Just weeks ago, Governor Mitt Romney was passionately accusing President Obama of running a campaign of “division and anger and hate.” But after the release of a secret recording of a closed-door Romney fundraiser, obtained and posted by Mother Jones, it could be argued that the Governor is the one dividing the country. Romney draws a line between the 53% of Americans who pay federal income taxes, and the 47% who don’t, whom he says he will “never convince” to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Romney also calls this 47% “victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”
We did some digging to see who makes up this group of Americans – the so-called “forty-seven percenters.” While they may not pay federal income tax, the majority of them still pay the payroll tax. According to the Tax Policy Center, more than a quarter of all Americans pay the payroll tax even though they do not pay federal income tax. But here’s the great irony. Among this group, the total amount they paid in taxes as a percent of their income averaged 15.3%.
That means that these Americans, who Governor Romney calls “victims,” actually pay a greater rate in taxes than the Republican nominee paid in 2010 – the only full year of tax returns he has released so far. Before Romney tries to convince the 47% to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he may want to take a look at himself.
Check out our full breakdown of the 47% and the panel reaction in the video below.