The 47 Percent: Are You Part of the Club?

Percentages are the new black - we delve into the real numbers behind the 47 percent.
3:00 | 09/24/12

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Transcript for The 47 Percent: Are You Part of the Club?
Facts politicians love to latch on to what's hot and this year it's all about percentage the 1% -- 99% and now the point 7%. Politics equals mass. And that has a huge impact which explains why these represent only 10% of my appearance. And removed 100%. Of might take. Romney jumped on math and -- when he -- few numbers for a private group fundraisers. -- 47% dependent on the government. While -- -- hot new -- Romney may have overdone it according to these books. To get accurate into the -- -- I don't think he's saying that I think evening 47% of people. Once -- this is a rich country. And -- it's a rich country full of work. Even Romney might even be right but he's counting on these people is counting everybody's grandmother and you know all -- old people -- sick and infirm or sick kids and education. Veterans especially to you but like any -- Percentages don't always -- up to the height federal income tax is actually a pretty small slice of our overall tax collection. And it's actually different from payroll tax which many more people. The vast majority of people. Do you pay some form -- tax everyone pays sales tax you pay property tax state tax you pay local tax this 46 point four if we want to be technical about this. Sounds at the very elite group how do you become a member want this to be -- four. A slice of this -- Six or 47%. Make less than 30000 dollars a year in which there combination of their deductions and tax credits things like your income tax credit. And a child credit they bring their overall rate down 20 action. The next -- and you can do it -- by being. Social Security benefits are not taxed the rich -- pay more in federal income taxes but everyone takes it on the chin with state and local tax. Federal taxes almost as. That is -- compact but people don't realize this federal -- -- of black. About one point 15 trillion dollars this year. Payroll tax will collect about 850 billion so it's it's a really big tax it's a substantial burden on people even if they're not paying the -- tax. They're also about one point four trillion in state local taxes and those tend to be a lot less progressive federal income tax treatment. Lower income people harder especially sales tax and where's this point 7% live in the country. It's it's generally in the south so this is actually part of a broader disconnected fights that we have over taxes and spending in this country the State's. There are the biggest net payers of taxes relative to what they get benefits tend to be -- Blue States in the northeast -- incomes -- high. -- as -- began here people who don't pay federal income tax are disproportionately. In states that are heavily. Knee -- in all of these numbers it's no wonder percentages have become the new black a politics. Percentages. Are easy to grasp when Mitt Romney says that 47% of Americans don't pay federal income tax. That's much easier to grasp -- actually saying. -- look at what the real number. -- people presents it's getting a little -- Hires and actually -- night and I -- 99 for something funny because. If you make less than about 380000. Dollars a year earlier in the 99% of the ideas that this. Oppressed class that is rising up and -- these people with incomes well north of a quarter million dollars a year I I've -- -- But at what at a quarter related to these days. -- if you don't live on the upper east side quite of that. What about as big of -- -- Butler ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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