The 47 percent: Here's who pays no federal income tax

Jeff King 2012/09/18 18:39:26
By Allison Linn, NBC News

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing a barrage of criticism by implying that nearly half of all Americans "pay no income tax" and would vote for President Barack Obama because they are dependent on government handouts.

Romney was secretly recorded at a closed-door private fundraiser in Florida in May as saying: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what." Pieces of the comments were first released by Mother Jones on Monday.

Just who are the 47 percent?

Romney may have been referencing the nearly half of all Americans (actually 46 percent as of 2011) who pay no federal income taxes.

The Tax Policy Center, a project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, released a detailed analysis of the group in July 2011, which NBC News.com covered in a very popular Life Inc. post.  citizens who pay no income taxes

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