Myths About the '47%'

For starters, they do pay taxes, just not federal income tax
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2012 8:40 AM CDT
A Texas woman protests with others outside the hotel hosting a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Dallas on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(Newser) – Now that "the 47%" is officially a thing thanks to Mitt Romney's video, the Washington Post debunks some misconceptions about the group in its Five Myths feature, including:

  • They pay no taxes: It's true that about 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax, but most of them pay plenty of other taxes. (Think payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, state taxes,etc.) A family of three that makes $30,000 wouldn't pay federal income tax, but it could lose 15% of that income to the others.

  • Status never changes: The 47% isn't a "special club with lifetime membership." It's a fluid group, and people move in an out as their circumstances change. New grads may not pay, but they will when their incomes rise. Ditto with the unemployed when they find work. But when these people retire, they stop again.
Click for the full list, including the misconception that the group votes Democrat as a bloc.

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