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Stop The Whining About Taxes

Personally, I’ve never minded paying taxes. Sure, I’d prefer my money stop going to fund immoral wars, bloated defense contractors, tax breaks for polluting companies, and the very wealthy. But, the burden is not a big one — maybe it’s also because I’m not obsessed with shopping (but that’s a different problem in society). And the reason most people should not feel a burden is that, well, taxes are pretty low.

As this analysis shows:

But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.

Households earning more than $200,000 benefited from the largest percentage declines in total taxation as a share of income. Middle-income households benefited, too. More than 85 percent of households with earnings above $25,000 paid less in total taxes than comparable households in 1980.

Lower-income households, however, saved little or nothing. Many pay no federal income taxes, but they do pay a range of other levies, like federal payroll taxes, state sales taxes and local property taxes. Only about half of taxpaying households with incomes below $25,000 paid less in 2010.

The uneven decline is a result of two trends. Congress cut federal taxation at every income level over the last 30 years. State and local taxes, meanwhile, increased for most Americans. Those taxes generally take a larger share of income from those who make less, so the increases offset more and more of the federal savings at lower levels of income.

And:

¶A household making $350,000 in 2010, roughly the cutoff for the top 1 percent, on average paid 42.1 percent of its income in taxes, compared with 49 percent for a household with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980 — a savings of about $24,100.

¶A household making $52,000 in 2010, roughly the median income, on average paid 27.7 percent of its income in taxes, compared with 30.5 percent in 1980, saving $1,500.

¶A household making $22,000 in 2010 — roughly the federal poverty line for a family of four — on average paid 19.4 percent in taxes, compared with 20.2 percent, saving $200.

Of course, the lying about taxes continues:

But Douglas Holtz Eakin, a prominent conservative economist, said the changes in taxation over the last three decades reflected a conscious and successful strategy to encourage economic growth that should be reinforced, not reversed.

I’m baffled how people who lie and are simply dead wrong still are referred to as “prominent”. Does “prominent” mean this dope is good at self-promotion and, therefore, stands out…is “prominent”. But, the truth is that statement shows the utter failure of conservative economics (and I use “economics” quite loosely — it’s more, if I may quote a former Bush, “voodoo economics”).

When I say “lie”, I mean it. Because the facts are entirely different. As OMB Watch correctly pointed out, in a posting  called, “Multiple CRS Reports Show Return to Clinton-Era Tax Rates for Rich Will Not Harm Economic Growth”, it’s entirely false to say that higher taxes on the rich hurt economic growth, and it’s true for most tax levels.

What is important to note in this particular article about the poor is:

State and local taxes, meanwhile, increased for most Americans. Those taxes generally take a larger share of income from those who make less, so the increases offset more and more of the federal savings at lower levels of income.

But, what is important to say as well, which was said, is that over the same 30-plus year period wages have not kept up with productivity. Duh: you’d think the geniuses who run around talking about the sky falling whenever workers demand a rise in wages to keep with costs, and to reflect their hard work, would ALSO understand that if wages don’t go up, people can’t pay taxes.

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