Conservatives in Louisiana will no doubt revel in this video of Mitt Romney writing off 47% of America because they “pay no taxes” and take no personal responsibility for their lives. These freeloaders, according to Romney, will OBVIOUSLY vote for Barack Obama, so he can’t talk to them.
In the spirit of our mutual obsession with this video, I hope they help us spread it far and wide:
And where are all these “free-loaders,” you know, the 47% that don’t contribute and just mooch?
Oops, looks like #Louisiana is one of those “moocher” states. But we knew that. Who are these “non-payers,” this “47%”….
Here’s what we have:
— 53.6 percent of households pay the federal income tax. Presumably Romney is okay with these folks.
— 28.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax, but they do pay the payroll tax. That means they don’t need Romney to convince them to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” They already have jobs.
Most of the households in this group don’t pay any income tax because they qualify for enough deductions and credits that their liability has shrunk to zero. See this Tax Policy Center report for more, which gives an example of “a couple with two children earning less than $26,400. They get an $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700, and that takes their liability to zero.” Indeed, it’s worth noting that many of these deductions and credits were part of the Bush tax cuts, which Romney favors.
— 10.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax because they’re elderly. A large majority of these households aren’t taxed on their Social Security benefits, thanks to various deductions in the tax law. By and large, retirees have earned this benefits by paying into the system over many years. If Mitt Romney secretly thinks that these households are moochers, he has a funny way of showing it, since he keeps insisting that he doesn’t want to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits for those over the age of 65.
— That leaves 6.9 percent of households which are non-elderly and have incomes less than $20,000 per year and aren’t paying the payroll tax. These households pay neither income taxes nor payroll taxes. Perhaps Romney thinks that these people should pay more in federal taxes. It’s hard to say. But this is a relatively small fraction of Americans.
A graph might help:
As Bobby Jindal basks in the glow of VP speculation, his school voucher plan continues to garner national, as well – just not the positive kind.
From a Washington Post blog:
One of those schools is the church-affiliated New Living Word School, which was approved to increase its student enrollment from 122 to 315 — even though it doesn’t have the space, computers or the teachers to handle the students, according to the News-Star.
This means that this school will have 100 more voucher slots than any other school in Louisiana. The state Department of Education chose schools to qualify for vouchers without visiting any campuses.
According to the News-Star, Rev. Jerry Baldwin, the school’s principal and pastor of New Living Word Ministries, said that construction will begin this summer on a metal school building though he isn’t sure when it will be done. Current students now attend class in rooms used by the church’s Sunday school. If the new building is finished by the fall, he said, new students can hold class in the church gym.
The school’s mission, according to its Web site, is: “The mission of NLWM School is to provide a foundation built on biblical principles that will create an atmosphere for scholastic advancement and spiritual development.”
The school, Baldwin was quoted as saying, is moving forward “on faith.”
Education historian Diane Ravitch also reported on her blog that another school, the Eternity Christian Academy in Calcasieu Parish, will benefit from the voucher program. It now enrolls 14 students but has said it will take in 135 new students, a move that will result in some $1 million in taxpayer funds.
As the most recent bless’d Republican savior (David Frum fluffs the living shit out of the Jindal-for-VP-Will-Save-Mittens bandwagon here, calling ole Bobby “a brilliant policy mind with an inspirational life story who has run an effective government in corruption-tainted Louisiana.“), Bobby Jindal must be wetting his kids-size pants. National pundits all over the conservative spectrum (which spans a very acute wavelength) have been cheer-leading for Jindal as either a.) Mitt Romney’s very best awesome choice for Vice President – job that “isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit,” or b.) as a upstart, GOP convention coup d’tat replacement for the savagely emasculated Mittens Romney on the top of the ticket.
Sadly, for those of us who actually live in the state that Jindal “governs,” it seems like the gold standard has truly worn off:
The Jindal administration has certainly been very good for Bobby Jindal, but it hasn’t been so great for, you know, the rest of us Louisianians.
What does that mean exactly? No King Arthurs? No, something more damning:
Louisiana ranks dead last on a new composite index comparing how the fifty states fare on measures of economic vitality, education, health, crime and governance. The “Camelot Index” is issued annually by Federal Funds Information for States, a non-partisan subscription service created by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks and reports on the fiscal impact of federal budget and policy decisions on state budgets and programs.
…The Camelot Index brings together measures of economic vitality, health, education, crime, society and government. In the current index, many states rank consistently across measures, while others do quite well on some measures but not on others. “Overall for 2012, Louisiana ranks as Camelot-Not, with the report noting that, “Nevada and South Carolina move out of the bottom ranking from 2011, replaced this year by Louisiana. Seven of the Index’s 10 bottom-ranking states are from the South.”
While Gov. Bobby Jindal has foresworn any interest in being Mitt Romney’s running-mate, the Camelot ranking comes at an inopportune moment if he harbors any such ambition. The governor’s stewardship of Louisiana has won rave reviews in the conservative press, but the FFIS ranking would seem to indicate that Louisiana has a long way to go.
Even the Jindal “economic miracle” is slammed in the report:
The Camelot Index’s “healthy economy” ranking is based on the percentage of people in poverty, employment growth, population growth, per capita income growth, per capita federal tax liabilities — a reflection of high incomes — per capita taxable resources and the annual mean wage for retail salespeople. Combining these criteria, New Jersey ranked number one, followed by North Dakota, Wyoming, Maryland and Virginia. Louisiana placed 41st. Mississippi and Alabama were at the bottom.
Oh, I guess “Believing” in Louisiana just isn’t enough. Government by a hope and a prayer certainly isn’t working out for old Bobby.
Another wonderful reflection of the state of our state under Bobby Jindal was released this past week, and it’s a doozy:
According to a recent report from the Institute for Economics and Peace, Louisiana was ranked America’s most violent state for the 20th year in a row, based on homicide, violent crime and incarceration rates, as well availability of firearms.
“…What the [report] shows is that over the past 20 years, America has become substantially more peaceful, witnessing a significant and sustained reduction in direct violence,” said IEP founder and executive chairman Steve Killelea in a release.”Homicide rates in the U.S. have halved since 1991 and the violent crime rate has also fallen by nearly half during the same period.”
America becomes more peaceful, while Louisiana brings up the rear. Can’t even say “why Louisiana ain’t Mississippi” on this one, huh Jay Dardenne?
He’s done such a great job here, why not just make give him a promotion!