Romney's untaxed '47 percent' of Americans shrinks, center says

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:27pm EDT

Former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The "47 percent" of U.S. households who owe no federal income tax, memorably disparaged last year by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has shrunk to 43 percent, said the research group that produced the original estimate.

New data on Thursday from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said 43 percent of households will owe no federal income tax in 2013, down from an estimated 47 percent in 2009.

Looking further ahead, the center forecast that by 2024, about a third of households will owe no federal income tax.

Republicans for years had cited the center's figures, but the 47 percent estimate took on a life of its own after Romney was surreptitiously videotaped at a fundraising event during the presidential campaign saying that he would never win votes from that proportion of Americans, who he said relied on government.

Romney, who lost the November election to President Barack Obama, later said his remarks were misinterpreted.

The center's estimate only encompasses the federal income tax. It does not include state and local, Medicare and Social Security, sales, or other taxes.

About half of the 43 percent will owe no federal income tax because their incomes are too low. The other half will face no income tax because they qualify for credits, such as the earned income tax credit and the child credit.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (6)
TheNewWorld wrote:
The percentage of people in poverty has increased, the percentage of people on food stamps has increased, and the percentage of people paying taxes has increased. This means that we have raised taxes on the poor and middle class.

Aug 29, 2013 10:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
walt1972 wrote:
your article comes from findings from the brookings institute and the urban institute, how can organizations call themselves non partisan when 97% of brookings employees and researchers and 100% of the urban institute voted for democrats, the American people are starting to wake up to this kind of reporting and they are getting sick of it! And what difference does it make whether it is 47% or 43%, almost half of the country is not paying income tax. And we wonder where the problem is?

Aug 30, 2013 7:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:
While a portion of this 47 – 43% are genuinely unable to work or are using govt assistance as intended (assistnce and not lifestyle), I am convinced that most who pay no taxes are those who have made life choices to be in the position they are in. Sadly, it always seem to be those doing the least for society that cry the loudest wanting those doing the most to do even more. For those hating Mitt and the rest of America’s wealthy, ask yourself this: “If everyone contributed/did as much as (insert your name here) do for the country, where would the nation be?” If you are true to yourself, the answer is likely somewhere below Zimbabwe right now.

Aug 30, 2013 9:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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