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Comments show Romney?knows little about taxes

In a closed-door speech to rich campaign donors that was caught on tape, Mitt Romney recently said that the 47 percent of Americans who don't owe income tax this year are lazy, "dependent on the government" and don't take responsibility for their lives.

According to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 60 percent of Americans who pay no income tax are average, working-class people whose deductions for their children, home, earned income credits, etc., are greater than their tax bill. Which is exactly how the tax system is supposed to work: if you're raising a family on a working-class wage, the government shouldn't be taking money out of your pocket that you don't have. Another 22 percent are senior citizens with little or no taxable income. Most of the rest are students and people who've lost their jobs.

Even people who pay no federal income taxes still pay state, local, sales and payroll taxes. The poorest 20 percent of Americans pay an average 16 percent of their income in taxes, which is considerably more than the 13.9 percent in taxes Romney paid on his $3 million income in 2010.

It's clear that Romney doesn't know anything about taxes other than how to avoid paying his own. A man with $250 million and accounts in the Cayman Islands shouldn't lecture parents working minimum-wage jobs to feed their kids about how they're lazy and should be paying more taxes. But Romney said it best himself speaking to his donors: "My job is not to worry about those people."



Adama D. Brown



Warsaw