those who supported John McCain, “Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your president.”
If you compare the two videos, the differences are stark. One is dismissive, while the other shows empathy and a desire to convince people that things can improve and a desire to earn their votes.
I do not fall into any of the “47%” categories that I listed above…with the exception that I am, indeed, voting for President Obama.
At least he doesn’t refer to almost half of the population as people in which, “It’s not my job to worry about.”
By: Dana Sciandra