Well, Mitt you shouldn’t have said it. But the percentage wasn’t that far off. It is true, however, that anywhere between 49-47 percent of Americans don’t pay federal income tax. To be fair, I don’t think the ones that don’t pay are bitter clingers hanging on to their guns and their Gods. Anyway, to be clear, we’re talking about Federal income tax. On a side note, everyone pays some type of taxes, whether its sales tax, city tax, state tax.
The exact percentage of people who pay no Federal income tax varies depending on the economy, however, according to a 2012 report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:
Close to half of U.S. households currently do not owe federal income tax. The Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households will owe no federal income tax for 2011. A widely cited figure is a Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that 51 percent of households paid no federal income tax in 2009. (The TPC figure for 2009 also is 51 percent.)
Many of those who don’t pay taxes are the poor and the elderly.
I don’t have any real judgments to make here. I guess if I did, it would be that so much of the discussion about taxes that I hear centers on the statement about the rich not paying their share, even though, apparently, half of the country doesn’t pay anything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating taxing the poor or the elderly. I’m advocating adding a few facts the next time someone brings up the subject.
From CNBC, according to the Congressional budget office:
Buried inside a Congressional Budget Office report this week was this nugget: when it comes to individual income taxes, the top 40 percent of wage earners in America pay 106 percent of the taxes. The bottom 40 percent…pay negative 9 percent.
If you want to find out what negative 9 percent means, click the CNBC link below.
If you want to find out what you’re paying for (if you’re one of the ones doing such) the White House has provided this handy little calculator. Keep in mind, that of all this stuff on the list, only half of us are paying for it.
I guess you can trust it if you believe the government wouldn’t deceive you.
I’ll conclude with this quote from the CNBC article written by Jane Wells.
People who make more should pay more, generally speaking. In America, they are. Yes, the rich (and almost rich) are getting richer. When it comes to individual income taxes, they’re also covering the entire bill. And leaving a tip.