As we continue to hear so much condemnation over Mitt Romney’s similar group —
the 58 million Americans who are actually collecting more in benefits from the government than they pay in taxes.
As it stands now, more than half the country, (over 50%) now pays no federal income tax, as Romney said in his hidden-camera remarks that have caused such consternation. Many of those re retired and receiving Social Security, and Medicare. But a recent Tax Foundation study that excluded that group found the percentage of non-taxpayers has risen from 21 percent in 1990 to 42 percent today. And government spending has grown along with that.
As a result, the has caused alarm among analysts who say this is encouraging that government bloat.
Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said that “as more and more Americans don’t pay taxes, then there’s less resistance to programs that take money from everybody else.”
Also the Tax Foundation estimates that the doubling of the non-taxpayer ranks is associated with more than $200 billion in entitlement spending. The foundation estimated the cost was $213 billion in 2010, transferred to those 58 million.
This is a big chunk and a huge part of the federal budget. Over a 20 year study, it found, that the number of non-taxpayers has increased the debt-to-GDP ratio by 14 points, which slows down the economy.
Although many don’t pay income tax, they do pay other taxes. But Hassett claimed there is a “scientific link” between the rise in Americans who are not paying income tax and the “explosion” in the size of government.
Now this was what Romney was trying to explain when he talked about Americans living off entitlements during a private meeting with donors earlier this year. Romney, though, stirred controversy with the language he used — he said they believe they are “victims” and at one point suggested he didn’t have to worry about them because they’ll vote for President Obama no matter what.
Romney has since said his campaign is about the “100 percent.”