On August 17, 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported:
“A new orthodoxy has emerged in recent days on taxes: Not enough people are paying them.
In Iowa Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was asked what to do about an “entitlement culture” in the U.S.
“We’re approaching nearly half of the United States population that doesn’t pay any income taxes,” he responded. “And I think one of the ways is to let everybody, as many people as possible, let me put it that way, to be able to be helping pay for the government that we have in this country.”
He went on to talk up “having more people who are outside the wagon pulling,” since too many people in the wagon are being pulled.
Last week, in Nashua, N.H., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hit on a similar theme. “We want to make sure people do pay their fair share. Half the people in this country pay no income tax at all,” he said, although later, he added, “I don’t want to raise taxes on middle Americans.”
Those comments took up the call from Rep. Michele Bachmann, who told South Carolinians in July, “Part of the problem is today, only 53% pay any federal income tax at all; 47% pay nothing.” She added, “We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something, even if it’s a dollar.”
And Democrats are starting to take notice.
“Republicans are falling over themselves to protect millionaires and billionaires, and now it is clear that their presidential front runners are eager to raise revenue by taxing those who are struggling day in and day out to make ends meet,” said Ty Matsdorf of American Bridge 21st Century, a new Democratic independent expenditures group tracking the GOP candidates.