Roughly half pay no federal income tax because they have no taxable income, and the other roughly half get enough tax breaks to erase their tax liability, explains Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.Thus, the rest of us - some 55% - pay plenty so the 45% don't have to pay. I can't get too mad at those with no taxable income, but the others are getting a free ride because of tax breaks.
What worries me is the 45% who pay no income tax have every incentive to support greater federal spending - to vote for those who promise it - since it costs them nothing. My mental image is of their hand in my pocket, stealing my earnings with the government as their criminal accomplice.
These were the people Mitt Romney famously said he'd never get to vote for him. It was a prescient comment, but one I'm certain he regrets making.