Millionaire Tax Dodgers

It's always refreshing to hear a multimillionaire tax dodger smugly disparage poor people who "pay no income tax."

It’s always refreshing to hear a multimillionaire tax dodger smugly disparage poor people who “pay no income tax.”

Mitt Romney is the multimillionaire’s name – the man from Bain who says he should be our president. Well… not everyone’s president. At a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in the tony town of Boca Raton, Florida, Romney heaped scorn on the “forty-seven percent of Americans [who] pay no income tax.” These shirkers, Mitt declared, “believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” This from a man with three houses, 12 tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, and at least one secret Swiss bank account. He then asserted contemptuously that “my job is not to worry about those people.”

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And who are “those” people (who were dubbed “lucky duckies” by the Wall Street Journal for avoiding income taxes)? The poor! Mostly, they’re Social Security retirees whose benefits are too low to be taxed, poorly-paid soldiers in Afghanistan and single moms whose meager paychecks entitle them to a child tax credit, disabled veterans, and workers who’ve been maimed on the job. Luckie duckies, indeed.

Yet, despite their poverty and Romney’s snarkiness, they do pay lots and lots of taxes – payroll taxes, federal fees, sales taxes, local and state assessments, etc. In fact, the poorest Americans pay a higher percentage of their income in state, local, and other federal levies than the richest pay. People making under $20,000 a year, for example, pay nearly a fourth of their income in such taxes – a far bigger percentage than Romney himself pays.

Meanwhile, Mitt didn’t mention that there’s one special group in the No Tax Club he mocks: millionaires! Last year, some 4,000 households with income above a million dollars paid zero federal income tax. Where’s his scorn for these real tax dodgers?

“4,000 of the richest in Romney’s ‘47%'” www.cnn.com, September 18, 2012.

“Who’s on America’s Side?” www.nytimes.com, July 17, 2012.

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