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Tuesday, 18 September 2012 10:56

Romney Decries His Red State Southern Base as Lazy Moochers: the 47%

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No, he didn't use those exact words, but in condemning 47 percent of the nation for paying no income taxes, Romney was denigrating the sacred base of the modern GOP: the Deep South.

In a nutshell, here's why: seven of the lowest ten paying states in income taxes are in the Deep South. Yes stretching from South Carolina to Texas, the states that have the highest percentage of people Romney considers leeches on the government are in the GOP Southern Strategy vote belt.  And if you toss in Idaho, which is a red state, you have eight of the lowest paying states in income taxes getting a sneering kick from Romney.

The conservative Tax Foundation provides the facts behind this reality, including a devastating chart as far as Mitt Romney lambasting his base with his "47 percent" derisive remarks

The Tax Foundation unequivocally states, "Nine of the ten states with the largest percentage of nonpayers are in the South and Southwest. In Mississippi, 45 percent of federal tax returns remit nothing or receive money with their federal tax returns; that is the highest percentage nationally. Georgia is next at 41 percent, followed by Arkansas at 41 percent, and Alabama, South Carolina, and New Mexico at 40 percent."



Reprinted with Permission of the Tax Foundation


The only blue state among the states Romney apparently reviles for being loaded with non-tax payers is New Mexico, with Florida – a swing state – also included.  But seven of the states are rock solid southern states, plus Idaho.  These are the core states of any Republican presidential electoral strategy, and yet Romney apparently holds them in contempt.

Here, according to the Tax Foundation are the top ten states with percentage of non-filers in 2008:

1 Mississippi

2 Georgia   

3 Arkansas  

4 New Mexico

5 Alabama

6 South Carolina    

7 Louisiana  

8 Texas

9 Florida

10 Idaho
In fact, the southern states, as BuzzFlash has pointed out before, are subsidized, in government dollars, by the taxpayers of northern blue states. Take a state like Mississippi, which receives more than $2.00 from the government for every dollar it pays into the federal treasury.  On the other hand, a blue state such as Obama's Illinois receives only about 75 cents back on each dollar it pays to the federal government, for a net loss.

BuzzFlash at Truthout covered Romney's hypocrisy about the Mississippi federal dependency syndrome in a March 2012 commentary entitled "Mississippi Freeloads on the Back of Blue State Taxpayers for Federal Subsidies to Survive." In that commentary, BuzzFlash at Truthout noted:

In short, the MS state government run out of Jackson is a leech upon the US government, but try telling that to Mitt Romney.

While pandering for votes in Mississippi before the recent presidential primary, Romney declared: "If the federal government were run more like here in Mississippi, the whole country would be a lot better off."  Say what?

Romney, the man who would be president, is saying that Washington DC should emulate a state propped up by federal subsidies -- arguably the poorest and least educated state in the Union.

In short, Romney's foundation for any chance of electoral victory is composed basically of welfare states.

Not to mention that there remains the outstanding question of whether or not Romney paid US income taxes in any of the years, particularly 2009, for which he has not yet released his tax returns.  

In addition, not paying income taxes does not mean not paying taxes.  For instance, if you are working and paying into social security and Medicare through payroll taxes you are contributing to earned benefits that will be paid back in the future, not living off the government dole.  As for seniors, such as in the state of Florida (which has such a high percentage of non-income tax payers because of its elderly population), is Romney proposing that aged Americans should be taxed on meager Social Security payments that they earned through hard work? Not to mention veterans, students, the disabled, etc.

When Romney talked to his wealthy contributors about 47 percent of the nation being drains upon the public purse -- people who in Romney's words "believe that they are victims" -- he was sticking it into the eyes of his white bastion of support below the Mason-Dixon line: the South.