Mitt Romney got in trouble during last year’s presidential campaign for saying that the 47 percent of Americans who didn’t pay federal income taxes in 2010 thought they were victims and would vote for President Obama no matter what. As many people noted, most of that 47 percent were retirees, people who were disabled, college students, people in the military and people who were working (often more than one job) but didn’t make much money. Another big reason for the higher than normal percentage was the Great Recession, which caused many people to lose income. As the recovery continues, the percentage is expected to drop significantly. The Tax Policy Center estimates that the share of Americans paying no federal income tax will drop to 43 percent this year and will continue to fall to about 33 percent in 2024.
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