Ezra Klein: What Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get About Responsibility

A column from the Bloomberg.com website. Excerpts:

Let’s do away with the ridiculous myth that 47 percent of Americans are tax-evading moochers. Of the 46 percent of Americans who were expected to pay no federal income tax in 2011, more than 60 percent of them were working and contributing payroll taxes — which means they paid a higher effective tax rate on their income than Romney does — and an additional 20 percent were elderly. So more than 80 percent were either working or past retirement age.

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The point here isn’t that Romney is unfamiliar with cutting-edge work in cognitive psychology. It’s that he misses even the intuitive message of this work, the part most of us know without reading any studies: It’s really, really hard to be poor. That’s because the poorer you are, the more personal responsibility you have to take.



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