Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney Was Right About the 47 Percent

Mitt Romney was caught on hidden camera speaking the truth:  it is a disgrace that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax. Indeed, in addition to not paying in, many of these people get grants and payments from the federal government.

That is why this election is so consequential:  we are close to the tipping point of this group who pays no federal income tax becoming a majority. When that happens, the party that advocates bigger and bigger government will always win. That's because those who do not pay any federal income tax have no incentive to resist the next big entitlement problem:  someone else will pay for it, not them.

Michele Bachmann made this point powerfully in the primary debates.  She said that all American citizens should pay something -- even if just a dollar a year -- so that they have some skin in the game.  Each citizen, no matter how poor, should pay a nominal part so that they fund, even to a tiny extent, things that we all need and benefit from:  federal highways, national defense, federal courts.

What Romney needs to clarify is that Republicans want to move the 47 percent into prosperity.  Let's help people who are not working get good jobs that allow them to pay federal income tax, and not in a nominal sense. Romney wants to do this by repealing Obamacare, simplifying the tax system, and setting tax rates that encourage entrepreneurs to take risks and develop new businesses.

If Romney made any mistake on the Secret Tape, it was conceding the 47 percent to the Democrats.  He needs to explain why his five point economic plan will help all Americans, including the 47 percent.

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