Obama campaign manager Jim Messina releases a statement on the newly surfaced video of Mitt Romney telling wealthy campaign donors that nearly half of all Americans are worthless freeloading moochers who don't pay any taxes:
It's shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.Romney's statement was centered on the "lucky ducky" myth perpetuated by the Wall Street Journal editorial page: that 47 percent of all Americans don't pay federal taxes. But that number only applies to the federal income tax. Two-thirds of those people still pay federal Social Security and Medicare taxes.
But what about the people who don't pay any federal tax at all? Well:
- Romney falsely claimed that 47 percent of all Americans are complete freeloaders.
- It turns out two-thirds of that 47 percent still pay federal taxes. (As it turns out, they actually probably pay a higher rate than Romney.)
- Of the remaining one-third who don't pay any federal taxes at all, more than half are elderly Americans who have already paid plenty of taxes.
So not only is Mitt Romney a colossal dick by writing off half of America—he didn't even understand the basic facts that he used to write them off.