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Mitt Romney has been heavily criticized for his comments about the 47%.
Of Americans who pay no federal income tax.
Our next guest knows how most Americans feel about this very subject.
About Scott Hodge president of the Tax Foundation -- Scott.
-- some years ago about three years ago you did a poll on this and what did you find out.
They -- we found out that about two thirds or 66% of all Americans.
Thought that people should pay at least something to the basic cost of government they didn't think it was fair.
They had as many as 58 million Americans pay no income taxes whatsoever.
And they thought they pay should pay at least something toward the basic cost to government that the rest of us are shouldering.
And especially in an era in which we have trillion dollar deficits it's pretty critical that we have every one contribute at least something toward government.
What do we do find about peoples of their political persuasions -- their party affiliations.
How -- what how they responded to the question and then also just political philosophies say conservative vs liberal.
Well generally speaking conservatives and Republicans.
-- far more willing to say that someone should pay more in income taxes if they currently pay nothing.
About seven out of ten respond in that way whereas liberals and Democrats.
More around us six out of ten responded -- say why -- so there was a difference there.
We tended to see people who were older more educated and earn more money also were more willing to say someone should pay more in income taxes.
Whereas those who -- younger.
Less educated and earning less money -- little more forgiving.
But visit but making people pay who don't normally pay would mean raising taxes.
On a large number of those people -- you actually authored a study some years ago about the bush tax cuts.
And the bush tax cuts.
Did have a pretty significant impact on the number people not paying federal income tax.
That was because it -- they doubled child care -- the child tax credit.
And then introduce a 10% bracket there were seven point eight million -- -- They're basically fell out of paying federal income tax because of the bush tax cuts and that's according to your restart.
Just -- -- least reported stories of the bush tax cuts everyone focuses on how the wealthy did.
Number they forget that millions of people were knocked off the tax rolls because of the bush tax cuts.
And they've continued to see those roles grow.
Over time especially was menu -- stimulus tax cuts there were implemented during the Obama administration millions more -- knocked off the tax rolls.
And that's why we now have 58 million people who pay no income taxes whatsoever.
And actually the iris is now giving out about a hundred billion dollars a year.
In refundable tax credits or checks almost like welfare checks to people who pay no income taxes at all.
Whoa where's -- -- where did the Republicans stand and really quickly Scott -- Backed as some years ago it -- that the bush tax cuts in the fact that these people weren't paying federal income tax was a good thing because it was proof.
The bush tax cuts weren't for the wealthy but president essentially arguing accolade.
That's a -- that's exactly right.
That's exactly right I think that we're beginning to realize that we overdid it.
We not not only -- too many people off the tax -- but now most people are eligible in billions of dollars with the benefits.
And so now on the novel of the iris but other -- parts of government.
Our Lake -- and all kinds of benefits on these people they're getting far more back from government than they pay in taxes.
And we're beginning to realize that this could be a big problem you have to many people who -- -- dependent on government.
And not enough people were paying the bills and that's not only bad for government finance is -- is probably bad for democracy to have too many people not.
With no skin in the game so to speak and too few people who were -- all the nation's bills tax -- farm -- talk about that another -- that's how you go out Scott good to see that's hot hot take.
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