There is this quite incredible focus on Mitt Romney having said in a closed forum in May that almost half the American public does not pay income tax. And the way it is portrayed it is as if Romney were trying to say something behind closed doors that he would not have said in the open.
In actual fact, Romney had already written on what he recognised as a problem for Republicans offering to cut taxes in a community where around half the population pay little or no income tax already. This is from Mitt Romney’s No Apology which was published in 2010 (page 303):
In light of the challenges faced by the country, I am puzzled by those who align themselves with a political agenda that may be well intentioned, but that weakens the country and hazards our freedom.
First, however, there are people who correctly presume that they will get more money from governments if it is run by Democrats. I understand these kinds of Democrats very well. Adam Lerrick of the American Enterprise Institute calculated for The Wall Street Journal that under candidate Obama’s tax plan, 49 percent of all Americans will pay no income tax. Added to that number are 11 percent who would pay federal income tax of less than 5 percent of their income. So for 60 percent of Americans, spending restraint and lower taxes championed by Republicans may not mean a great deal to them personally – at least in the short term, even though the lower taxes promote economic growth, good jobs and higher incomes.
Seems perfectly sensible to me.