THE BLOG
01/15/2015 10:03 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Paging Mr. Romney 2016: New Study Shows the Poor Pay More in State/Local Taxes Than the Rich

Read it and weep (really). Here's what a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found:

According to the study, in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent.

"Virtually every state's tax system is fundamentally unfair," the report concludes. "Unfair tax systems not only exacerbate widening income inequality in the short term, but they also will leave states struggling to raise enough revenue to meet their basic needs in the long term."

But, in case you've been living under a rock with your fingers in your ears screaming "la, la, la, I'm not listening" for the past two and a half years, Mitt Romney believes that 47 percent of the American people are "dependent on government, believe that they are victims ... believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it" all because they don't pay federal income tax.

Never mind that the people Romney is insulting as freeloaders are paying state and local taxes at higher rates than the wealthy, lower-income working Americans also pay a much higher percentage of their income than do the wealthiest when it comes to payroll taxes (which, of course, were levied only on the first $117,000 of income in 2014).

In terms of the overall tax burden (state, local, federal), the top 1 percent don't even pay that much more as a percentage of their income than do the bottom 20 percent. Think about that for a minute. But you knew that, right, Mitt? And this time, you'll run your campaign based on the truth, and won't spout divisive deceptions about Americans who are struggling to get by, right? Anyone who thinks the chances of that happening are anywhere near as high as 47 percent is being hopelessly naive.