In leaked comments from a private fundraiser that have caused quite the stir over the past 18 hours, Mitt Romney perpetuates the popular conservative meme that 47 per cent of Americans do not pay any income tax.
Here’s what Romney said in the footage published Monday by the liberal magazine Mother Jones:
“All right, there are 47 per cent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That’s an entitlement. And that government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
The surprising thing about Romney’s statement, though, is where the non-income tax filers live. They come from a surprisingly red base.
Here’s a look at the map from the Tax Foundation:
Photo: Tax Foundation
Out of the 10 states with the highest percentage of filers with no liability, all but one — Florida — are reliable Republican stalwarts.
This map, however, only measures Americans who file tax returns without liability. Millions of others have some income, but not enough to file a return. Those people, combined with the 52 million who make up this map, comprise the 47 per cent.
Of course, just because people don’t pay income taxes doesn’t mean they don’t pay any taxes at all. Here’s another breakdown of the 47 per cent, which shows how nearly two-thirds of that 47 per cent pay payroll taxes. Most of the last third are comprised of the elderly (who also tend to vote reliably Republican) and people who make less than $20,000 (big Obama supporters).
Watch Romney defend his comments:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.