Moment of Derp

CNN's resident shitkicker extraordinaire, policy genius, and member of the Worst Political Team on Television™, Erick Erickson, has come up with what is being billed as an "alternative" to the 99 percent movement which he has dubbed "the 53 percent."

Right-wing blogger Erick Erickson has started a “We Are The 53 Percent” Tumblr as a conservative alternative to Occupy Wall Street, referencing the 53% of Americans who pay federal income tax, ostensibly in contrast to the protesters who do not.

Erickson reportedly worked with Josh Trevino, of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, and conservative filmmaker Mike Wilson to launch the site.

53% refers to a statistic that 47% of Americans don’t pay income tax, which has become a popular conservative talking point.

Even though it has been repeated dozens of times, it's worth repeating again -- the idea that half of the country pays no taxes is inaccurate and dangerously misleading.

While there is a segment of the population that does not pay income taxes because they are either unemployed or do not generate enough income to be taxed, they are still paying a multitude of other taxes such as property tax, vehicle tax, city tax, school tax, and sales tax.

And if you're really worried about people not paying taxes, why not support legislation that will generate well-paying jobs, enabling more people to pay? I guess that would just be socialism. Or something.

If only shitkickers like Erick Erickson expressed as deep of a concern for multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations paying no taxes.

  • mrbrink

    The working poor are actually subsidizing lower taxes on the wealthy and corporations with increased fines and fees at the state and local levels to go along with massive cuts to education and public services, to go along with a small myriad of LIFE taxes and taxes deducted from their meager and artificially depressed paychecks.

    And those workers at those companies that are paying little to no taxes are actually subsidizing their own fucking jobs at a profit. Reconcile that shit.

  • Swift

    Another thing that many people don’t mention is that the 47% who have no federal tax burden are not all poor. Many people who took advantage of the homebuyer’s credit a year or two ago, and many people who lump their deductions in alternate years will have pay no federal tax some years.

    It’s not the poorest 47% that aren’t paying taxes. It’s people spread all over the tax brackets.

  • Obama_FTW

    Sadly, many people don’t know the difference between federal income and payroll taxes…not to mention sales taxes…or states taxes.

  • muselet

    Erick ibn Erick is an arsehole. From TPM:

    “I would like to point out to these people that I work three jobs, can’t sell my house in this economy, still am paying massive student loans, and somehow or another do not blame Wall Street for my situation,” Erickson wrote in a post on Red State. “In fact, I’m one of the 53% — the 53% of Americans subsidizing these people so they can go hang out on Wall Street to complain.”

    “Get a job hippies!” he added.

    Hippies? Really? Hey, Erick, time to change the calendar. It’s not 1968 any more.

    Incidentally, those three jobs? He blogs, says nonsensical things on CNN and hosts a local radio talk show on WSB in Atlanta. In other words, he’s paid—handsomely, it would seem—to gabble mindlessly. I’m not entirely sure “work” is the word he was searching for.


  • AtSwimTwoBricks

    “Suck it up you whiners. I am the 53 percent subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain”
    “No jobs? Or an unwillingness to look for them?”

    Do these people even know the economy had a bit of trouble recently? Take the fact that far more people are actively looking for work than there are job openings. I can’t imagine that fact fitting comfortably anywhere in their view of things.

    I get the impression they believe there was a sudden, inexplicable, but massive loss of character in the lower and middle classes. Economics, apparently, has nothing to do with it. It’s just mass hysteria.