September 30, 2012

“47%” Was Bad For Romney; Ryan Has Been Deadly | The New Republic



"47%" Was Bad for Romney; Ryan Has Been Deadly

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The conventional wisdom on Obama's recent surge is that it's due largely to Mitt Romney's 47% disaster, and there's clearly something to this. If nothing else, it's given Team Obama grist for an absolutely devastating ad.

But it's worth pointing out another dynamic that's been overlooked here: The escalating disaster that is Paul Ryan. At the time of his selection, a number of pundits argued Ryan's strategic benefits, suggesting he would boost Romney by energizing conservatives, or by allowing Romney to run as the candidate of big ideas, or that he would at least be the party's best defender of the Medicare plan Romney was going to have to defend whether he wanted to or not. This seemed like a stretch at the time—after all, Ryan's Medicare plan proved to be a massive liability the one time voters weighed in on it. But who could say for sure? 

Well, fast forward a month-and-a-half and the numbers look pretty persuasive. This week the New York Times released a set of polls, conducted by Quinnipiac, assessing the state of the race in Ohio and Florida. The top-line numbers were jaw-dropping enough: Obama's lead in Ohio grew from six to ten over the last month, and from three to nine in Florida. (It's better to focus on the change here than the magnitude, which is highly sensitive to polling methodology.) But once you look at the internal numbers, they're even less kind to Romney. More to the point, they suggest Ryan has done enormous damage to the ticket. 

Back in late August, Obama led Romney on the question of who would handle Medicare better by 8 points in Florida and 10 points in Ohio; now he's up 15 in Florida and 16 in Ohio. And the problems are especially acute among senior citizens, a group Obama has traditionally struggled with. A month ago, Obama was down 13 points in Florida among people 65 and older; today he's up 4. On the specific question of Medicare, Obama was down 4 points among Florida seniors in August; today he's up 5 points. (The Quinnipiac Poll re-shuffled its age-groups between August and September, so you won't be make apples-to-apples comparisons by eyeballing their crosstabs. But the super-kind people at Quinnipiac re-reshuffled them for me.) 

The numbers for Ohio are similar: In August, Obama was down 8 among seniors in the state; today he's up 1. A month ago Obama was down 6 points among Ohio seniors on the Medicare issue; today he's up 6. The turnaround here is simply breathtaking. 

Nor is the Times/Quinnipiac poll an outlier. Though I haven't looked at the internal numbers, a set of Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation state polls out today shows something similar: Obama up 19 over Romney on Medicare in Ohio, 15 in Florida, 13 in Virginia, and 17 nationally (his largest lead on the question all year). As the Post write-up puts it: "[T]he more voters focus on Medicare, the more likely they are to support the president's bid for reelection."

Interestingly, the early post-Ryan polling actually showed the GOP ticket gaining ground on Medicare, if only by disingenuously accusing Obama of cutting $716 billion from the program to pay for healthcare reform. (Ryan had proposed identical cuts, except in his case they would have been refunded to the wealthy as tax cuts.) But that that was before the Democrats joined the fight. Since then, the Dems have relentlessly attacked the Ryan plan, both at their convention and on the campaign trail, and the numbers have followed suit. It's hard to believe Obama would have had the success he's had here without Ryan himself on the ticket. 

So, yes, the "47 percent" is a big deal. But the likely upshot is to prevent Romney from getting up off the mat, not to knock him down in the first place. It's Ryan who deserves credit for that. 

Update: A reader asks if the movement among seniors is more pronounced than among younger cohorts, which is what you'd expect to see if Medicare were driving this. The short answer is yes, though the relative movement varies a bit.

According the Quinnipiac, Obama has seen a 17-point improvement among Florida voters 65-and-over since August, but only a 5-point improvement among those 50-64, and no change in his lead among those 18-49. His margin in Florida specifically on Medicare improved by 9 points among those 65-and-over, versus 7 points for the other two groups. (I'd argue that the reason seniors swung much more toward Obama on the first question than the second is that they're more likely to base their vote on Medicare. Or, put differently, no one likes the Ryan Medicare plan, but seniors are much more likely to vote according to that dislike.) 

In Ohio, Obama has seen a 9-point improvement overall among voters 65-and-over, versus 6 points among those 50-64, and no change among those 18-49. On the Medicare question, he saw a 12-point improvement among seniors, versus 7 points among those 50-64 and 5 points among those 18-49. 

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COMMENTS (55)
09/27/2012 - 7:29pm EDT | 

Looks like seniors are getting the message on Ryan's plan for their retirements. Good.

09/27/2012 - 8:16pm EDT | 

Well, as MLB people can tell you, the time to surge is just before the playoffs and the World Series. The November election is the equivalent of the World Series (which actually ends the first week in November), and Obama has begun a late-season surge. I'm glad seniors, who have a big stake in this election, are starting to realize who's on their side. You go, geezers!

09/27/2012 - 9:30pm EDT | 

Yeah. When Romney introduced Ryan as his VP, it made little sense to me. He was doubling-down on on the Conservative side, at a time he needed to move in the moderate direction. Pundits at the time said Romney needed to "shore up" his support among conservatives. Right, like conservatives were going to vote for Obama if Romney got too moderate.

And I knew the Ryan plan was horrible -- privatizing Medicare, that had already been established. Even Romney had to distance himself from it within weeks. But I sure didn't know that Ryan was more reality challenged than Romney. It's nice that the electorate can see that.

09/27/2012 - 11:15pm EDT | 

I heartily agree that Ryan's threat to Medicare has hurt Romney a lot.

IF Obama wins - and I emphasize IF because I don't want to get or seem overconfident - it will be fascinating to see whether Ryan's star fades or brightens in Republican speculation about 2016. My guess is that it will brighten because many in the Party will blame the election on Romney's weakness as a candidate and will claim that the Republicans really need to be true to themselves (by picking Ryan or some other far right type) next time around. Which will be fine with me.

09/28/2012 - 12:06am EDT | 

The only way these bastards slink away into the darkness is Obama has a blow out, and we know that's not going to happen.

09/28/2012 - 6:19am EDT | 

@AllanL5: It's not that conservatives would vote for Obama if Romney got too moderate; it's that they would stay at home and sit this one out - wait for the "Messiah" next time.

09/28/2012 - 11:05am EDT | 

Well, to toot my own horn, when I heard Romney picked Ryan, I said to my wife, "well, that's the election."

But it has played out a little differently than I imagined. I think Ryan hurt Romney because Romney didn't endorse Ryan's bold approach (if not his specific policies). Instead, Romney tucked tail and said as little as possible. It confused people and has made Romney seem indecisive and weak. It's allowed Obama to fill in the gaps.

Or this is all simply due to Clinton. Old people listen to Clinton.

09/28/2012 - 11:23am EDT | 

As one of the geezers, I'm not convinced that Obama really is better for me than Romney, but I think Ryan probably has done Romney harm. The pity is, the public will wake up on January 20, 2013 with a sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs, realizing that they have reelected a man they do not have much confidence in, that the federal debt is still expanding at a rate of $1 trillion annually, and/or their taxes have gone through the roof, and that Obama still can't stand up to the Arabs. The Democrats will pay the price in 2014, when they will probably be washed out to sea in an even bigger tidal wave than the one that hit them in 2010. The country will pay the price, in terms of lost econ ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 11:51am EDT | 

Obama can't stand up to the Arabs?

I imagine Gaddafi would like to object, but he can't. Same for Bin Laden and a long number of AQ no #2's and #3s.

Oh perhaps he hasn't flapped his gums a whole lot and not achieved much other than that contrary to the US' interests? I understand his predecessor was very effective in that regard.

09/28/2012 - 12:00pm EDT | 

It always seemed to me that Romney picked Ryan not for any strategic reasons (i.e. his ideological positions) or any tactical reasons (i.e. Wisconsin's electoral votes) but because he imagined Ryan as an ambitious corporate CFO who would be loyal and easy to work with during and after the election. (I doubt Romney ever expected to lose; I doubt he expects to even now. Acquiring the White House is like arranging the players in a major corporate deal, and he's seen enough of these deals turn around at the last minute for one reason or another, just when they looked most moribund. Except acquiring the White House turns out not to be just like a business deal. Not yet.) In other words, he hired ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 12:16pm EDT | 

Does Nari224 really think killing Obama and ousting Khadafi really constitutes a successful foreign policy in the Arab world? Obama threw his support behind the Arab "spring" and it blew up in his face. American diplomats were murdered in Libya and the Al Qaida flag was flying over US diplomatic facilities in Egypt.

09/28/2012 - 12:18pm EDT | 

Picking Ryan changed the campaign's focus from unemployment to the deficit, SS, and Medicare. It reeks of desperation, a little like McCain picking Palin.

If Obama wins, one more thing to celebrate is all that wasted Super PAC money, especially Sheldon Adelson's $100 million, even it that's chump change to him. It's like a team with a huge payroll missing the playoffs. I'm looking at you, LA Angels.

09/28/2012 - 12:20pm EDT | 

Everytime I see Romney and Ryan together; I picture Dean Wormer telling HIS frat boy protege; "Put Niedermeyer on it-he's a sneaky little shit just like you"

09/28/2012 - 12:27pm EDT | 

Amazing. One-time Wonder Boy, progeny of the esteemed Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, persuades Republican presidential candidates to select first Quayle, then Palin and now Ryan as running mates. Hmm.. I get it. Eureka! Bill Kristol is a Democratic mole1

09/28/2012 - 12:44pm EDT | 

Noam Schreiber wrote the few critical articles on Obama in 2008.
It was brave from him. He was right then.

Obama has not changed. Still a bad candidate for the White House. Not one of his moves brought relief to us. Just many failures.

Are we not scared in the current times?

Romney is significantly a better talent. Ryan is also a good brain.
Both could outperform the current team.

09/28/2012 - 1:16pm EDT | 

If Obama is re-elected it will be because (1) the GOP put on a bad convention, (2) Romney is a somewhat stilted campaigner and picked the wrong running mate, (3) Bill Clinton can still sell refrigerators to esquimaux, and (4) the national newsmedia are still working hard for Obama. All of that notwithstanding, Obama has an approval rating of only 49% or 50%, the national debt stands at $16 trillion, we are adding $1 trillion to the debt annually, unemployment is stuck at 8% and appears to be rising again, and the economy appears to be headed back into recession. Come January 20, 2013, the American people are going to realize that Obama, the Democrats, and the news media frightened them into ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 1:30pm EDT | 

"Romney is significantly a better talent. Ryan is also a good brain.
Both could outperform the current team."

Well, there is certainly no arguing against that. But then, I've never known how to respond to pep squad cheers.

09/28/2012 - 1:40pm EDT | 

Only the truly gullible imagine that the President, any president, can calm savage rent-a-mobs and direct revolutions in foreign lands by "projecting strength", or in less than the usual time for these sorts of things conjure a full recovery from a giant fiscal and banking crisis.

I think the American people are going to feel just fine when they re-elect the President. They are a lot more realistic in their expectations than Republican propaganda wishes them to be, and will most likely see some progress made on a number of vexing issues in the second term. Deal with it.

09/28/2012 - 1:43pm EDT | 

Spengler, I'm not sure how long you've been visiting this site, but if case you're new, I should mention that the audience here is a bit too sophisticated to go for your 'correllation equals causation' arguments. In other words, the fact that Obama occupies the White House does not mean he is plausibly responsible for the current debt, the rate of growth of the debt, or the state of the economy. Also, you have provided no plausible basis for believing that Romney would handle this better. The fact that he is bearing the standard for the Republican party suggests he is in the throes of the same economic fantasies as almost the entirety of his party.

You self-identified as a geezer, and I beli ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 1:45pm EDT | 

"Come January 20, 2013, the American people are going to realize that Obama, the Democrats, and the news media frightened them into making a very bad mistake. They will realize that they were gulled into re-electing a president in whom they have very little confidence."

Hey, if that's what you've got to tell yourself to deal with the increasingly likely outcome of an election you aren't going to like.

The rest of us will be busy actually trying to help improve the country we love, 'kay?

09/28/2012 - 1:58pm EDT | 

Excellent reply Fish, and RP. To that, I would only add that it's actually the House of Representatives that's ultimately responsible for America's financials. So Spengler has a decent point, but he's blaming the wrong branch of government official(s). If you want to know what's going to happen to the economy over the next 4 years, wait to see who takes control of the House in November.

09/28/2012 - 2:01pm EDT | 

>>The conventional wisdom on Obama's recent surge is that it's due largely to Mitt Romney's 47% disaster, and there's clearly something to this. If nothing else, it's given Team Obama grist for an absolutely devastating ad.<<

The impact of the ad depends on your political leanings. I'm surprised Obama ran this. If you lean far left, I'm sure it sounds heartless.

But if you bust your ass for $60K a year, and you know your money is going so that someone can laze about for $30K of government handouts per year, then I'll bet it rings pretty true. Busting your ass for 40 hours a week for $40K a year seems stupid once you realize you can go on the dole for $30K a year doing no ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 2:07pm EDT | 

"The impact of the ad depends on your political leanings. I'm surprised Obama ran this. If you lean far left, I'm sure it sounds heartless."

Seattle, you don't have to lean hard left, you just have to have a heart. Ask around, someone else can tell you what it feels like.

09/28/2012 - 2:10pm EDT | 

seattle, you make me sick. People on minimum wage, people struggling for $30K a year, people working 2 or 3 jobs as I have done, are not "lazing."

F*** you.

Pardon my asterisks.

09/28/2012 - 2:14pm EDT | 

"But if you bust your ass for $60K a year, and you know your money is going so that someone can laze about for $30K of government handouts per year, then I'll bet it rings pretty true."

Seattle, it sometimes seems like you are posting this stuff from Mars. As far as I can tell, you long ago picked up a feed of Reagan's welfare queen story and think that sufficiently encapsulates life in America for the lower class. We invite you to actually visit our planet one of these days.

09/28/2012 - 2:15pm EDT | 

AND FURTHERMORE, seattle, are seniors "lazing?" What about children? What about students, struggling to get degrees, often working too? What about disabled people, you think their lives are a bed of roses?

I'm sure also that injured vets are "lazing," just enjoying that snuggly warm gov'mint Hammock of Dependency.

You are so full of ignorance it could replenish the Aral Sea and leave some left over to irrigate the Sahara.

09/28/2012 - 2:20pm EDT | 

Also let me tell you about that $30K. Jobs making $30 are hard work, hard jobs, people are NOT lazing around to make $30K.

And - do you think people make $30K on Social Security? You have GOT to be kidding me. Aside from the fact that if you are on Social Security you are either old and have worked for decades; or you are disabled, frequently from WORK your numbers are just flat wrong, hugely wrong.

So - go work a few low paying jobs. Go. Enjoy. But first no cheating - you gotta give up your house, cars, savings accounts, stock portfolios - strip yourself bare so you'll be a real poor person (ie, lazy bum, right?) THEN you go out and laze around on a minimum wage job or three.

09/28/2012 - 2:53pm EDT | 

Love the idea of replenishing the Aral Sea Soph.....it should be up to the soft-headed lefties who organized its depletion to pay for it with Gazprom receipts. Fat chance.

Being poor is hard work for sure. I've done it too, and recommend the experience to you too seattle. Take 15 grand out of the bank, leave the credit cards at home an walk out for half a year. Think of it as a six-month expedition to a new world.

I would like a system that encourages work and individual dignity, and in which everyone can be both a maker and a taker.

09/28/2012 - 3:10pm EDT | 

Like many of the regulars here, I was initially enthusiastic about Obama and, despite the environmental realities, have become disillusioned over time. After the Bill Clinton Extravaganza and Romney's 47 percent, have a feeling folks (-- not *those people*) are more willing to give BHO another shot at turning things around. Hell, I've even been looking for reasons to give Romney the benefit of the doubt. Alas. At the end of the day GOP, if you want the White House, provide a better option than the crappy platter that's been trotted out this time 'round.

And all the while, GWB chuckles to himself about the better favorability rating he currently has over Mitt. Good luck.

09/28/2012 - 3:20pm EDT | 

And by the way GOP, good luck with demographics over the coming 20 years. The white-Protestant-centric, hard-line immigration (Latino), anti-gay rights, quasi-theocracy, shoot-first, ask-questions-later foreign policy platform isn't going to – shall we say – be winning converts anytime soon.

09/28/2012 - 4:30pm EDT | 

disabled vets lazing. Charming.

09/28/2012 - 4:32pm EDT | 

Seattle: "When they realize this year that 46% don't pay a dime, well...."

Of course, Seattle, you will weave your way out of this, but this sentence is a lie. Because everyone in the United States pays some form of tax - whether you call it payroll deductions, or sales taxes, or municipal taxes ... everyone pays "a dime". Stop fucking lying.

You will say that you referred to "income tax" in the preceding sentence. It would still be a lie. Because the stats refer to federal income tax, not state taxes. As you have put it, you are lying. Stop it.

You will say that the 79% were in fact talking about federal income tax. I wonder if that is the case - until we know the polling question, the ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 4:39pm EDT | 

I agree Lyin' Ryan is devastating, and in my opinion the pick was Murdoch's, in the name of (un)godly conservatives, sniping from their yachts. But when the new Obama ad showcasing Mitt as his true self, spewing his 47% speech gets wide-spread viewing, the game will be over. No self-respecting person can glibly call themselves Republican anymore, and it seems only 25% do lately. Watching the gasbags climb all over each other on their way out the doors is the best part, like small man Murdoch claiming to be an independent......no one will be flying out to Murdoch's yacht's any more....

09/28/2012 - 4:44pm EDT | 

Given the level of reasoning skills demonstrated by Seattle, and the self-proclaimed fact that he is in the upper echelons of a US tech company, he explains a lot of what's wrong with American business today.

09/28/2012 - 4:54pm EDT | 

Mitt's new human interest story, courtesy of his Mormon buddy, Bill Marriott, of the hotel chain, certainly lays to rest any elitist charges against Mitt. It is a story any family can relate to of Bill, being stranded near a pier in his yacht for want of a linesman to catch his tow line, waiting for over twenty minutes while others in his family are enjoying ice cream, finally sees an open birth and when he calls out in need "who will tow me in", who answers the call, but our Mittens. Always willing to catch the line of a fellow yachter, offer some Grey Poupon, and then scurrying off to buff the hood ornaments of fellow Bentley owners. What is not to love people?

09/28/2012 - 5:45pm EDT | 

Zardoz and Mice: the real question is why Seattle finds it necessary to first, lie, and second, use language that if any of my students used would result in an automatic fail mark.

The tax deduction issue, welfare, food stamps, social security and so on, are all debatable on merits. As it happens, I do think that many of the Republican policies that have led to 47% of Americans not paying "federal income tax" are misguided, economically unsound and socially corrosive - because they hide from the middle class and seniors the true cost of social services provided to ... the middle class and seniors. There is no sound economic reason, for example, for the mortgage interest deduction, or for ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 5:58pm EDT | 

Ryan's youth means that he will probably be around long enough to say(sadly): "... I told you so..."

09/28/2012 - 6:04pm EDT | 

Loved rmutt's comment. I like to listen to Mitt talk. He's so obviously from another world and of a unique disposition because of his background. He's like a well crafted literary character. The debates should be delightful.

09/28/2012 - 6:09pm EDT | 

seattle,

Where did you get the idea that someone who's never worked gets $30,000 a year from the government--your fevered brain? There's no such person in America. Let me quote Sophia:

"You are so full of ignorance it could replenish the Aral Sea and leave some left over to irrigate the Sahara."

And you hate veterans, some of whom are dependent on the government, because of the injuries they received in combat. You are one piece of anti-American work, seattle.

09/28/2012 - 6:13pm EDT | 

"Loved rmutt's comment. I like to listen to Mitt talk. He's so obviously from another world and of a unique disposition because of his background. He's like a well crafted literary character. The debates should be delightful."

Yes, Vogelfam, Romney does remind one of some of the well-crafted characters in The Great Gatsby, doesn't he?

09/28/2012 - 6:20pm EDT | 

"If Obama is re-elected it will be because (1) the GOP put on a bad convention, (2) Romney is a somewhat stilted campaigner and picked the wrong running mate, (3) Bill Clinton can still sell refrigerators to esquimaux, and (4) the national news media are still working hard for Obama."

Spengler47,

How could the national news media still be working hard for Obama, when Fox News just came out with a poll showing Obama ahead of Romney by 5 points, 48-43? Hmmm?

09/28/2012 - 6:41pm EDT | 

I think the most interesting thing about Romney is that he values money and wealth above everything else. It's how he measures his self-worth and he just can't help himself. Here's a man who just COULDN'T resist sharing the fact that his wife drove not one, but at least two cadillacs. He humbly said he drove a pick-up and thought that would suffice, but he absolutely couldn't resist bragging about his financial success with his wife as his surrogate. Anyone with half a brain knows you DON'T say stuff like that if you're running for president or you downplay it at the very least. But for Romney, self-worth and financial worth (remember that picture from college or prep school where the young ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 8:02pm EDT | 

Good analysis, Claris.

09/28/2012 - 8:07pm EDT | 

Sophia writes: "Also let me tell you about that $30K. Jobs making $30 are hard work, hard jobs, people are NOT lazing around to make $30K."

Stop listening to your FEELINGS Sophia and take a deep breath and look at the numbers. Remember, I was a short order cook for many years. You don't have to tell me how hard these jobs are.

But my point was why do places like the EU tax the working poor so heavily while we don't? They tax the living crap out of a person earning $22K per year. How can we offer similar social programs without taxes the working poor? Answer: We cannot.

Next, if working a crap job pays $30K/year, and getting on the dole brings in $30K/year, why would anyone work for $30K or ev ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 9:02pm EDT | 

"...why do places like the EU tax the working poor so heavily while we don't? They tax the living crap out of a person earning $22K per year. How can we offer similar social programs without taxes the working poor? Answer: We cannot."

And, as pointed out repeatedly above in responses you pointedly choose to ignore, we don't. People earning $22k a year pay payroll taxes, medicare taxes, and some even pay state income taxes, county income taxes, and city taxes on top.

All pay sales taxes on damn near ever penny they spend.

Stop lying.

"...if working a crap job pays $30K/year, and getting on the dole brings in $30K/year, why would anyone work for $30K or even $40K per year?"

A very good question. W ... view full comment

09/28/2012 - 9:04pm EDT | 

Yes but in EU countries (it varies somwhat from country to country, however) both the middle class and the blue collar family get a lot more bang -- health care, education, better transport, infrastructural investment -- for their tax buck than Americans do.

You may know of a big pushback by the working poor in Europe to change the system to the American model. If so, it's escaped me.

09/29/2012 - 12:39am EDT | 

"Magboy, we spent $1T a year in welfare (cash, food, housing, medical care, social services). If 50% of our 100M households received it, that'd be $20K/household. If 25% of households received it all, that'd be $40K/household in welfare. Yes, we're between 25% and 50%. But make no mistake, the numbers are substantial."

seattle,

Even if your figures were in the ballpark, who cares? Why are you so jealous of poor people? Can you answer that? I've told you before that we pay poor people so they won't light America on fire. Is that an alternative you could live with? I couldn't. I lived in Detroit when it was on fire in 1967. We were under martial law. Is that what you'd like to see in pla ... view full comment

09/29/2012 - 4:33am EDT | 

On the subject of Mittens as "literary character", the estimable David Brooks referred to him in a recent column as "Thurston Howell III". I don't know if Gilligan's Island qualifies as literature, but Lyin' Ryan is a dead ringer for Gilligan.

09/29/2012 - 1:12pm EDT | 

Seattle:"But my point was why do places like the EU tax the working poor so heavily while we don't? They tax the living crap out of a person earning $22K per year. How can we offer similar social programs without taxes the working poor? Answer: We cannot."

Actually, that was not your point, but that does not matter. As Irony pointed out, in the EU, tax rates vary from country to country - to even talk about the EU taxing the working demonstrates ignorance or mendacity. In any event, I know that you will turn around and argue that what you are referring to here are not income taxes, but rather, VAT - which is pretty high "in the EU". (Yes, Seattle, I know your stupid games and wordplay.) An ... view full comment

09/29/2012 - 1:32pm EDT | 

Janus writes: "And, as pointed out repeatedly above in responses you pointedly choose to ignore, we don't. People earning $22k a year pay payroll taxes, medicare taxes, and some even pay state income taxes, county income taxes, and city taxes on top."

Someone earning $22K/year in the US will pay and effective tax to the government of 4.3%, or $946 in taxes to uncle sam (that's payroll, medicare, federal, excise, etc).

Now, assuming they spend all of the remaining $21K on purchases, where they pay an additional 9% in sales tax. That's an additional $1890 in taxes. All up they've paid $946+$1890 = $2836, or 12.8%.

I'm sorry, but that doesn't come CLOSE to what someone in France is paying at tha ... view full comment

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