Tax Day: Half of US Pays Nothing

It depends on how it’s earned and what the law is. Now, the Gallup people have a poll out here that those who pay taxes think that they are too high. “Half of Americans believe the amount they pay in federal income taxes is too high, while 43% consider it about right and 4% too low,” and yet the AP goes out and makes a project out of finding rich people who think they’re not paying enough, rich people that are unhappy with the tax code, rich people who think they’re not getting screwed enough. That’s our old buddies at AP, and yet Gallup says that half of those Americans who pay federal income tax say it’s too high.

I wonder if this could have anything to do with the fact that 43% or 47, whatever number you believe, pay absolutely no income tax at all, and a lot of them even get money back in these credits like Earned Income Tax Credit (which is preposterously named, by the way: the Earned Income Tax Credit). “In a recent speech outlining his vision for reducing the national debt, President Barack Obama repeated his call for repealing the Bush-era tax breaks on couples earning at least $250,000 a year. In doing so, he stated that the majority of wealthy Americans would agree that they should pay more. Not so, according to a compilation of Gallup data from the last several years,” not just recently.

Now we move, ladies and gentlemen, to a Wall Street Journal story: “Where the Tax Money Is — A dominant theme of President Obama’s budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked ‘to pay a little more.’ Since he’s asking, imagine that instead of proposing to raise the top income tax rate well north of 40%, the President decided to go all the way to 100%,” because, after all, if you accept the premise that the rich aren’t paying enough… What’s the top rate, 36%, 35%, whatever it is?

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