If you make below a certain amount, you don't owe.
You always owe. Those who make so little that they don't owe federal or state are destroyed by sales and gasoline taxes (since they spend just about all their income). Where I live, gas is taxed at 10%, sales tax is 7% and everyone pays social security at 4.2% and medicare at 1.45%. (Social Security is normally 6.2% but Obama lowered it as part of the stimulus. It is scheduled to go back up.) Don't forget real estate taxes (even for renters since it is added to the rent). My guess is for a low income renter that is around an 8% hit around here. Romney (again, for example since one year of his taxes are public record) pays 0% social security, 0% medicare, 0% sales tax, 1% real estate tax, 0% gas tax. Wait you say, Romney pays those taxes! Of course he does, but social security is capped at ~$4,600 and only applies to salaries, not investment income. That is around 0.04% of Romney's salary, not even showing up in the first decimal place. Likewise all those other taxes that the everyday person feels in a big way (especially those who don't make enough to pay federal taxes) are completely insignificant to someone making Romney's yearly income. On a percentage basis, the only significant tax Romney pays is his federal and state income taxes. Over the last decade as the federal government has cut payments to the states, the states have responded by increasing all these regressive taxes. For the poor and lower middle class. federal taxes are the least of their concerns.