By Taylor Armerding
The Hendricks County Flyer
Thu Oct 04, 2012, 03:16 PM EDT
The forest is the problem - a very big problem - with entitlements in this country. But we're not going to be talking about that. We're going to be talking about individual trees - how Romney was wrong on the details.
He was - in a number of ways. While somewhere in the range of 47 percent of "taxpayer units" don't pay federal income taxes, most pay payroll taxes - Social Security and Medicare - as has been incessantly pointed out. Beyond that, of the 18.1 percent of households that pay neither income nor payroll taxes, most are elderly or earn less than $20,000, according to the Tax Policy Center.
And while there are indeed millions of people in America with an entitlement mentality, they are nowhere near 47 percent of the population. Most of those who don't pay income taxes would love to make enough to move into a tax bracket. Millions of them are looking for jobs and can't find them.
The scandal is not so much that there are some freeloaders out there. The scandal, which should have been Romney's focus, is that the Obama administration encourages them. It tells them they are entitled just because some other people have more money than they do.
This administration doesn't try to get people off food stamps and welfare, it tries to sign more of them up - one thing it has done successfully. In 2008, there were 30 million people on food stamps. Now there are 46 million, after about a trillion dollars of various stimulus programs that, we were promised, would goose the economy. Now, Obama is calling food stamps a form of stimulus.
Unemployment is officially 8.2 percent nationally, but if George W. Bush were still president, we would hear constantly that the real rate is much worse, since so many people have given up looking for work.
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