Romney’s theory of the “taker class,” and why it matters (Ezra Klein's WonkBlog)
Ezra Klein on Romney’s theory of the “taker class,” and why it matters
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.
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.
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.