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"Romney's Theory of the Taker Class and Why it Matters"

  1. PrettyPanther profile image85
    PrettyPantherposted 5 years ago

    Ezra Klein explains how Mitt Romney 1) is wrong about the 47% being a "taker" class and 2) how the rich are using this lie to justify further tax cuts for the rich while cutting services to the poor.

    ". . . Romney is arguing that about 47 percent of the country is a "taker class" that pays little or nothing into the federal government but wants to tax the productive classes for free health care, food, housing, etc."

    "For what it's worth, this division of "makers" and "takers" isn't true. Among the Americans who paid no federal income taxes in 2011, 61 percent paid payroll taxes -- which means they have jobs and, when you account for both sides of the payroll tax, they paid 15.3 percent of their income in taxes, which is higher than the 13.9 percent that Romney paid. Another 22 percent were elderly.

    So 83 percent of those not paying federal income taxes are either working and paying payroll taxes or they're elderly and Romney is promising to protect their benefits because they've earned them. The remainder, by and large, aren't paying federal income or payroll taxes because they're unemployed. But that's a small fraction of the country."

    "Part of the reason so many Americans don't pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts that wiped out the income-tax liability for many Americans. That's why, when you look at graphs of the percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes, you see huge jumps after Ronald Reagan's 1986 tax reform and George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. So whenever you hear that half of Americans don't pay federal income taxes, remember: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush helped build that."

    "So notice what happened here: Republicans have become outraged over the predictable effect of tax cuts they passed and are using that outrage as the justification for an agenda that further cuts taxes on the rich and pays for it by cutting social services for the non-rich."  [emphasis added]

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezr … t-matters/

    1. LauraGT profile image91
      LauraGTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Nice explanation.  I'm not at all surprised about this comment, just like I wasn't surprised by Akin's comment.  They are just moments of being caught in stating the more blatant agenda of the Republican party. It's a bit more subtle and politically couched in the platform (and in the rhetoric), but it's the same ideology that's founded in a real resentment (hatred?) of the poor (not to mention racism and misogyny).

    2. American View profile image60
      American Viewposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Romney could have made those statements in a better and more clear fashion, but at the end of the day he is right. Almost half do not pay taxes on their Adjusted Gross Income.

      Is important to point out Adjusted Gross Income because that is the base that establishes who pay taxes and who does not. It is a given that those who are employees receiving weekly or biweekly checks pay payroll taxes. Part of those payroll taxes are Social Security and Medicare. You cannot get a tax refund on those monies and are not part of your Adjusted Gross Income. So you may ask why am I pointing that out, because that's is how the data in the report is skewed. The article points out that of all the Americans who did not pay federal income taxes in 2011 that 61% were employed and had payroll taxes that they paid. The author makes the argument that they are federal taxpayers and that's true to a point. But they try to mislead you is comparing the Social Security and Medicaid tax to Romney's personal income tax. Talk about spin.

      Here is the reality. everything you pay in payroll taxes percentage  is based on your gross income. Working Americans pay approximately 15% of their income to Social Security and Medicare, All people with income have to make this payment. Now it is tax time, the time were every American tries to bring their tax liability to the lowest that they can make it and anybody who denies it is lying. Nobody starts filling out those forms screaming I want to pay as much as I can. At the end there is a bottom-line dollar, is only three possible results, you owe money and have to make a payment, you're going to get a refund because you overpaid, or you paid no taxes at all. This is the category where the statistics are used to determine the percentage of taxpayers and the percentage who aren't taxpayers.So the guy who paid no income tax when he filed the end of the year has no Adjusted Gross Income tax liability but did pay 15% of his gross salary in taxes for Medicaid and Social Security, and so according to the author is a taxpayer. So let's compare that to Mitt Romney, According to the tax return he released he paid approximately 14% on his adjusted gross income of $22 million. In addition like everybody else he paid his payroll taxes of 15% on Social Security and Medicare meaning Mitt Romney paid a total of 37% in taxes on his gross income. The article left out that part when trying to compare the two. Talk about misleading.

      The reality is the 47% did not pay taxes into the general fund which pays for entitlements and everything else. Romney paid 14% more than they did.

      The problems economically today have nothing to do with what Reagan and Bush did with their tax cuts. They eased the burden on the middle class and now you want to fault them for it. When the Bush tax cuts were enacted, in 2003 the tax revenues for this country were only $1.7 trillion, they jumped the very next year and continued going up. In Bush's last year in office revenues were $2.523 trillion. The tax cuts did just what they were supposed to do raise revenues, The problem was Congress and the spending spree they went on with increased revenues. Just for the record revenues have dropped first year Obama took office and have not reached the levels they were under President Bush.Not to mention the drastically increased spending spree those occurred during this administration.

      I don't believe taxi increases or tax cuts are the right answer right now. I think there has to be a serious attempt to stop spending, and to go through the whole budget and honestly remove all fraud and waste. And Obama says there's no more cuts they can be made but please, no more pain $15 million per year to study the mating habits of bees, $800 for toilet seat,, government departments doing duplicate work, as a whole lot more I can list, it truly truly do that first, there's no true way to know if we have the ability to give a tax cut, or if there would be a need to raise taxes.

      1. PrettyPanther profile image85
        PrettyPantherposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I think one of the main points of the article is that it is Mitt Romney who is dissing the 47% who pay no income tax when it is his party who enacted most of the tax cuts to begin with.

        You went completely off topic, but I agree there needs to be a serious attempt to curtail spending that includes considerable cuts to the defense budget as well as changes to entitlements.  Until Republicans in Congress propose cuts in our bloated defense spending, I will not take their calls to decrease spending seriously.

        1. American View profile image60
          American Viewposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I do not think I went off topic. You presented an article about Romney talking about a "taker class". I was just looking to point out how misleading their information and presentation was.

          I can talk more about the topic, I just didn't want to. But here we go. Nowhere in the undercover video does Romney say "taker class", new it is tax cuts even come into this conversation. But in order to spin misinformation the author of the article says it and tries to elude the that is what Mitt Romney said.

          As I said in my last post Mitt Romney was right he just didn't state it properly. He is correct that approximately 47% do not pay taxes, he was talking about the half of them who are entitlements and want more, including to be taking care for the rest of their lives. And the other half believes it is the government's response Billy to take care of them whether they're collecting just food stamps or even nothing at all but  want to receive them. Record numbers of food stamp recipients, and if that's not bad enough the running advertisements to get more people to sign up. And latest, Obama removing the rule of having to look for work while on welfare removing the five-year limit.

          That undercover video is nothing more than realistic campaign strategy. He was talking about the people that will never vote for him no matter what, and he's right. If he wants to get elected he needs to work in the swing states in getting those independent voters, Obama is doing the same thing with the swing states, and he knows what voter groups he has firmly behind them that will never vote for him no matter what, and he's smart enough to know what to avoid and ignore.