I have posted about this before, but I just don’t get the fetish some people have for the federal income tax where paying it magically makes you an upstanding citizen in a way that other kinds of taxes don’t. You hear a lot of rhetoric about how many people “don’t pay taxes,” but when you look at the stats, what they’re referring to is federal income tax. Most folks are paying other kinds of taxes: prominently – sales taxes, payroll taxes.
Romney has taken that a step further, apparently. Saying that 47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax and, therefore, they 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. 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.”
To state the obvious, lots of people don’t pay federal income taxes because they don’t have much money. More interesting is the question of why they don’t have much money. This Romney quote gives us insight into why he thinks 47% of the population doesn’t make enough money. They’re lazy and dependent on the government.
You know what? There are lazy people out there. I’ve seen them. Able bodied deadbeats who just can’t be bothered to work and who aren’t dead because they mooch off of family, the government, whoever is stupid enough to give to them. But, you know what else? Nowhere near 47% of the American population is like that. Most folks either bust their ass or are willing to bust their ass to provide for themselves and their families. However, our national mythology notwithstanding, hard work is no guarantee of prosperity.
But, just because a person’s work or willingness to work hasn’t made them rich doesn’t mean they ought to be denigrated as a moocher who casts a vote based on a calculation about who is most likely to give them a handout.