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The Etch-a-Sketch 1040Last Monday, I surmised that one of the likely reasons Romney refuses to release his tax returns is because we would discover that there were times the multi-multi-millionaire paid NOTHING in income taxes. With each passing day, I become more certain that will be the result (in addition to learning he is FAR richer that we already know). Mitt’s wife Ann has been making the rounds lately, and with all the obliviousness of Marie Antoinette, is repeating her husbands’ claim they they have “given all the information you peons people need to know.” We’ll see how long THAT lasts. Once the truth gets out, how does Mitt then continue to make the case The Rich are paying “too much” and need a massive tax CUT to encourage them to create jobs? It’s basically THE VERY FOUNDATION OF CONSERVATISM that “tax cuts spur job growth”. Take that off the table, and what are they left with? Abortion? Immigration?

But then I remembered… just over a year ago, Republicans were aghast by a report from “the non-partisan Tax Policy Center” stating that “47% of Americans households will pay no Federal Income taxes” (the earliest reference to the report I could find was this October 2009 report on “CNN Money”). Outraged, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) took to the floor of Congress in 2011 to decry the fact that More than half of U.S. Households did not pay any income taxes in 2009″, and Teanut Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) also decried, “Fifty-one percent — that is, a majority of American households — paid no income tax in 2009. Zero. Zip. Nada.”

“Newsmax”, the Right-wing “outrage-machine” masquerading as “news”, repeated Hatch’s claim, followed by Democrats noting that the Poor DO pay taxes, which Newsmax countered with a quote from Hatch’s Finance Committee co-chair noted DINO Max Baucus-(D MT): “The question shouldn’t be what kind of taxes people pay, but whether every American is paying his or her fair share“.

Fox blowhard-supreme Sean Hannity, who never let the facts get in the way of a good argument, helped stoke the fires of Right-Wing outrage by falsely claiming 50 percent of households “don’t pay taxes”… something the original report never claimed (only “Federal income” taxes).

Following the report, Conservative blogger/blowhard Erick Erickson of “RedState.com” smugly responded to the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd’s claim of “we are the 99%” by creating a website entitled “We Are the 53 Percent”, claiming “the 53% is subsidizing the 47%” that paid “no” taxes.

The 2009 report was such a huge story on the Right that as recently as last February, Fox Nation was still reporting it as “news” (following a 2012 update by Heritage still using figures from their own 2010 report.)

Of course, the fact that ALL of those “freeloaders” living in poverty DO pay some taxes (state/local/FICA, etc) was irrelevant. The very IDEA that so many people (are so poor that they) pay NO Federal Income Taxes was an affront to their idea that you must pay taxes to be a contributing member of society, and those who don’t are leeches.

DailyKOS produced a detailed takedown of the “50% pay no taxes” myth last year, noting only in passing that “4.5% of the tax breaks” that allow some people to get away with paying “NO income taxes” are for the wealthy, and ergo will never be repealed (nor even criticized) by the GOP. The original 2009 report… for which there is no link… reported that “6,000 people (1.5%) of those Americans who paid no Federal Income Taxes, made more than $1-Million dollars” (ibid CNN Money link), with another 17,000 (2%) making over $500,000/year. A small percentage to be sure. But keep in mind that just the 400 Richest Americans earn more than the bottom 50% combined. That’s 1/15th of that 1.5%. Talk about “misdirected outrage”.

It is just accepted as fact by the Right that the wealthy are already carrying the burden of supporting the country thru exorbitant taxation, while tens of millions of lazy Americans on Welfare (including unemployment & Social Security) are getting a free ride. “Is every American paying their fair share”, they asked? If (When) we learn Mitt Romney paid NO income taxes in some years, will all those Right-Wingers that were livid for two years over all those poor people getting a “free-ride” apologize and call Romney a “leech” or a “freeloader”? Not only will they not apologize or criticize Romney in any way, they’ll dig-in their heals and DEFEND him as “a job-creator”.
 

(UPDATE 7/31/2012: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed that a Bain Investor told him Romney “hasn’t paid taxes for 10 years.” Hate to say, “I told ya so”, folks!)


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