Women Probably Dominate Romney’s ’47 Percent’

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by Gage Skidmore on Flickr under CC 2.0


(WOMENSENEWS)— A video of Romney criticizing those who pay no federal income tax at a $50,000-a-plate dinner has rocked political coverage of the presidential race since it was released on Monday by the progressive news website Mother Jones.

In it Romney said 47 percent of the electorate will definitely vote for President Obama because they are dependent on government — the same people, says Romney, that don’t pay federal income taxes.

Women are most likely in the majority of that group.

Women were 54 percent of those who filed with the IRS but paid no income tax in 2004, the most recent year available in an analysis by the Tax Foundation, a policy research organization. Women headed two-thirds of households that made so little that they did not even file taxes in the same year.

Last week, the National Women’s Law Center announced that the poverty rate for women in 2011 was noticeably higher for women — 14.6 percent, compared to men’s 10.9 percent.

The No. 1 reason Americans don’t pay federal income taxes?

Low income.

Half of the 47 percent don’t pay income tax because they take in so little income, according to the Tax Policy Center, a partnership between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute.

Roughly 62 percent of those who pay no income tax make less than $20,000 annually, and about 88 percent make less than $40,000.

Various news reports on the Romney tape flagged the fact that most of those who don’t pay income tax do pay payroll taxes.

Of the smaller 18 percent of the population who pay neither income taxes nor payroll taxes, 10.3 percent were elderly and 6.9 percent made less than $20,000 a year.

Women are more likely to live in poverty and about 40 percent of women who head families live in poverty, according to the NWLC.

Older women also outnumber male counterparts. In 2010, among adults 65 and older, there were only 90.5 men for every 100 woman, reported U.S. News and World Report.

A recent WeNews report on the plight of female retirees also notes that the poverty rate among retired women is 50 percent higher than their male counterparts.

Samantha Kimmey is a writer in Brooklyn, N.Y. covering women and politics this election season.
Women’s eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at editors@womensenews.org.

One thought on “Women Probably Dominate Romney’s ’47 Percent’

  1. And much of this poverty rate among women is due to discrimination against women from employers and even from the law, often in the form of justices who rule on what they believe women deserve, not on what a supportive law says. It would be interesting to know how the people in that room to whom Romney spoke when he disparaged the 47% of voters, have unlivably low wages for their employees or advocate a decrease in the minimum wage.
    Not mentioned by Ms. Kimmey, among this 47% are teachers, nurses and allied health professionals in hospitals, government employees, support staff of all kinds, police officers, fire fighters, and others. These are usually well educated people whose work is waged, thus, they do not have the option of taking profits from their work. In order to concentrate well on their work, they do not have time or focus to run a second life of a business to reap profits. All these very responsible people have been relegated, according to Romney, to a status of irresponsibly thinking of themselves as victims. this by Mr. Romney, is very crass indeed – and irresponsible of him!
    The people who are favoured by Mr. Romney are dependent upon the some of these 47% as employees of their businesses; so if these employees see themselves as victims, they may be right. If you victimize someone then blame them for feeling victimized, you are not really suited to govern over anyone.