Just who are these people who don't 'take personal responsibility for their lives' and 'who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement.'
Red marks the ten states with the highest percentage of non payers of Federal Income Tax. Blue is for the ten states with the lowest percentage.
Many people who pay no Federal income tax do so because they are elderly, students, unemployed, or working people with very low incomes.
Why Do Some People Pay No Federal Income Tax
These people may pay many other taxes including the payroll tax, state tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, property tax, fees, tolls, and so forth.
As you may recall, the move to the Earned Income tax credit and child credits for working parents was part of the move away from welfare enacted during the 1990's as a means of giving people more incentives to work. It allowed them to subsist on low incomes by providing income tax credits in lieu of direct government assistance.
There is no question that the economic collapse has considerably increased the number of people who pay no income tax because of underemployment and unemployment. Additionally the median wage has been stagnant for decades, and the steady increase in inflation has been driving more people into the ranks of the working poor.
One way to impact this would be to enact policies that would increase employment AND the median wage, so people would have more disposable income for tax purposes.
However, this runs counter to the current extractive policies that favor the top few percent through tax loopholes, financialization schemes, and various forms of subsidies achieved through lobbying and the weakening of long standing regulation against frauds, monopolies, insider dealing and cartels.
The wealthiest complain that, on the whole, they pay the most taxes, even though the amount they pay may be a smaller percentage of their income than many ordinary wage earners. This is like the young man who killed both his parents appealing to the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.
One of the reasons they pay the most taxes is that they have gamed the system to take the most income, not by productive activity that enriches everyone, but through fraud and loopholes and influence peddling and government bailouts and subsidies. The growth of a monied interest, wielding inordinate political influence and economic power in the US, is becoming a problem of historic proportions, not seen since the last Great Depression. It is often a precursor of significant social change.
This tension of wealth inequality seems to repeat every couple of generations as reforms are enacted, and then people forget why they were put in place. This will be resolved as well, one way or the other. The urge to self-destruction is very strong among the monied interests. Its what they do as a form of revenge, for being born.