Remember Matthew Vadum, the nut who thinks poor people shouldn’t be allowed to vote? Well he appears to have a supporter in Rep. Steve King, the prom king of Wingnuttia High School (Michele Bachmann is the queen, of course), who recently spent his allotted time during a hearing on a balanced budget amendment waxing eloquent about the good old days when only white male property owners could vote. And he told some big lies along the way too.
KING: As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted — that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending — to have some skin in the game.
Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don’t have an income tax liability. And it’s pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all. In fact, of our unemployment numbers — that run in the 13 or 14 million category — when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren’t working.
Now I don’t think they’re paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.
Nearly all of that is a lie, of course. Some Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pay taxes. Everyone pays taxes. Every time you buy something, you’re paying a tax on it, often several different taxes. Then there are state and local taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, social security and medicare payroll taxes, and so forth. Everyone has “skin in the game.”
He tries to add a disclaimer in the middle of this conversation, saying “this is not a proposal, this is an historical observation,” but everything else he says makes clear that he thinks that was a good thing. He even asks the person testifying how it would change things if we went back to that system. Here’s the full video: