Making fun of a presidential candidate statements ( both in context and out ) seem to be the media’s tactic, code name, Search and Destroy Opposition. Of course they will never expose their candidate of choice to such mistreatment. Even if there is a slight slip of the tongue. But for the opposition, a slip, is all that is needed to exploit to the greatest extent, no matter how honest or meaningless the slip truly was.
Mitt Romney was answering a question from a supporter and was caught saying something that could be reshaped into something resembling like he was disrespecting the poor, people on welfare, Medacade, Medicare, or some other part of society captured in the social net provided by the government. It was a reference to the IRS own statements of who is paying the federal tax burdens. Some 47% of the population isn’t paying federal taxes. So Romney remarked; paraphrasing, ” They probably wont be supporting the reforms that I and the GOP are proposing, because they are already getting something for nothing. It is going to be hard to get them to vote against that.” As I said paraphrasing Romney, as to what he was saying or meaning.
The fact is it sounds bad. But it is more truth then some horrible mistake.
Fact is 47% of the population is not paying federal taxes… Well at least by the numbers. They pay through pay-role deductions, but then get their money back by way of tax refunds.
The democrats like to say that even people who pay SSI, with deductions from their pay checks, but still got a refund of the federal tax portions, are paying taxes. Truth is SSI is a forced savings account at best, not money paid into a system to be used for the general funds. But money put aside with SSI ( I know a joke with that ) is to be use in retirement. Federal taxes are what the government gets to use to build all of those roads and bridges that leads to all of that success that You didn’t build on your own. Not SSI payments taken from your pay checks.
So who are the 47%, if everyone pays taxes? Surly 47% of the population isn’t on welfare, or some social net ( people on SSI retirement included.)?
Well meet Steve: Steve is a hard-working man, married, 6 kids, and a home and two cars, and is one of the 47%. Just to give some back ground.
Mindwarpfx; Steve welcome to this interview.
Steve ; Thanks so much for letting me tell you and the country my story.
Mindwarpfx; So How is it that you are one of the 47%?
Steve; Well I didn’t think of myself as on of the 47% at first. I thought that those were people who got government payments like, SSI retirement, military pensions, disability payments do to injuries on the job. Welfare payments of course, and people on food stamps and so on. People who needed help to get through these tough times.
Mindwarpfx; So are you and your family also getting help from the government?
Steve; No! Not at all. WE are a two income household. Holding our own for the moment.
Mindwarpfx; So how is it that you aren’t paying taxes, are you just not making payments, tax evasion or some other circumstances? Not that I’m implying anything, just trying to understand along with the rest of the country after reading this interview.
Steve; No, not at all. WE pay with pay-roll deductions. But at the end of the year we get all of our federal portion of the taxes that was withheld back in form of a refund. totally on the up, and up!
Mindwarpfx; So your, well let me be frank… Your poor, not making all that much? Or is it to forward to ask, how much are you making?
Steve; ( Laughed a bit ) No. We aren’t poor. comfortable. I would describe our situation. We, both my wife and I, make about 80K per year together. With 6 kids, a home tax deduction for mortgage interest, along with personal deductions. We are getting back in form of tax refunds the same amount that we pay in federal taxes, tax withheld out of our checks. So in-essence we don’t pay federal taxes, and that puts us in the cross hairs of Romney camp of being one of the 47%. Not by design though. Not that it is a bad thing. The democrats along with the republicans are trying to make it sound like that people like us are mootch’ers off the government. But that’s not the case. The democrats see us as needing to pay our fair share, and the republicans see us as destitute moochers. But we are people who pay the IRS code just what it tells us to pay. No more! No less!
Mindwarpfx; Do you already know who your voting for?
Steve; Well that a bit of a loaded question. What does it matter? It doesn’t change the fact of what kind of tax situation this country is in. It is a spending problem and nothing more, so who of the two do we have saying anything in the lines of controlling spending, or reducing debt?
Mindwarpfx; I see. You do have a leaning to the right side of the political aisle. Not that it matters all that much. I was….
Steve; Yea. ( He leans forward with a smile ) you were just looking for the answer of, I am the type that is looking for the political idea or politician that will keep giving me and my family money for free, by telling you who I will vote for……. Besides who I vote for is probably the other guy my wife will vote for, canceling my vote out then. ( He chuckles and scoot’s back into his chair.)
Mindwarpfx; do you feel guilty for not paying taxes?
Steve; No, not at all. The tax code says what taxes I owe, that being the least amount of taxes according to the code. Must not mistake the code, as the thing used to discover the max taxes that needs to be paid. Not the case. Politicians make these loop holes to spur on the economy, benefiting those that the loop-hole was directed towards. Taking what is already provided by our politicians isn’t wrong. It is living up to the standards of the law. Don’t hate the player…. hate the game.
Mindwarpfx; So should we do away with the loop holes?
Steve; It doesn’t answer the problem with too much spending in government. Who said the phrase, ” You can make some of the people happy some of the time. But you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.” Politian’s always seem to fight the tide with that idea, for their election. Then when elected they turn to make the back room deals a bad thing to the rest of the people to make it seem like they are great to everyone.
Mindwarpfx; Do you thing the rich people should have to pay more? ( Fair share and all )
Steve; They all ready pay more than the rest of us do. At some point they will leave the country along with their money. You know I never worked for a poor person. So we need the rich, and the rich needs the poorer people who would like to become rich. All to keep the commerce going, profits flowing, and life as we have come to know it the same. Full of opportunity, equal opportunity for advancement.
Mindwarpfx; So why don’t you send the money back to the IRS, so they would see you as doing your fair share?
Steve; You didn’t just ask that?
Mindwarpfx; What? What is wrong with that question?
Steve; There is a point to be made for a flat tax. No loop holes! Just a 30k deduction and tax the rest at lets say 15%. The more you make the more you pay. But the way we have it now. Mr. Buffet takes full advantage of the tax code and is a good guy. But a lot wealthier then the rest of us. But the man has abused the loopholes in the code for all of his working life. By definition he has taken more out of society then he was willing to put into it. Because now when he is old and realizing that he can’t take it with him. He has come to a point of saying it is unfair that he has had that opportunity’s to live off government giveaways. Who is guilty’er? The people who gave-up trying and get a government hand out, or the rich guy that has figured out how to get government to give him way more than he has to pay using some tax code he has helped manipulate?
Mindwarpfx; Wow! A lot of info with that answer…. So how would you fix the problem, or at least start to fix it?
Steve; Using the flat tax as I mentioned earlier. With one difference. On the 30K deduction, I would expect people to work a job. Any job! Nothing to small of a job. The social net should then help between the differences of what people earn with that job and the 30k deduction. Example if someone works and earn 20K then the max social net payments to be received is 10K, or just over $750.00 per month in contribution from the safety net. First being subsidized housing, then food. But all of that given only as help for a short time…. say 4 to 6 years. Then at that time people should pay back to the government like the student loan program. People should be helped. But only in a way that they should help themselves to make an improvement for themself’s. Under the system that we have now people are encouraged to live complacent lives, devoid in helping themself’s with any responsibility to self. Encouraged to live in a state of being envious of success. Government has only devised plans to keep people comfortable within there self-made misery. Where is the positive encouragement to give people with a helping hand up and out of the place they’re presently in? In stead we bribe people to remove themself’s from society, never to realize the importance to improve ones self with a never-ending search for unlimited human potential within each of us, and the success that it brings. The divide that the government had built is the unintended consequences of poor decision-making, bad spending, and the unfair tax code. Keeping the poor with an attitude of looking for the free hand out, the middle class ( as they say ) looking to become rich and yet held back through regulation and taxation, and the rich making for the most part the rules and new tax loop holes with promises of jobs and increased business activity’s for the economy as a whole. All the while taking advantage to becoming richer, or the next generation of politician in office.
Mindwarpfx; Wow! Steve that was a lot there. But some things that need to be said, and more to think about indeed. Thanks for your time.
Steve; thanks for letting me explain and vent. ( smiling and as we shake hands.)
So there we have it. The complications of the class warfare and the unintended consequences of government actions, as well as the paralyzeation of inaction. The efforts to remain in a position of power through relection, the modern politicians are at best the core problem to the issues. In short we may need to start making the change not with the perfect politician, but with a more perfect system of term limits. To limit the damage of devious politicians influenced by big money in picking winners and losers between the now groups of people describe these days as the 47% vs. the 53%.