Jaco – Who Are The 47% ?

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Mitt Romney's comment about the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income tax comes straight from the conservative blogo-sphere. it was first floated last year by Erick Erikson who runs a conservative blog called RedState.com. The theme was that the 53 percent who pay federal income taxes are supporting the 47 per-cent who aren't. That the 47 per-cent are  moochers and leeches; the takers, not the makers.

So who are the 47 percent who don't pay federal income taxes? About half of them don't earn enough money to pay federal taxes. For a family of four that would be less than $26,400 a year. Another one-fourth are dad and mom or granpa and grandma. They are elderly who receive social security and medicare benefits.

The rest get things like the earned income tax credit for the working poor or tax credits because they're in college. And then there are about 4,000 families that pay no federal income tax and earn over a million dollars a year. The facts are a little inconvenient since people attacking the 47 percent as want listeners to assume that the 47 per cent are welfare chiselers and benefit rip-off artists.

A few? Sure. But the majority of people who don't pay federal income taxes do have jobs. And at those jobs they pay withholding taxes for things like social security and medicare. A lot of armed forces members don't pay federal income tax because they don't earn enough. And nobody's accusing them of being welfare cheaters.

Voters these days have a feeling that they're being ripped off. And taking aim at people who don't pay federal income tax would seem to be a political winner. Except if we're being ripped off it generally isn't by granny in her retirement home or the mom with two kids earning less than $25,000 a year.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.

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