In his comments to fundraisers captured on video, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said 47% of Americans would almost automatically vote for President Barack Obama
because they were “dependent” on the government, in part because they received government benefits and paid no federal income taxes.
In a press conference late Monday, Mr. Romney said his comments were “not elegantly stated” while at the same time reiterating the main point. Our translation: If you don’t pay federal income taxes, you may not be swayed by a candidate that wants to cut them.
Here’s a rundown of the data behind Mr. Romney’s argument, some of which he correctly stated and other parts of which don’t hold up so well.
According to the Census Bureau, 49% of Americans in the second quarter of 2011 lived in a household where at least one member received a government benefit. (The total population at the time was 305 million).