Rep. Steve King (Crazy-IA) dares to speak what most Republicans fear to even whisper out loud, as usual. This time it's about how much better it was back in the day when only property owners could vote.

KING: As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted—that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending—to have some skin in the game.

Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don't pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don't have an income tax liability. And it's pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all. In fact, of our unemployment numbers—that run in the 13 or 14 million category—when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren't working.

Now I don't think they're paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.

Nearly half of Americans don't pay taxes? We've heard that one a few thousand times before, and it's been well debunked. To wit:

Some 86 percent of working households pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes. In fact, low- and moderate-income people pay a much larger share of their incomes in federal payroll taxes than high-income people do: taxpayers in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale paid an average of 8.8 percent of their incomes in payroll taxes in 2007, compared to just 1.6 percent for taxpayers in the top 1 percent of the income distribution. ...

Low-income families also pay substantial state and local taxes. Most state and local taxes are regressive, meaning that low-income families pay a larger share of their incomes in these taxes than wealthier households do. The bottom fifth of taxpayers paid 12.3 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in 2010, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) model. That was well above the 7.9 percent average rate that the top 1 percent of households paid.

And as for the property owners as the only people with "skin in the game," how do you even answer that? All of those people, like the wives and children and slaves who made the owning of property even possible, didn't have skin in the game? Sigh.

There are plenty of those pesky facts with their liberal bias that Steve King doesn't want to think about. He much prefers to reminisce fondly about the days when only (white, male) property owners were eligible to vote. Talk about the good old days! So that's King's idyllic future, where only propertied white men can vote, and "every little boy that grows up in America would have to put a couple dimes up on the counter to buy their Skittles or every little girl that bought her Barbie doll clothes would have to do the same." Yes, he really said that.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Daily Kos.

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