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Blog of Mass Destruction

"Producers" And "Parasites"

By The Reverend Published: September 19, 2012

In a late October speech at the Heritage Foundation, well before he became the vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan warned, “We’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition.”

“We’re dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said when he began his presidential campaign.

"There are makers and takers, there are producers and there are parasites," she (Romney spokesperson, Mary Matalin) said " yesterday.

Ezra Klein....

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.

So, of the 47% of Americans who don't pay income tax, 83% of them either have a job or are seniors, which leaves 17%, many of whom are unemployed as a result of the bankster crash.

Now, let's review Mitt's candidacy-destroying words in May to a group of ultra-wealthy donors...

[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Mitt will never be able to convince 61% of that 47% number who don't pay income taxes to "take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Those in the 61% work jobs and pay payroll taxes and other taxes but Mitt Romney, no matter what he says, can't convince that 61% who have jobs to "take personal responsibility."

Mitt will never be able to convince 22% of that 47% number who don't pay income taxes to '"take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Those in the 22% are seniors who have already paid their income taxes during their working years and now don't make enough in retirement to pay any additional income taxes. According to Mitt, however, those elderly retirees can not be "convinced to take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Seen in the light of the facts, Mitt Romney's claims about the 47% are totally ridiculous and outrageous, especially for a presidential candidate.

But this is what happens when a presidential candidate must mimic the divisive and hateful language of the extremist Tea Party conservatives. The "makers" and "takers" language has been a hallmark of Tea-types for several years. Commenters here on this lowly blog have used that very language to denigrate those who work a job rather than own a business.

Ezra Klein again...

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.


Some of those tax cuts for the poor were there to make the tax cuts for the rich more politically palatable. “Do you think we wanted to include a welfare payment to people who don’t pay taxes and call it a tax cut?” A top Bush administration official once asked me. “No. But that’s what we needed to do to get it done.”

Summarizing....Republican presidents helped create a situation where fewer Americans paid income taxes. They did so in order to make massive tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans more palatable. Now Republicans like Romney point to the number of Americans who don't pay income taxes, and blame those very Americans for never wanting to "take personal responsibility or care for their lives."

Which leads to the Ezra Klein punchline....

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.

It always boils down to the same thing for Republicans......more tax cuts for the already wealthy.




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