A terrific and important article from John Sullivan:
Mitt Romney has been right about almost everything in his life, but he is wrong when he says that the 47% of people who did not pay taxes last year will not vote for him. We sort of have the impression that the 47% is made up of a group of people who do not work, do not want to work, and this will always be the case. This is certainly not true and, further, Mitt Romney will get a lot of votes from this group.
First of all, while the percentage of people not paying taxes has been fairly constant over the past several years, they are not the same people from year to year. Some have unusually high medical expenses in one year, but previously paid taxes and will pay taxes in the future. Some may inherit money and live on that for a year or so while leaving their retirement money in their IRA account. They also pay taxes in other years. Some may have tax-advantaged investments and may not pay taxes in a given year.