government-dependent layabouts. (The dataset is here.)
As you may have heard, Romney dissed half the population—47 percent of it anyway— as government-dependent bums who pay no federal income taxes while the nose-to-the-grindstone Americans, like the $50,000-a-seat donors he thought he was speaking to secretly, work their butts off. Those dependent lazybones will all vote for President Obama, Romney said, and there is nothing he can do about it, and he doesn't care them anyhow.
Analysts have since demolished all the mythical assumptions behind Romney's assertions. Top of the list: Most of the nonpayers are working poor or elderly. Four out of five households that pay no income tax earn less than $30,000 a year. And two-thirds of the households that don't pay income tax do pay payroll taxes.
What the analysis also shows is that, instead of being Obama backers, 15 of the 20 states with the largest percentages of nonpayers are firmly in Romney's camp (although his propensity for idiotic comments seems to be whittling those percentages down).
As Florida points out:
Three states had more than 40 percent nonpayers—Mississippi (44.5 percent), followed by Georgia (42.5 percent), and Alabama (40.3 percent)—and all three were solidly for McCain in 2008. The remaining top ten were largely in the Sunbelt: Florida (39.0 percent), Arkansas (38.8 percent), South Carolina (38.8 percent), New Mexico (38.7 percent), Idaho (38.6 percent), Texas (38.5 percent), and Utah (38.3 percent). All but two of the top ten—Florida and New Mexico—went for McCain. At least a third of the filers in about half of the states (26) were non-taxpayers.MPI also ran correlates between nonpayers and some political, economic and demographic variables. (Correlation does not mean causation.) The percentage of nonpayers by states turned out positively correlated with McCain voters (.40) and negatively with Obama (-.38).
The ten states with the lowest amount of non-taxpayers were: Alaska (22.0 percent), Massachusetts (26.3 percent), New Hampshire (26.3 percent), North Dakota (26.3 percent), Connecticut (26.6 percent), D.C. (27.0 percent), Maryland (28.2 percent), Wyoming (28.6 percent), Washington (29.0 percent), and Virginia (29.2 percent). Only three of those went to McCain in 2008.
It's no news to liberals and others on the left that tax policies which give a boost to Americans in the bottom economic tiers have been under permanent siege for decades, and that the attack has been ramped up lately. Getting the message to those Americans who continue to vote against their best interests has for a long time been a key problem for Democrats. Romney speaking insults when he thought he was unplugged can help in that regard. But, first, a lot of people need to be convinced that he was, in fact, talking about them.