Something that is true: when people are liars, when they have bad intent and do bad stuff, when their ambitions to achieve power override any semblance of simple common decency, eventually they will be found out. It may not be for years and years, or uncovered to the fullest extent, but it will happen. Law enforcement professionals and psychologists know this: a combination of stupidity, over-confidence, rashness, and sometimes underlying guilt will trip up most people who seem to have little conscience or goodwill towards much of anyone.
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.
Why is this a deeply reprehensible thing to say? Because it is a damaging, complete lie. Unless Romney is so sheltered and ignorant that he has no comprehension of the demographics of taxation, which I doubt, sort of, what he has done here is feed the billionaire and millionaire barracudas more hateful fish food to further encourage them to donate to his campaign in order to beat the lazy, entitled f-ups that receive services from the government.
The cruelty of Romney's statement is almost overwhelming, especially when a simple fact-check can tell anyone who is inclined to question his math or motives that:
- 50 percent are in this category because their incomes are so low that they are less than the sum of the standard deduction and personal and dependent exemptions for which the household qualifies. As TPC Senior Fellow Roberton Williams has noted, “the basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.”** Some 62 percent of the households who will owe no federal income tax in 2011 have incomes under $20,000.
- Another 22 percent do not owe federal income tax because they are elderly people who benefit from tax provisions to aid senior citizens, such as the exemption of Social Security benefits from income tax for beneficiaries who have incomes below $25,000 for single filers and $32,000 for joint filers and the higher standard deduction for the elderly.
- Another 15 percent (of the households who don’t owe federal income tax) don’t owe the tax because they are low-income working families with children who qualify for the child tax credit, the child and dependent care tax credit, and/or the earned income tax credit, and the credit(s) eliminate their income tax liability.***