As we all know, right-wing Republicans are very concerned about fairness. Specifically, as Senator Orrin Hatch said last May, they think the tax system is unfair because it doesn’t tax poor people enough. More than half of taxpayers didn’t have any federal income tax liability in 2009, which means most Americans are freeloaders, right?
Actually, no. Less than a quarter of the nation’s households don’t contribute to federal revenues, and the majority are students, the elderly, or the unemployed. A increasingly large proportion of taxes are paid by low- and middle-income Americans in the form of payroll taxes, sales and excise taxes. For example, the federal government collects 18.4 cents on every gallon of gasoline sold.
Today’s Chart of the Day on TPM shows that the proportion of federal revenues from payroll taxes has more than tripled since 1950 (from 11% to 36%), while income tax revenues stayed flat and the corporate income tax shrank.
So when Sean Hannity goes on another rant like this, remember the facts.
“If half of Americans now don’t pay taxes, and the other half are the beneficiaries of the tax that the other half pay, at some point you say, OK, you got a full voting block and it seems like the Democratic Party … caters to that.”
The Republicans crashed the economy, putting millions of Americans out of work and leaving millions more underemployed, and now they want to complain that not enough of us pay income tax? If people earned enough money to owe income tax they would pay!