Received: Oct. 2
I must admit that I was more than a little shocked about the uproar of Mitt Romney’s remarks on the 47 percent that do not pay income taxes. Seriously, the IRS’s Web page backs up Mr. Romney’s figure as true. After checking further into it, however, it becomes clear that the press is careful in wording their reports on the objections to the clear and easily verified facts of his statement.
The problem is income taxes versus payroll taxes. The media report them as though they are the same. They are not. Payroll tax is the tax on all drawing a paycheck, to pay for items such as Social Security and Medicare. Income taxes are taken on the earnings of the paycheck and depending on that person’s tax bracket, is returned to them or they owe more to the IRS come April 15 each year. Please note that payroll taxes are taken by non-IRS agencies for the sole purpose of being redistributed to others, while income taxes are taken only by the IRS for the general fund allegedly to be used for constitutional purposes.
The IRS pages show 47 percent pay less than 3 percent of the total income tax bill. The math is inarguable, as is the truth of his statement. Getting angry about it will not change those facts.
The problem, however, is much bigger than that. We are a society of takers that is not limited to the 47 percent Romney was speaking of in his remarks.
We used to be a nation that prided itself on speaking the truth and shaming the devil. Today, we are wedded to sacred cows. We will not ask questions that might upset others. And if the correct question is asked, instead of honest and truthful answers, we fold, spindle and mutilate or outright lie in our responses to fit what we think the questioner wants to hear. We blithely sail on, full steam ahead and pretend the iceberg is not there.
You might not like what Romney said, but the facts show he is correct, morally and mathematically. The 47 percent have no dog in the hunt but insist that those of us that do share the spoils of that hunt and demand that it continue next year with a bigger slice of the spoils.
We can sail on into that iceberg or buck up and stop demanding things paid for with other people’s money, or we can pretend that Utopia is right around the corner if only we tax enough of the rich people to pay for what we refuse to earn.
When the 47 percent becomes 50.1 percent, we are over the cliff. The math cannot be denied.
When you vote, keep in mind that you will have to explain to your children and grandchildren why you voted to spend their future for a pipe dream. If they cut your throat for it, no one can blame them.