Letters: Letters to the editor: Exactly who are the 47 percent?

Posted: September 21, 2012

RE: ROMNEY'S 47 percent Presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated recently at a fundraiser that nearly half of all Americans pay no income tax and are "dependent on government and unwilling to take responsibility for their lives ... "

While the figure of 47 percent is fairly accurate, it includes a lot of people who are not irresponsible or deadbeats. About half that number includes senior citizens on Social Security who worked and paid taxes all their lives, and military personnel who pay no income tax while in a war zone.

The 47 percent also includes about 4,000 millionaires whose income is mostly capital gains and make use of (legal) loopholes to avoid paying federal taxes. It is also possible that the esteemed Mr. Romney may be part of that group. He refuses to release his income-tax returns, which may show little or no taxes paid in previous years. The bulk of his income is from investments and capital gains, subject to the aforementioned loopholes, or may be hidden in offshore bank accounts. It is notable that many of the 47 percent paid a higher rate than Romney showed in his released tax returns.

There is also the large group of low-income wage earners who pay no income tax simply because they do not earn enough. Include also the many who receive earned-income- or child-tax credits, eliminating the income-tax obligation. They pay no income tax but do pay payroll tax.

Romney disregards the votes of millions of hardworking Americans, many of whom are actually Republicans and may vote for him anyway. Also dismissed are the millions of senior citizens, many of whom are Republicans, who may not be working now but were never irresponsible or living off entitlements, but did their best to provide for themselves and their families, and contributed their fair share of income taxes.

Many of the above, while not obligated to pay income taxes, do pay real-estate and payroll taxes, contribute to Social Security, and are subject to Medicare withholdings and sales taxes.

It is obvious that Mr. Romney was pandering to this particular group of contributors and his base of right-wing hard-liners, failing to realize that his comments might alienate many of the 47 percent who were already in his camp.

Jaime Reyes


Mitt speaks the truth

Why are people upset with Romney's 47 percent remark? It is the truth. Here in the city, people who don't pay taxes are the same ones sucking the life out of the city. Instead of raising taxes, go after the property owners who don't pay taxes, or the people who work under the table and the people who employ them. Do you think those hotdog vendors are being honest with their taxes? I don't, but Nutter won't go after them. He goes after the people who pay for health care and food without government help.

Chris DeLuca


Time to get specific

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan make vague promises to create millions of future jobs, reduce deficits and grow the economy, after the severe recession that developed during the end of the George W. Bush administration, but continue to refuse to tell the American people two things:

1. Specifically, what would you have done any differently in 2008; when confronted by the great Bush Recession; besides letting the American auto industry, and its supporting businesses, go bankrupt?

2. Specifically, what would you do any differently now to reduce unemployment and the national debt, and to grow the economy besides plans for the ultimate destruction of Medicare and Medicaid, dooming children, and many Americans in their old age.

The American people have the right to know, before the election.

John Tomasin

West New York, N.J.

Who made him great?

Does Mitt Romney really consider himself a self-made man? He was the privileged son of a hardworking auto executive and governor. It was through those connections that he became a wealthy man. Any one of us with that kind of start in life would be able to make it. He was born on third base and believes he hit a triple! So before he ridicules 47 percent of the nation (who do not have offshore accounts to shelter their wealth) for needing some help and not paying taxes, why doesn't he reveal his tax returns?

David Morton


Taking care of biz

Re: "Lot of Trouble" ( Daily News, Sept. 14)

I never respond to articles in the newspaper, but this article so appalled me that I had to write something. Here you have a decent businessman, Ori Feibush, putting $20,000 of his own money into making the city more beautiful (and boy, can it use it!) and he is going to be sued by the clowns who run the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. The city of Philadelphia is filthy, everywhere. I travel to D.C. to see my son at school and that city puts this city to shame big-time. Mr. Feibush should get the 40 tons of debris and place it in front of the home of Paul D. Chrystie and see how he likes to live with it. If he is sued, he should countersue for damages. This city needs more citizens like Mr. Feibush. Congrats to him!

Geri Alessandrini


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