Mr. Romney's right about the non-income-taxed slice of Americans. It's an issue that conservatives as a whole have been talking about for some time. About 46 percent of US households owed no income tax in 2011, according to an estimate from the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center. In 2008 and 2009 – the epicenter of the Great Recession – that figure was even higher, at 51 percent. That last figure hints at one aspect of this number – it's been boosted quite a bit by recent hard economic times. In 2007, the figure was 40 percent, which is closer to its recent historic level.