It all began, as things so often do these days, with a leaked video. Then there was a hurriedly-arranged press conference, an ensuing media maelstrom, and finally, attack ads.
Mitt Romney’s revelation that his “job is not to worry” about the “47 percent of the people” who “pay no income tax” has divided America. On the one hand, the 47 percent of households who pay no income tax are enraged, belittled. “People want a hand up, not a hand out,” says President Barack Obama. But assuming Romney understood his audience at that fateful fundraiser, his comments suggest the 53 percent are angry too: weary of contributing what they think is more than a fair share, and worried that if their man loses they’ll have to pay more. As columnist David Brooks put it, it’s the makers versus the moochers.
I’ve been struck by how surprised people are that nearly half of Americans don’t pay income tax. Why so many, ask the 53 percent. What happened?
If only America looked at the rest of the world.
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