HIGH TAXES? WHAT YOU TALKIN BOUT, WILLIS?

Republicans would have you believe that all of us are terribly over-burdened by taxes and that they happen to be most oppressive on those unfortunate folks earning  six figure incomes and much higher.

Balderdash! The only people truly over-burdened by taxes are those on the lower income levels. They pay 6.2% in Social Security taxes (4.2% for 2012 only) and 1.45% Medicare tax on EVERY dollar earned.

No Social Security tax is paid is paid on yearly income above $106,800.

Most states have sales taxes in the 6% range and only a few exempt purchases for necessities like food or clothing from that tax.

Home owners, a term probably applying to the vast majority of earners in excess of $200,000 a year, may deduct from their income property taxes and interest on mortgages.

Many lower income folks rent instead of own. They do not get deductions for mortgage interest or property taxes though those costs to the owner are certainly factored into the rent they pay.

Despite the emphasis in recent years on getting more lower income people to buy their homes, and the assumption that they were a major reason for the housing bust, the overall percentage of Americans of all income classes owning their homes has remained fairly constant since 1950.

Since 1960, the homeownership rate in the United States has remained relatively stable having increased 5.6% since 1960 when 62.1% of American households owned their own home.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeownership_in_the_United_States

Other deductions may not click in until certain thresholds are met which upper income earners find it easier to do. Or they require itemization with certain requirements that again lower income taxpayers do not qualify for.

Now I can almost hear you arguing , “Those dumb bastards don’t pay any income tax anyways!” You know? Technically you may be correct. At the end of the year many of those folks file their income tax return and just wait for their sweet refund of every damn cent of income tax that had been withheld from their paychecks the previous year.

And the most wonderful thing is that they don’t earn any interest for losing that money for a year, that decreases their take home pay by fifteen, twenty, percent or more, when they can barely make it paycheck to paycheck as it is.

So all you rich folks pay all the income tax. Well here’s a little surprise for you. All the payroll taxes that the common folks pay, that they have no choice to pay, that they pay on every buck they earn. And, my friends, the income from those taxes to our beloved federal government is about the same income that same government receives from all personal income taxes, each amounting to about 40% of all federal revenues.

So I say “So what!” if the top ten percent of earners pay almost fifty percent of all income taxes. they have fifty percent of the fucking income! And control over sixty percent of the total wealth in this country.

Here’s another outrageous thing. Some poor schlubb who works 8 hours every day, making no more than $200,000 a year, can incur income tax as high as 28%. In the meantime some asshole who doesn’t work at all, who inherited his money and/or investments and his only income is from capital gains, pays only 15% income tax, with no Social Security or Medicare taxes assessed against that income.

Do you really think your taxes are too high? Well, let’s hear from  Bruce Bartlett, a former senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan. he says:

Historically, the term “tax rate” has meant the average or effective tax rate — that is, taxes as a share of income. The broadest measure of the federal tax rate is total revenues divided by the gross domestic product.

By this measure, federal taxes are at their lowest level in more than 60 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal taxes would consume just 14.8 percent of GDP this year. The last year in which revenues were lower was 1950, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

He attacks the Republican bogeyman of statutory tax rates used as an argument for lowering taxes further.

If taxes are low historically and in comparison with our global competitors, how are Republicans able to maintain that taxes are excessively high?

They do so by ignoring the effective tax rate and concentrating solely on the statutory tax rate, which is often manipulated to make it appear that rates are much higher than they really are.

See http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11156/1151169-109-0.stm

Remember, Bartlett IS a Republican.

President Obama has proposed restoring the top marginal tax rate, on incomes over $250,000 a year, to the 39.5% rate it was under Clinton, or possibly a little higher. He has received violent opposition from Republicans on this issue who insist raising the rate even to a pre-existing level, and even with a higher income threshold, is utterly untenable.

Yet that marginal rate would mean that, for every extra $100,000 income, instead of $36,000 in taxes such an earner would pay $39,500 in taxes. A fairly hefty amount by itself, but remember, such a taxpayer would still have over $60, 000 remaining from that EXTRA $100,000  of income, which itself is a higher number than the average total personal income in this country.

Bartlett’s final thought is this:

The truth of the matter is that federal taxes in the United States are very low. There is no reason to believe that reducing them further will do anything to raise growth or reduce unemployment.
As I’ve noted here in other posts, the Republicans keep insisting that tax hikes kill jobs and tax cuts spur job growth. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Job growth was greatest under President Clinton, the best record in history, and he raised taxes.
 
In contrast, George W, Bush had the worst job creation record of any President in history and he sponsored two major rounds of tax cuts.
 
So please, please, please do not listen to the Republican bullshit about taxes being high. They are historically low. To bring them back into the balance of the combination of effective tax rates and taxes as a certain percentage of our GDP that they generally have been, would mean only a minus adjustment upward which should not affect the vast majority of taxpayers.
 
Be damned grateful for what you’ve got.
 
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