ALAN FRAM | September 18, 2012 07:50 PM EST |
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney got the math about right. But when he said 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes and are “dependent on government,” he blurred together half or more of the entire country, ranging from the nation’s neediest to its middle class, and even some of its richest families.
Forty-six percent of the country’s potential taxpayers – some 76 million – paid no federal income taxes last year, according to a study by the Tax Policy Center.
While it’s true most of those nonpayers are poor, the numbers include many others who got tax breaks because they are old, have children in college or didn’t owe taxes on interest from state and local bonds. And of those who didn’t write checks to the IRS, 6 in 10 still paid Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, and more than that paid federal excise taxes on items such as gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes, said Roberton Williams, who analyzes taxes at the center. Continue reading “Half avoid taxes, get US help, but many not poor”
“We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”
— Former president Bill Clinton, quoting Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse
Whew. In a previous life, The Fact Checker covered the Clinton White House and always marveled at Bill Clinton’s speechifying, his apparent command of policy and his sometimes slippery use of the facts. We are going to offer an initial take on some of his claims — and those of other Democrats — and then may come back to others in the coming days. Everyone needs to get some sleep.
“He [Obama] has offered a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade. For every $2.5 trillion in spending cuts, he raises a dollar in new revenues, 2.5 to 1. And he has tight controls on future spending. That’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the Simpson-Bowles commission, a bipartisan commission. … It passes the arithmetic test.”
— Former president Bill Clinton Continue reading “Fact checking Bill Clinton’s speech and other Democrats at the convention in Charlotte”