Paul LePage, The New Mr. 47%

Maine's deeply flawed Governor, and soon to be unemployed himself, let fly with another one in a recent speech, saying that "47% of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work." The conservative women's group gasped, naturally, swallowing this load of crap, hook, line, and sinker.

Via the Bangor Daily News

The quote is stunning, both for how ridiculous it is on its face as well as how closely it mirrors a comment made by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who also took aim at 47% of the population (those he said were victims, dependent on government and therefore voting for his opponent) in a leaked video that did significant damage to his campaign.

Just to be absolutely clear, LePage’s statistic is completely wrong. Currently, around 65% of Mainers over the age of 15 are working or are unemployed and actively seeking work. Of the remaining 35%, almost all are retired, are caring for children or other family members, are pursuing education or training or have a disability that prevents them from working. Only a tiny fraction aren’t working for other reasons. The conservative Heritage Foundation, using U.S. Census data, puts this number at 1.1% nationally.

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