Election 2014  
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Myth Romney's Big Propaganda About Taxes

We all pay taxes, but not all of us pay federal income taxes.

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The Wall Street Journal called them the “Lucky Duckies.” It’s a publication dedicated to finance, economics, and business. Yet when they dropped the two magic modifying words – Federal and Income – they instantly convinced themselves that half the people in America were dependent drones. They were so traumatized by this self-inflicted delusion that they wrote, “as fewer and fewer people are responsible for paying more and more of all taxes, the constituency for tax cutting, much less for tax reform, is eroding. Workers who pay little or no taxes can hardly be expected to care about tax relief for everybody else. They are also that much more detached from recognizing the costs of government.”

This leap of counter-factual looniness was not limited to the Journal. The Heritage Foundation ran this headline on their website: Government Dependency Grows As “Non-paying” Taxpayers Hits Record Level. The Constitutional Conservative took the FEDERAL INCOME TAX statistics, dropped the two defining words entirely, and concluded that “The top 1% pay 22.7% of taxes. The top 10% pay 50% of taxes. The top 20% pay 65.3% of taxes. The top 40% pay 84.3% of taxes.”

On some level it would be nice to think that the leaders on the Right are cynical, clever propagandists. That they know they’re deforming the statistics to make it seem like the rich are doing the heavy lifting, that only half of Americans are actually working, and their taxes are going to support the freeloading, loafing, non-tax paying parasites. But it doesn’t seem to be the case. They seem to really believe, as Romney did when he was caught on tape in a private meeting, that 47% who don’t pay FEDERAL INCOME TAXES, don’t pay TAXES, and the reason that they don’t is that government handouts have made them too dependent to bother going to work. 

Each one of our big tax cuts has only been a tax cut for the very rich. For the country as a whole, and for most other people, it’s been a tax shift. However much they save on their FEDERAL INCOME TAX, other taxes go up. That’s why a couple making $20,000 a year ended up paying the same actual rate as a couple making half a million a year.

Now for some truly spectacular flim-flam. Keep your eye on the pea. Mitt Romney says, "We're going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent.”

Wait a minute. He’s only cutting FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. Forty-seven percent of us already pay zero taxes in that form. No cut at all for half of us. While he’s at it, he wants to cut taxes that only impact the very rich, estate and gift taxes, so that his kids can get his millions tax free. All together, 57% of the cuts would go to the top 1%.

See what you can do, just by dropping a couple of …. adjectives. 

Larry Beinhart is the author of "Wag the Dog," "The Librarian," and "Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin." His latest book is Salvation Boulevard. Responses can be sent to beinhart@earthlink.net.
 
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