Source: Citizens for Tax Justice
You may hear from time to time that over 50% of American’s don’t pay taxes. It’s interesting to me to watch the debate proceed as Republicans say that NOONE should pay more in taxes (when they’re defending tax breaks for billionaires) because that would be bad for economic prosperity and jobs…and did I mention how raising taxes on billionaires would kill American small businesses? And yet – right as Republicans defend tax breaks for the wealthy and $24 billion in subsidies for insanely rich oil companies…so many Republicans continue to perpetuate this falsehood that 51% of all Americans don’t pay taxes! Don’t you see how lazy those 51% are … who are not you but some other person probably on crack and probably either gay, black, Muslim or Hispanic <sarcasm/>. But don’t worry – the GOP is on the case; they understand how important it is that EVERYONE contributes to America’s success…especially the minority of 51% of Americans who are too lazy to pay income taxes.
So – Republicans say that noone should pay more in taxes as long as you’re rich but those of you who only pay every other tax (when factoring in deductions) other than federal – you’re just lazy and you need to pay your fair share. The chart above shows exactly what people REALLY pay in taxes as a % of their income in TOTAL taxes. This includes states, gasoline, sales, income, payroll, capital gains, etc and all the other alphabet soup of taxes that we Americans pay. It’s intellectually dishonest to suggest that we should only focus on one tax – the income tax – as the measure of your contribution to society. In short – they’re fucking lying to you.
The Atlantic puts together 11 charts on how we pay taxes – see HERE.
The CTJ explains why we need a progressive tax system:
We need the federal personal income tax to be progressive to offset the regressive impacts of these other taxes.
For example, the federal personal income tax provides refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which can reduce or eliminate personal income tax liability and even result in negative personal income tax liability, meaning families receive a check from the IRS. These tax credits are only available to taxpayers who work, and who therefore pay federal payroll taxes, not to mention the other taxes that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income Americans.
In other words, the parts of the federal personal income tax that seem like a boon to the poor are justified because they offset some of the other taxes that poor and middle-income families must pay.
Above – you’ll see what % each income group makes in terms of income relative to the pie and what % each income group pays in terms of taxes. The top 1% make 21% of all the income and pay 21.6% of the total tax burden. Does that seem out of line to you?
In fact – if anything – this allows for greater inequality because someone like Ray Dalio – who Made $1,442,308 an HOUR in 2011 - (SERIOUSLY)…he’s able to put a lot of money in the bank when he’s only paying 21.6% of all the taxes; in fact – he and his other Wall Street friends like Mitt Romney actually pay significantly less than that.
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