The Time Element of Romney’s 47% Comment

This is old news at this point, but one thing that really bothered me about Romney’s 47% comment was that I didn’t hear any discussion of how income and access to government funds change throughout one’s life.

For example, on the tax side, plenty of people do not have to pay federal income tax because they’re very young and simply don’t make very much money, or they’re old and retired.

On the benefits side, pretty much the entire population will be eligible for social security and medicare at some point (to say nothing of other federal benefits. So when Romney criticized 47% of Americans for supposedly not paying income taxes and leeching off of the government, he was really criticizing 100% of Americans, since everyone other than a tiny sliver of the population will a.) pay income taxes and/or (probably “and”) b.) receive federal benefits. I would have liked to see the Democrats exploit this fact in more campaign ads or op-eds, and am surprised that they didn’t. Or did they, and I just missed it? I read a lot of liberal blogs and don’t recall seeing much discussion of it.

This post was prompted by a comment I saw in Scott Sumner’s excellent blog, “The Money Illusion:”

If ever there was a political party that deserved to lose an election, it was the brain dead GOP of 2012.  The party that thinks the fact that 47% of the public pays no income taxes means that 47% of the public pays no income taxes EVER.  (Do these people not have 19 year olds in college, or 75 year old parents on Social Security?)

Now the brain dead GOP has shown its skill at high stakes poker by countering Obama’s offer of a 39.6% high rate, with a counter-offer of 41.0%.  Let’s put aside the fact that the brain dead GOP doesn’t even seem to know that Obama’s actually proposing a 43.4% top rate, which means the brain dead GOP counter is 44.8%, or 53% in Sweden err California.



One Response to “The Time Element of Romney’s 47% Comment”

  1. Vernon Malcolm Says:

    The problem is that all those atomistic macho contractors have their wives working for the government to get them all benefits, not to mention the real reason they work for themselves is so no one can see them break the law or go out of business. This is why Galbraith advocated that we prefer big business, big labor and big government.

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