Only 24 per cent Of America realises It's Part Of The '47 per cent'

Republican Mitt Romney faced continued backlash after controversial comments about the “47 per cent” at a May fundraiser, but a good portion of that “47 per cent” doesn’t appear to realise Romney’s comments were aimed at them.

According to this week’s YouGov/Economist poll, there’s a huge disparity between Americans that pay income taxes and those that merely think they do. 

Here’s a look at the disparity:

Romney 47 per cent

Photo: YouGov

Here’s a breakdown from YouGov’s Michael Bailey of the poll question and its response:

It is therefore interesting to get a handle on what Americans perceive when they hear “income tax.” The most recent YouGov/Economist poll asked, “Do you pay federal income taxes?”  70-eight per cent said they do. Given that about 54 per cent of households pay federal income tax that suggests roughly 24 per cent of respondents report that they pay federal income taxes, but do not.

The disparity comes partly from people that incorrectly identify payroll taxes — such as Social Security and Medicare taxes — as income taxes. 30-five per cent of respondents in the YouGov/Economist poll made that mistake:

47 per cent

Photo: YouGov

From the Tax Policy centre, a look at who does not pay federal income taxes. Most people, if employed, are paying payroll taxes. The two primary sources of people who pay neither federal income tax nor payroll taxes are either very poor or elderly, as the last pie chart displays:

47 per cent

Photo: Tax Policy centre

 

47 per cent

Photo: Tax Policy centre

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