Mitt Romney is getting excoriated for saying that he doesn’t care for 47 percent of Americans, who he claims don’t pay taxes and just want government favors.
But Romney isn’t the only candidate who voters should be enraged at for parroting the “47 Percent Lie.” Last year, Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon parroted the same lie during a conversation with a local news station:
MCMAHON: I’d like to see everyone pay their fair share. Forty-seven percent of the people today don’t pay any taxes, so let’s have a fair tax code where everybody pays their taxes
Watch McMahon’s remarks (they start at about a minute in):
The line that 47 percent of the country doesn’t pay taxes is just the latest in a long line of deceptive right-wing talking points.
It is true that 47 percent of Americans did not pay net federal income taxes in 2009 — the number is unusually high because of the depression in incomes following the recession, and a large chunk of it is also senior citizens who do not have an income to pay taxes on — but it is completely false that only 53 percent of Americans pay taxes.
For example, in terms of state and local taxes, the working poor actually pay a higher percentage of their income in these taxes in every state except for Vermont. In “Alabama, for example, low-income families (which make less than $13,000) pay 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while those making more than $229,000 pay just 4 percent.”
McMahon should be held accountable for touting this lie that Romney just recently used to bash poor and working-class Americans — and so should any other candidate who says the same thing.