PolitiFact: Cantor says about half don’t pay income tax

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Eric Cantor says that about half don’t pay income tax.  Make that half of the tax ‘units.’

“We also have a situation in this country where you’re nearing 50 percent of people who don’t even pay income taxes,” he said.

Is it true that half of all Americans pay no income tax? Let’s take a look.

First, a technical note. When Cantor says people, he means “tax-filing units,” which refers to individuals or couples that either file a tax return or would have if they had earned enough income, according to his staff.  

To support his assertion, Cantor’s camp provided a variety of studies and media reports that do indicate about 50 percent of U.S. households owed no federal income tax in 2009 — the most recent year tax data are available.

In 2009, for example, the Tax Policy Center projected 47 percent of people would pay no income tax that year, up from previous estimates of 38 percent — largely due to additional tax credits through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.

Still, that’s a bit dated. Anything newer?

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Death of Osama helps Obama reposition in Virginia

From the Washingtonpost.com:

The poll provides a view of the impact of bin Laden’s death in a state widely viewed as a bellwether for Obama’s chances for reelection nationally. The interviews were already underway when Obama delivered the news late in the evening of May 1; 677 were conducted before the announcement, with 503 afterward.

Against all five potential GOP contenders tested in the poll, Obama stretched his margins after the death of bin Laden. In a hypothetical matchup against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for example, interviews before the bin Laden announcement showed voters splitting 48 percent for the president and 46 percent for Romney. Afterward, Obama edged ahead, 51 to 44 percent.

Against former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and businessman Donald Trump, twin 19-point Obama advantages swelled to 31 points in interviews conducted in the three days after bin Laden’s death.

Still, big vulnerabilities remain for the president, the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Virginia in more than 40 years. More than half of all Virginia voters are dissatisfied, even angry, with the Obama administration’s policies, and a vast majority retains a bleak view of the economy. Those opinions did not change with bin Laden’s death, leaving open the question of whether, or how long, the spike in Obama’s fortunes will last.

The poll reveals the movability of voters in Virginia, which firmly established itself as a new battleground in 2008. Two years later, in the tea-party-infused, low-turnout elections of 2010, Virginia swung in the opposite direction, ousting three of the state’s six Democratic congressmen.

What will it take for President Obama to claim Virginia?  What will keep Virginia blue?  How will the outcome of this election affect the state election in 2013?  Is the Prez’s bump artificial, a flash in the pan, or can he sustain it?  Why does killing Bin Laden increase Obama’s popularity?