That "47 percent" quote that helped sink Mitt Romney's presidential hopes? Better make that 43 percent now.
The share of households who aren't paying any federal income tax has fallen, and a new analysis from the Tax Policy Center predicts that it will continue to shrink in years to come.
That's partly because a slew of temporary tax cuts enacted during the Great Recession have started to expire. And it's partly because an improving economy means people's incomes should slowly start to increase, adding to their income tax bill.
By 2024, the tax policy think tank projects that only about one-third of households won't be paying any federal income taxes. The improvements might take a while because the economy has been adding new jobs at a painfully slow pace, and many workers aren't yet seeing much bigger paychecks.
Romney made "the 47 percent" famous during his 2012 Republican presidential campaign, after he was secretly recorded at a closed-door fundraiser saying that 47 percent of the population is dependent on government, believes the government has a responsibility to care for them "and will vote for this president no matter what."
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"These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax," Romney said in the secretly recorded video, which was obtained first by Mother Jones and later by NBC News.
Romney was widely believed to have been referencing an earlier analysis released by the Tax Policy Center, which estimated that 47 percent of households paid no federal income taxes in 2009.
Roberton Williams, a senior fellow with the Tax Policy Center, notes that households that pay no federal income tax are very likely to still be paying other taxes. Those include payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, sales taxes and other state and local taxes.
"These people are taxpayers. That's an important point to make, I think," Williams said.