What "Percentage" American Are You? One Percent? Forty-Seven Percent? Ninety-Nine Percent?

Where do you fall in the numbered gradation America seems to have become?


There are a lot of numbers getting thrown around this election year. About the only sure figure anyone can agree on is that -- if by some stroke of luck and cosmic reorganization we come together as a people -- there'd be 100 percent of us.

But we seem to have fallen far short of that, with Americans lumping themselves or being lumped into various fractions this election year. There's Mitt Romney's 47 Percenters -- victims happily suckling at the government teat -- or the 99 Percent, the broadly suffering majority paying the bill for the free-spending excesses of those at the top of income distribution in America, the uber-rich One Percent.

Which percent are you? I guess we're 99 Percenters, not out of any shared idealism, though many of their arguments make sense, but because that fraction safely covers our lot in life while we avoid anything that smacks of the stigma of 47 Percent victimization, and because our jaws still drop at the price of milk. One Percenters, we have it on good authority, live in palaces and get their milk from cows with golden udders.

Since we depend on our employment for our incomes I guess that makes us workers, and since we pay far too much in taxes I guess that excludes us from membership in the One Percent. So it's the 99 Percenters for us. Up the proletariat.

Where doth thou lie, Lamorinda? I would imagine mostly with us worker bees, with a healthy smattering of the (hopefully) charitable One Percent. We'll see, as the idea for this little story was sprung this morning by readers eager to sound off online about "The Mitt Tapes" and candidate Romney's broad characterization of half of the country's population.

"Some will see this as a clear window into his true evil soul," one reader penned. "I find his comments remarkably candid and sensible….  I think he should embrace and underscore much of what he said."

Okay, we'll use that opinion as a launching pad for the rest of you. Pick your percent...

NOTE: Before you waste time chafing your bony little fingers pik-pokking us threats of violence and obloquy, we know the video of people commenting on candidate Romney's words came from the Obama-Biden camp. It was chosen solely for its production value and on-screen transcript of candidate Romney's  comments. That's it. No favoritism of any candidate implied or intended.

MG September 22, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Jose, It's ignorant to keep using the 11% argument like the Obama supportive media. His "in the real world" tax rate was 25%. In the real world you don't get dinged for tax on money you give away, i.e. don't keep. The total tax on what he didn't give away was 25%. Using your illogic, someone who gave away 100% of their earnings would still be paying an 11% tax.
Jose September 22, 2012 at 06:04 PM
50%. (He believes it half the time.) Per USA TODAY today: During a South Carolina primary debate in January, Romney said he had only paid "the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more." "I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes," he said. Romney told ABC News in July," Frankly, if I had paid more than are legally due I don't think I'd be qualified to become president. I'd think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires." Once again, it is Romney vs Romney. The new Romney has a new position on paying more than he owes.
MG September 22, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Jose, Your last post was beyond ignorance, like ignorance with a dash of stupidity.
Chris F. September 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I am a 95% not a 99% , I am middle class, Sometimes I have no class at all.
Larry Tessler September 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Ah, such a relaxing 15 minutes. Perusing testosterone laden comments (with apologies if one or more of you is an estrogen loaded lady) is fun! I rather liken this to reading a novel. Sort of like the pulp fiction of old. And here is what I’ve learned: It’s the government’s job to “help” people. Corporations don’t pay enough tax and can raise their prices at will. Corporations pay too much tax and are just uncompetitive on the world market. There’s a general truth. No, there isn’t. Romney flip-flops. Obama, on the other hand, is solidly consistent with the fables he tells. (I love them. The economy is improving and all is well in the world. Osama’s dead after all). Means testing is good. Do income taxes paid on social security payments count here? Schools are evidence of socialism…as opposed, I suppose…to a group of people getting together to more efficiently educate their kids. The deficit might as well keep going up. It works just like housing prices? Mortgage interest deductions don’t count as “people” welfare but corporate deductions do. Did I get that right? 15.3% payroll tax? Outrageous. Oh, 7.15% is deductible. Elect the R’s and their goes R v. W. And, I should pay for your birth control. We ought to criticize Romney for paying more taxes that legally required. Should we ask him to stop being charitable too? Anyone out there who itemizes doesn’t deduct charitable contributions? J.D., how about another topic? I need another good laugh.


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