Romney’s complaint

Nevadans fall smack in the middle of the ranking of people who pay no income tax, the people who so vex Mitt Romney, who complained about them at a private fundraiser. A video of his remarks was leaked to Mother Jones magazine.

According to the Tax Foundation, 35 percent of Nevadans make too little money to pay income tax. That’s 25th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Some of Romney’s comments: “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 on 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. … These are people who pay no income tax.”

The income tax system was designed to be progressive and exempt those without much money. It’s the reason many grass roots groups demanded an income tax during the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1913, the year the tax took effect, everyone with an income of less than $4,000 ($87,108.76 in 2010 dollars) was exempt.

By the way, all the states with high numbers of people who pay no income tax usually vote Republican in presidential races—the South and Idaho.