Are you married? Have a job? How about a kid or two? Did you get a tax refund last year because your status as a working parent made you eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit? Congratulations: Mitt Romney thinks youre a welfare-addicted bum.
See, when Romney talks about those 47 percent of Americans who dont pay income taxes, hes talking about you.
You may not think thats true, because of course you pay plenty of taxes theres the payroll tax that comes out of your check every week, which goes to pay for Social Security. And of course, the world is a maze of taxes for you: Every time you fill up the gas tank or buy a birthday gift for the kid, the price is a little higher because of the extra few cents that go to state or local governments.
Surely Romney is talking about somebody else? Somebody who sits at home and waits for a government check he didnt earn? Nope. Hes talking about you.
See, to get to that 47 percent number, Romney has to include folks who actually work but didnt officially pay income taxes because they didnt earn enough, or because they qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Nearly two-thirds of Romneys laggardly 47 percent paid payroll taxes.
And to state the obvious: You generally have to be on a payroll to pay the payroll taxes. You have to have a job.
Now: Romney obviously wasnt taking you into account when he said that 47 percent is dependent on government and entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.
Which is the problem: Romney wasnt taking you into account. He and the rest of the Republican Party have been so solicitous of so-called job creators that theyve treated job doers rather shabbily. Its something to think about when you vote in November.
Joel Mathis is a writer in Philadelphia.