Over at Squashed (click through post title above to read), the author takes a look at how much a family of four (two parents, two kids) would need to make in order to pay federal income taxes.
The author used a similar family setup as Romney, with one parent working and one home with the two kids. Then the author took the standard deductions and child tax credits, which ended up at $45,750 in total annual income as the breaking point for paying federal income taxes.
In a given year, you have about 260 work days. Let’s say you work a full day on all of them. This means that any vacation, sick days, or holidays you want had better be paid. To make your $45,750, you need to bring in $174.62 a day. Let’s round that down to $174 to make the math work out more smoothly.
So, first thing, $45k is a pretty decent wage for most people, especially someone young enough to have two young kids or work outside a major metro area — say, somewhere like Buffalo.
But things get much worse as you go down the pay ladder:
You’re earning the federal minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. To get to $174 a day, you’ll need to work for … 24 hours. Congratulations. You can sleep on the weekends.
For more, Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog details who doesn’t pay taxes, in eight charts. (Spoiler: of the 46% that don’t pay income tax, the majority pay the payroll tax. Of the ~18% that don’t pay any federal income or payroll tax, 57% are elderly, 39% are non-elderly with income under $20k.)
Yeah, so Romney is a dick.