1:18 pm Sep. 19, 2012
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning said that the uproar over Mitt Romney's 47-percent comments is a media-induced "sideshow."
"These sideshows don't benefit anybody but it gives you something to put on the radio or these guys to write about in the press," he told a group of reporters gathered in Columbus Circle for a press conference this morning.
As most everyone by now knows, at a fund-raiser a few months ago, Romney said that the 47 of the American electorate that doesn't pay federal income tax is dependent on government and won't vote for him anyway.
In fact 47 percent of Americans don't make enough money to pay federal income tax, but two-thirds of them do pay the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare. Some of those people also get an earned income tax credit, a recent expansion of which Romney's tax plan would let expire.
Bloomberg, who generally leans liberal on most issues, but has nevertheless declined to say who he's supporting for president, described the earned income tax credit as "a good policy because it's helping those who are at least trying to do what America has asked them to do, be in charge of their own destiny to the extent they can. Sometimes they're not dealt a great hand. And I think it is incumbent on all of us to go and to help them."
"If you make a lot more money, I think you should pay more taxes," he added.
But as far as Romney's 47 percent comments are concerned, the mayor said he didn't see what all the fuss was about.
"I think that all this brouhaha over Romney's comments take away from the fact that both these candidates should be telling us what they're gonna do going forward with concrete plans to deal with immigration and guns and healthcare and balancing the budget," he said.
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