Republicans are terrible learners, that's all I have to say. And yes, their absolute disdain for half of America is legendary. It's a feature of Republicanism, not a bug. Take Colorado GOP former Rep. Bob Beauprez, for instance. He's running for Governor against John Hickenlooper in November, and he just lost the race, Mitt Romney-style.
On Wednesday, as Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez toured Colorado to "build unity," a video surfaced that Democrats say shows his divisiveness.
The video shows Beauprez in a speech to the Denver Rotary Club in 2010 making comments that echo those that hurt Mitt Romney's challenge to President Barack Obama two years later.
"I see something that frankly doesn't surprise me, having been on Ways and Means Committee: 47 percent of all Americans pay no federal income tax," Beauprez said in the video. "I'm guessing that most of you in this room are not in that 47 percent — God bless you — but what that tells me is that we've got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill, and most of that half is you all."
He indicated Democrats had reasons to keep it that way.
"I submit to you that there is a political strategy to get slightly over half and have a permanent ruling majority by keeping over half of the population dependent on the largesse of government that somebody else is paying for," Beauprez said.
When Beauprez says that, he means Grandma and Grandpa on Social Security and the poorest working-class Americans. And as I said, many working American pay payroll tax.
The canard that people don't carry their fair share is a trope that Republicans love to roll out, and the 47 percent figure is their favorite data point to support it.
But as I have been saying for some time now, the 47 percent figure, while technically accurate as it relates to federal income taxes, doesn't include what people do pay through the payroll tax, sales taxes, excise taxes, and all sorts of other levies . So here is a partial breakdown of how those other burdens fall on the population, courtesy of the Tax Policy Center and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy:
28.3 percent pay payroll taxes, which cover Social Security and Medicare.
10.3 percent pay no federal income tax because they are retired or elderly, and Social Security payments are not taxed. I can't imagine that Romney objects to this category.
It turns out that just 6.9 percent of people who are non-elderly don't pay income tax. That is a far cry from 47 percent. We are not, in fact, a nation of moochers, as Romney seems to suggest.
But why would Beauprez tell the truth? It doesn't fit the Republican lie that "the majority" of Americans are lazy moochers that need to be punished by God-fearing, patriotic Republican voters.
We're all "those people" to the GOP.