Romney’s 47% Should Actually Be 52%

Oct 5, 2012 by

by Henry W. Burke


On May 17, 2012, Mitt Romney spoke at a private fundraising event in a home in Boca Raton, Florida.  Please notice that this was almost five months ago and was before Obama’s Libyan debacle, the further decimation of our jobs market, the ever-growing $16 Trillion national debt, the revelations behind the Fast and Furious cover-up, and the Presidential Debate this week in which Obama cratered under pressure and Romney came out the clear winner before a live TV audience of 67 million people.

Back to the 5.17.12 Boca Raton fundraiser:  Someone secretly recorded Romney speaking at this event, and the media grabbed the “gotcha” story and ran with it on 9.17.12, closer to the elections.  The media has advanced Romney’s 47% statement as a huge gaffe because that fits their agenda of promoting Obama and denigrating his challenger.

I do not want to dignify this clandestine recording by dwelling on it, but I think it is instructive to see what Romney actually said.  A transcript of the video has been released; the key statements by Romney include:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what… there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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…

These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years…

            [Recording stops.]


Mysteriously, the recording suddenly ended and was silent for about two minutes.  [Does this remind us of the missing minutes on Nixon’s White House tapes during the Watergate fiasco?]





According to the following Heritage Foundation 2.19.12 report, 49.5% of the U.S. population paid no income taxes in 2009.  By extrapolating the chart, that is 52% in 2011.  This means that well over half of Americans paid no income tax.


The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009…


The number of Americans dependent on the federal government has  exploded over the past five years, reaching a record 67.3 million people…That means 1 in 5 Americans (21.8 percent) today receive some level of assistance from the federal government.



If this trend continues, the percentage of people “who are in the wagon” (those who pay no income taxes and who may demand yet more entitlements and subsidies) will be greater than those “who are pulling the wagon.”



Based on the Heritage Foundation’s graph from 2.19.12, Governor Mitt Romney’s statement on taxes is, if anything a little low; the extrapolated 2011 figure is 52%.


To see more details, please go to “Chart of the Week: Nearly Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes,” by Rob Bluey, 2.19.12 —








Most compassionate Americans (including conservative Republicans) believe in a safety net for the truly needy.  We should provide assistance for the elderly, the mentally or physically disabled, and those people who cannot work.  On the other hand, when the government is overly generous with the welfare programs, it destroys the incentive to work.



When unemployment compensation is increased to 99 weeks, for example, that destroys much of the incentive to look for a job.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the September unemployment numbers on 10.05.12.  Since January 2009, 8.1 million people have dropped out of the labor force.  Many of those people have become so discouraged that they have given up looking for a job.  However, millions of people are getting their needs met through various welfare programs and have no incentive to work.  Many examples could be given where this is occurring.


A few examples include:


1.  General Welfare Spending.  Under Obama, welfare spending has increased three times faster than prior increases.  Federal welfare spending has grown from $522 billion in 2008 to $717 billion in 2011 (a 37% increase in three years).



2.  Food Stamps.  Under Obama, food stamp spending has more than doubled, going from $39 billion in 2008 to $81 billion in 2012.  The number of people on food stamps has grown from 31 million people in 2008 to 47 million persons in 2012.  (This equates to 1 in 5 people.)    The Obama Administration is actively encouraging people to sign up for food stamps (including initiatives with the Mexican government to reach immigrants).



3.  Housing Assistance.  Because no time limits or work requirements are associated with any of these programs, recipients have no incentive to find employment or leave the rolls.



4.  Social Security Disability.   With continuing high unemployment, more people are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  As a result, the SSDI program is paying out more money than it is taking in through payroll taxes.



Older workers are seeking Social Security retirement benefits earlier than expected, and some are hoping they will qualify for SSDI.  Many people are faking disabilities to qualify for SSDI benefits.  SSDI benefits are somewhat more generous than retirement benefits and turn into retirement benefits once the recipient reaches full retirement age. In addition, SSDI benefits allow the recipient to qualify for Medicare after two years, regardless of what age the individual has reached at that time.





On 7.12.12, the news broke that the Obama Administration had gutted the work requirements from the 1996 welfare reform law and that a hidden provision in the Stimulus Bill had already waived the work requirement in the food stamp program:




Obama is bypassing Congress and the enacted laws by using executive orders to change our laws.  Obama is not a king, and America is not a monarchy!





Governor Mitt Romney’s statement that 47 % of Americans pay no income tax is actually a little low; the percentage is closer to 52 %.


Welfare programs have grown tremendously under Barack Obama.  Federal welfare spending has grown from $522 billion in 2008 to $717 billion in 2011 (a 37% increase in three years).


The number of people on food stamps has grown from 31 million people in 2008 to 47 million persons in 2012.  (This equates to 1 in 5 people.)    This means that about 19 % of the people are on food stamps.  [47 million on food stamps / 244 million people in U.S. civilian population = 19 %]



Facts are facts: Obama is quickly destroying our country by encouraging total dependency upon the government.

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