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PIE CHARTS: Does Half The Country Really Not Pay Any Taxes?

Mitt Romney thinks that nearly half the country leeches off the government and would never vote for him. Well, he's got one part of that right.

Mitt Romney was almost correct that 47% of Americans don't pay federal income taxes — the exact figure for 2011 is 46.4% of American households.

But the vast majority of those households do pay a federal tax based on wages: the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare.


That means 18.1% of households pay neither the federal income tax nor the federal payroll tax. Of those, over half consist of retired, elderly Americans. And most of the rest are the working poor who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a Republican policy that gives tax breaks to low-income workers in lieu of a higher minimum wage.

And don't forget that federal taxes aren't the only kind of taxes. There are various state and local taxes, like property tax and sales tax. The notion that large swaths of Americans are unfairly mooching off government is just not true.

As face masks have become mandatory in many places to limit the spread of coronavirus, it's also become an increasingly politicized thing. As we know, anything that involves political polarization also involves vast amounts of misinformation and disinformation. Whose idea was the internet again?

No one I know loves wearing a mask. We all wish we didn't have to. But there are an awful lot of people saying they can't wear one, or they refuse to wear one because they've been led to believe that masks are somehow more dangerous than not wearing one. I've seen and read "information" on everything from masks depriving people of oxygen to masks causing CO2 build up to masks creating fungus problems.

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