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WATCH: Another Republican Attacks The ’47 Percent’

Memo Pad Politics

WATCH: Another Republican Attacks The ’47 Percent’


When former U.S. Representative Bob Beauprez won the GOP nomination for governor of Colorado, many Republicans breathed a sigh of relief. Beauprez edged extreme anti-immigration candidate Tom Tancredo in the primary, and was viewed as much less likely to be hurt by a controversial gaffe in the general election.

So much for that.

On Wednesday, video emerged of Beauprez criticizing the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes. The video, which was recorded in 2010, was obtained by The Denver Post after a tip from the Colorado Democratic Party.

“I see something that frankly doesn’t surprise me, having been on Ways and Means Committee: 47 percent of all Americans pay no federal income tax,” Beauprez tells an audience at the Denver Rotary Club in the video. “I’m guessing that most of you in this room are not in that 47 percent — God bless you — but what that tells me is that we’ve got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill, and most of that half is you all.”

“I submit to you that there is a political strategy to get slightly over half and have a permanent ruling majority by keeping over half of the population dependent on the largesse of government that somebody else is paying for,” Beauprez added.

The remarks are almost identical to the infamous speech that dragged down Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign (incidentally, Romney endorsed Beauprez during the Republican primary). Despite the damage done by Romney’s remarks, several other Republicans have since reprised them.

None of them noted that the overwhelming majority of the “47 percent” do pay other taxes, and benefit from tax credits that Republicans have traditionally supported. Additionally, if Democrats have crafted a strategy to turn non-taxpayers into a “permant majority,” it’s not working; most “47 percenters” are Republicans.

Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio noted the irony that Beauprez is currently traveling the state on a “Unity Tour” with his former Republican rivals for the nomination.

“If he’s talking about unity, this is a funny way to show unity with Coloradans,” Palacio told the Post. “He must be talking about unity with other Republicans, because he didn’t say anything about anybody else.”

Beauprez’s speech raises an obvious question: Does he think that Congress should raise the income tax on 47 percent of the country? And if not, how does he suggest preventing the half of the population represented at the Denver Rotary Club from “paying the bill?”

Polls suggest that Beauprez is locked in a dead heat with incumbent governor John Hickenlooper (D); these remarks seem unlikely to help. If Beauprez fades in the polls, it could also affect Colorado’s closely contested Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mark Udall and U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner. A Gardner win would go a long way toward helping Republicans secure the net six seats they need to claim a Senate majority.

Video of Beauprez’s remarks can be seen below:

Screenshot: Bob Beauprez/YouTube

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Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. TZToronto July 3, 2014

    Republicans have no fear of inconsistency in what they say. Their base don’t do a lot of thinking and don’t recognize when their “leaders” contradict themselves. They just think that God changed the direction the wind was blowing.

    1. tdm3624 July 3, 2014

      “It’s Obama’s fault” is all they need to know. 😉

    2. Independent1 July 3, 2014

      Unfortunately, it’s not just their base that doesn’t do a lot of thinking, Republicans in general, including virtually every legislator in Congress, doesn’t do much real thinking, because if they did, they would have realized long ago that it’s THEM that are contributing the most to keeping around 47% of Americans not earning enough money so they’re incomes are high enough to require them to pay income taxes.

      If they spent even a few seconds thinking, they would have realized long ago that by THEM refusing to raise the min wage which would have lifted the incomes of millions, and by THEM refusing to pass Obama’s American Jobs Act that would have created 2-3 million good paying jobs, and by THEM continuing to do everything they can to dumbdown the economy; and on and on; that all their efforts were going to keep incomes and therefore tax revenues low.

      So clearly, Republicans are too clueless due to their lack of thinking and using common sense to realize what should be obvious to anyone who really does any thinking at all (outside of dreaming up conspiracy theories and fake scandals that is).

      1. Dominick Vila July 4, 2014

        If I had read your post first, I would not have made my comment. I agree!!!

    3. highpckts July 5, 2014

      Here’s “thinking” for you! My Daughter’s Father-in-law believes that ALL of this is happening because of Roe/Wade! Seriously???

  2. Russell Byrd July 4, 2014

    I think that in some ways what Beauprez said is good. The people he disdains so much are the 77%. When more and more of them wake up to the fact that sick bastards like him are pandering to the faithful, then maybe, they will go to the polls and do away with these goons.

    1. highpckts July 5, 2014

      Never happen! If they recognize this, it would be to ugly to admit therefore they will keep the faith and continue the way they are! Nobody likes to admit they are wrong!

  3. Dominick Vila July 4, 2014

    What Republicans fail to understand, when they demonize the fact that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes (debatable) is the fact that those who don’t pay Federal income tax are exempted from taxation because of low income. That circumstance says more about our socio economic system, and the inequality inherent in it, than personal commitment or responsibility.
    An issue that should elicit more outrage than poor people being exempted from taxation is the way so many millionaires and billionaires avoid paying taxes or reduce the amount of taxable income. From loopholes, to exemptions that include dancing horses, to using foreign tax shelters, those who own 2/3 of our national wealth often pay nothing, or so little that when they run for public office they do everything they can to avoid making their income tax records public.
    The, alleged, 47% that do not pay Federal Income Tax is not the problem, when it comes to government revenues, the real problem is our indifference towards those who have it all, want to accumulate more wealth, and are more inclined to use their wealth to pursue business opportunities abroad, often at the expense of American workers and our society at large.

    1. Independent1 July 4, 2014

      Great post! You brought out some really important points! As you point out, the REAL PROBLEM, is that the GOP refuses to change our wacko tax code which allows more than 200 of the Fortune 500 to not only pay ZERO TAXES each calendar year but to in some cases actually qualify for refunds, when their profits that should be taxable are in the BILLIONS of dollars. And the vast majority of the tax code rules that allow these companies to skip paying taxes and actually get refunds, is code that has been added by the GOP over the years.

      1. Dominick Vila July 4, 2014

        The worst part is that in addition to paying no taxes, or the bare minimum they can get away with, they get subsidies even when their companies are profitable and growing!
        Add to that the fact that many of the corporations benefiting from generous tax breaks are actually multi-nationals, and the people we are helping, because we all know that corporations are people, are investors from Saudi Arabia, China, Germany and virtually every corner of the world. All this while we question why we should extend healthcare to ALL Americans, why we should help needy students, and why should we help our most vulnerable citizens. I think it is fair to say that an oligarchy has taken over our democracy, and most Americans don’t even know it.

        1. Independent1 July 4, 2014

          I agree. And I’m sure there’s a large chunk of Americans who are so oblivious to reality that they don’t realize they’re being had but there’s probably also a good size chunk that just simply refuse to believe that the people they’ve voted into our government would be so devious as to rob them blind.

          1. highpckts July 5, 2014

            LOL! So right!

    2. highpckts July 5, 2014


  4. ps0rjl July 4, 2014

    What these idiots fail to tell everyone is that the 47% may not pay federal income taxes, but they do pay all the other taxes such as sales taxes. It’s just easier to demonize those who have no money to contribute to the candidate’s war chest. Maybe if they changed the tax and social policies they have created since their god, Ronnie Raygun, was in charge there would not be this income inequality and the 47% might actually pay federal taxes.

    1. Casey Marion July 4, 2014

      As the economy continues to recover from Bush’s Great Recession, the number of tax returns filed that result in no net Federal Income tax liability has continued to decline, down to 43% or less now.

      The 47% (now 43% or less) of tax returns that have no Federal Income tax liability isn’t the same as 47% of the US population, either. That’s because its based on 43% of TAX RETURNS filed, not individuals, and lower income groups tend to have fewer people in their family, on avg. The higher the income, the larger the avg family size, & greater likelihood of 2 income earners, and more children.
      Consequently, its far less than 40% of the population owing no net Federal Income tax liability. Of those that don’t most are elderly, disabled – including veterans & their families, students living on their own, and those with crushing medical bills (remember, they’re deductible) like families with a severely handicapped child, or one suffering from a major chronic illness, that keeps a parent from being able to work outside the home, as well as low-income parents of small children.

      Yes, these are the people the right piles the responsibility & blame upon. Even disparaging them as virtual parasites, expecting handouts, who will never take responsibility for their lives.
      How depraved & ugly can these right wing hatemongers get, is there truly no low to which these despicable cons will not sink to? Evidently not.

      1. TZToronto July 7, 2014

        But you’re looking at this logically. Logic is something the Greeks turned into a science. If it’s Greek, it’s foreign. If it’s foreign, it must be socialism, and if it’s socialism, it’s Obama’s fault (that fascist!!). So, in order to remain 100% (sorry, 110%) American, they dispense with logic and go on the basis of their gut instincts (which may be contradictory but are never wrong). Maybe it’s the result of all of those free Obama cell phones, you know, the program that started during Dubya’s watch. . . .

        1. Casey Marion July 7, 2014

          Very insightful. Yes, logic & facts are clearly Greek to these hate-mongers. Not realizing they’re voting against their own economic self-interest, these right-wing low-info types continue to support failed ideologically premised policy, based on how they want the world, rather than how it actually does.
          God bless ‘Murica!

          1. Independent1 July 7, 2014

            Since you mentioned “right-wing low info types”, I thought you might find this recent article of interest:

            The American people are low-information voters.

            But their lack of information doesn’t just apply to the candidates they vote for or the issues that are important to them; it also applies to some of the most basic founding principles of this country — up to and including the First Amendment.

            The First Amendment Center has conducted yearly studies asking people their opinions of certain freedoms and how far they extend. But before they get to that point, they ask people to simply name the freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment.

            On the plus side, the percentage of Americans who can name freedom of speech (68 percent) and freedom of religion (29 percent) are rising, and the percentage who can’t name any freedoms is near a new low. On the negative side,the right to petition government for a redress of grievances is at just 1 percent and the right to peaceably assemble is at just 7 percent.

            And perhaps most disturbing to The Fix, just 14 percent of Americans can name freedom of the press.

            Here’s the link to the article where you can see the graph of just how uninformed most Americans are:

            The most depressing chart you’ll see all day


  5. Independent1 July 4, 2014

    Following up on something Dominick pointed out about corporations and the wealthy using accounting tricks and other means to dodge paying taxes, here are some excerpts from an article in ThinkProgress which quantifies an estimate of how much America is losing with caveats in our tax code that the GOP refuses to address (about 300 billion/yr).

    See this:

    Such offshoring of profits has caught the attention of policymakers in the United States and Europe this year, with the focus predominantly on Apple Inc. The U.S. tech giant not only avoided the American tax system, but managed to shelter about $100 billion in revenues from any taxes at all. That scheme relied upon a loophole in Irish law which that country’s government says it intends to fix, but the narrow change proposed by Ireland’s finance minister will not address the larger problem of corporate tax avoidance.

    Tax dodging costs the U.S. about $300 billion per year. Much of that lost revenue is from individuals, rather than corporations. The country is cracking down on individual tax dodgers and striking deals with countries likeSwitzerland and the Cayman Islands that will help identify tax cheats starting in 2014. The corporate tax avoidance problem is thornier, as it is generally done through entirely legal methods. Coordinating international tax law in a way that would minimize corporate tax trickery is very difficult under the current approach, and a paradigm shift in business tax law may be necessary to end the accounting practices that rob countries of tax revenue.

    When the above excerpts from the ThinkProgress article points out that a lot of the lost revenue is from individuals, keep in mind that this includes people like Mitt Romney and many of the cohorts that he does business with in pirating corporations and pocketing profits from those transactions and then stuffing those profits in overseas tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Switzerland and others.

    And when Romney and other politicians like Beauprez bemoan the fact that about 47% of Americans don’t have to pay taxes (because they don’t earn enough to require them to), that they’re purposely ignoring the fact that the lost tax revenues from tax dodgers like corporations and the wealthy (which they continue to support), far exceeds any tax revenues America would gain even if those in the 47% who don’t earn enough now to owe taxes started making enough for them to have to start paying income taxes.

    1. TZToronto July 7, 2014

      As an American living in Canada, I am subject to income U.S. tax, of course, even though I end up paying no tax in the U.S. due to the Canada-U.S. tax treaty. However, I still have to file a statement of my financial accounts with the IRS if those accounts total $10,000 or more at any time during the previous year. Also, The U.S. is reaching into the Canadian financial system, forcing Canadian banks to ask for the nationality of their account holders. The banks will then send the identities of U.S. citizens (and those subject to U.S. tax) to the Canada Revenue Agency which will forward the information on to the IRS. (This is a clear violation of Canadian privacy laws.). The idea is to find Americans who are stashing their money in foreign tax havens (of which Canada is not one since income taxes are higher here than in the U.S.) Any Canadian bank conducting business in the U.S. that does not comply with the rules will have all of their transactions in the U.S. taxed at 30%. At the moment, Canada’s federal government is in the control of the Conservatives, and the Prime Minister is a wimp when it comes to U.S.-Canada relations (but a tiger when it comes to law and order in Canada). A Liberal Prime Minister would be much more willing to thumb Canada’s nose at the U.S., probably applying a corresponding tax to any U.S. bank’s transactions in Canada–and most of the large U.S. banks operate in Canada. (Of course, American jurisdictions have little knowledge of Canada and its laws. The fact that Canadian taxes are actually a deterrent to hiding money in Canada is lost on everyone in Congress and the IRS except Rand Paul.)

  6. Harry Haff July 4, 2014

    The so called 47% do not make enough money to pay taxes. And as most are voting Republican, with the bulk of federal aid money also going to them for food stamps, ADC, medicaid and disability, wonder what his take on those folks is?

    1. Allan Richardson July 5, 2014

      An additional insult is claiming that all or most of the people who are in his “47%” are “HAPPY to let someone else pay the bill!” Except for a few gaming the system, who have the same ethical challenges as the RICH people who game the system and pay no taxes, the vast majority of lower income “freeloaders” would LOVE to have the health, the skill, the opportunity to make an honest living. And the life they experience with “someone else paying” is much less happy and satisfying than they would have if they COULD pay their own way. Some are too young (we do have child labor laws), too old (since we do have old age pensions, employers are reluctant to hire people of “retirement” age for skilled jobs, even if they are healthy enough to work), too sick or injured, unable to work (mentally disabled or mentally ill), or members of groups society considers to have EARNED public support (veterans) or to be performing socially useful functions (at one time, single mothers, and even today, grandparents of orphans).

      The single mothers (often widowed, abandoned, or forced to leave abusive partners) are an especially vulnerable target of hypocrisy. The very same social conservatives who say that mothers WITH partners should stay home and raise their children full time, criticizing couples who both earn incomes and “let child care services raise their children” turn around and say that mothers who, for ANY reason, do not HAVE partners, should not stay home and be full time mothers; they should work FULL TIME and then PAY OTHERS to care for their children while they work. If they cannot earn as much as day care costs, too bad, let their children suffer along with their mothers. Apparently they should find just ANY husband as quickly as possible (which is often why they BECAME single mothers), to save taxpayers money in the short term. Never mind that the resulting poorly raised children, deprived of parental attention and often abused by adults in the household, grow up to become criminals or suffer other social ills that cost taxpayers MORE IN THE LONG RUN.

  7. ralphkr July 5, 2014

    What I find most appalling is the absolute ignorance of the conservatives and their reliance upon the “facts” in their alternate universe. I have had more than one conservative answer my posts by informing me that the actions of FDR & HST extended the Great Depression until Ike took office.

    A very common fiction devoutly believed in by Conservatives is that the reason recessions happen during a Republican presidency and boom times during Democratic presidency is that the Republican is fighting the recession that was caused by the previous Democrat and the Democratic boom times are the direct result of the previous Republican presidency. They always ignore my question as to why the Great Depression occurred during the third straight Republican presidency? A rather long lag time for the evil Democratic machinations to bring results.

    1. Independent1 July 7, 2014

      Ralph, next time, ask them why Eisenhower presided over more recessions than any other president since 1900: 3 of them. America was in recession almost 1/2 the time Eisenhower was in office because he was such a cheapskate. If Truman left Eisenhower a recession, why is it he fixed that only to create 2 more himself, if Republicans are so great at fixing recessions???

      And you can also ask them, why is it that although Bush Jr. may have inherited a slight down slide from the Clinton boom, he never truly fixed the first recession and his 8 years in office were the most lackluster economically in America of any 8 years over the previous 100 plus years; job creation during Bush’s 8 years actually ended up with creating a negative 46,000 jobs; there were 46,000 fewer people working in America when he left office than when he was inaugurated in 2001.

      1. ralphkr July 7, 2014

        But, Independent, you KNOW the Conservative’s answer to all of your excellent points: It is all the fault of the Democrats. For the party known as the business party it is passing strange how consistently they screw up the economy.

        RE: the Great Depression. My father plowed under crops when Hoover was President because it would cost more to harvest and haul into town than what he could get for them. He would hook up TWO 4 wheel trailers to the ancient Buick (so old it had wood spoke wheels) he had converted to a pick up and haul grain 5 miles into town. Consider that of the 12 wheels on the pavement only the back wheels of the Buick had brakes and the highway patrol merely honked and waved when they saw him. My, how times have changed. As soon as Roosevelt was elected my dad started buy Herefords for $1 a head, fattened them up (we had a lot of bottom land that produced 4 crops of alfalfa a year) and made a tidy profit two years later when the depression had alleviated to a mild recession.

        1. Independent1 July 7, 2014

          Ralph, I think the problem is that Republicans try to run the government like a business, which is why they know virtually nothing about running a government; either state or federal. Which is why if you look at many measures of state governance, red states compare very poorly on issues like violence (including homicides), poverty, education level, percent of their populations with a college degree, the incidences of industrial accidents, etc., etc.

          What’s unfortunate is that the vast majority of voters (Republicans and Democrats combined), are very low-information voters. They really pay very little attention to how candidates stack up on the issues. I think it may be that a large chunk of today’s voters vote the way Mom and Dad did before them.

          But as you point out, I think Republicans are especially clueless and vote many times because that’s they way their church told them to vote; or for any reason other than really knowing how the candidate they’re voting for may support or not support legislation that’s in their best interest.

          And for so many right-wing voters to believe as much of the propaganda that Fox News broadcasts, “supposed news”, not only is a large chunk of the right-wing voting public very low-information, they’re extremely gullible. That’s pretty evident if they truly believe that the total incompetence demonstrated by virtually every GOP president since Teddy Roosevelt is the fault of the Democrats that proceeded them in office.

          (Eisenhower didn’t oversee a lot of the disasters that many other GOP presidents before and after him did, but he was still not a stellar president – the nation stumbled along under his presidency just like under both Bushes.)

  8. Independent1 July 7, 2014

    For those who don’t fully understand who in America make up the 47% (which is now the 43%(; here’s a link to the best video I’ve seen that provides a clear picture of who makes up the 43%:



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