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Trump can’t claim he’s not under investigation any more. Mueller seeks White House documents related to Trump’s actions as president.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Who Are These 47% of Americans Who Don 't Pay Taxes and Where Do They Live?

The GOP candidates have been eager to talk about and bash the 47% of Americans who don't pay federal taxes, but what you won't hear Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Perry, Rand, Romney, or Santorum tell you is that the majority of these "nontaxpayers" are from red states. 

The conservative candidates won't talk about that fact because it's too embarrassing for them to acknowledge that most of the people too poor to qualify for paying federal taxes are from states with GOP governors and that traditionally vote Republican.

This is just another example of the dishonesty rampant in the GOP campaign for the presidential nomination.  We've already seen Romney's blatantly dishonest video where he attributes John McCain's words to President Obama; we've heard Michele Bachmann falsely claim she's made no gaffes during her quest for the nomination; and Newt Gingrich wants people to believe that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave him almost $2 million to advise them as an historian.



From Andrew Sullivan's blog:

"Ramesh Ponnuru chides the GOP for indulging in reverse class warfare, pitting the 53 percent against the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes. He debunks the "freeloader myth":

"That 47 percent of all tax filers have no income-tax liability is now one of the most widely known statistics on the right. (Actually, according to the Tax Policy Center, the figure was 47 percent in 2009 and will be 46 percent for this tax year, but 47 is the number that has lingered in the public debate.) Economist Michael Boskin, a veteran of Republican administrations, fretted in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that tax policy “can create a majority paying nothing and voting more spending at the expense of a taxpaying minority.” When he announced his presidential campaign, Texas governor Rick Perry said, “We’re dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax.” Michele Bachmann, also running for the Republican nomination, says she will reform taxes so that everyone pays some amount in income taxes.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin echoes this concern. “We’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition,” he said in a recent speech to the Heritage Foundation.

[skip]


The ten states with the highest number of non-payers are a strongly Republican bunch: Eight of them went for John McCain in 2008, and nine of them have Republican governors. Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser in George W. Bush’s administration, notes that the historical data suggest that the child credit was the main reason for the increase in the number of non-payers between 1995 and 2007."



The next time you hear conservatives whining about Americans who don't pay any federal income taxes, tell them to take their complaints to the GOP governors of the GOP states.  That's where you'll find the Americans who are causing them this fake conservative angst.

29 comments:

The Griper said...

that 47% only represent filers. my question would be how many non-filers are there not paying any federal or state income taxes?

point #2
if we are suppose to include payroll taxes then this is just an admission that the benefits received are no different than welfare payments with the exception that it is for a lifetime without a work requirement. thus the welfare rolls have just increased by the number of social security recipients.

seems as if i remember your friends Truth and Tao making a different argument. they were arguing that payroll taxes should be looked upon in the same manner as insurance premiums. which argument should we believe? should we look upon them as taxes just like any other tax or should we look upon them them as premiums paid? you can't have it both ways.

as for going to the governors of those states cited that would be useless since the 17th amendment was passed and the States are no longer represented in our federal government.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"According to the Tax Policy Center, provisions of the tax code that exempt subsistence levels of income from income taxes — the standard deduction, personal exemption, and dependent exemption — are the reason for about half of the tax filers who owe no income tax. Another large group of filers pays no income tax because its members are elderly and benefit from such features of the code as the non-taxation of some Social Security benefits. The tax credit for children and the earned-income tax credit, an effort to boost the pay of low-income workers, wipe out income-tax liability for other taxpayers. Those credits are “refundable,” meaning that beneficiaries can get money on top of paying no income tax. Other provisions of the code account for the rest of the 47 percent: education credits, the non-taxation of welfare payments, itemized deductions, and so on.

The Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank, has estimated how many people paid income taxes each year going back to 1950. That year 28 percent of filers had no (or negative) income-tax liability. It dropped for the next two decades, reaching a trough of 16 percent in 1969. It rose, bumpily, back to 26 percent during the Carter years, fell again to 18 percent in 1984, and then began to rise — especially after the Gingrich Congress introduced the child credit. Pres. George W. Bush expanded that credit, and also reduced the 15 percent tax rate that applied to many lower-income workers to 10 percent. Both moves increased the number of people with no income-tax liability.

During the last few years, the number leapt upward because of the severe economic slump. Many people saw their incomes drop to levels at which they were eligible for the earned-income tax credit, for example. It is generally assumed that the percentage of non-payers of income tax will drop once a real recovery begins."

Octopus said...

Auntie Shaw,
Those who pay no Federal income tax still pay taxes ... in the form of state sales tax (the most regressive of all forms of taxation), state income taxes in those states that have no low income exemptions, in the form of fees ... as well as exemptions for the elderly as you rightfully point out. The state of Florida, for instance, has turned toll roads into profit centers - raising the rate from 25 cents to $2.00 - an eight fold increase within a year (at the expense of workers who are also commuters that use these roads twice a day).

Furthermore, of all comments left here by The Griper, this is the most patently offensive and untrue of them all:

Griper: "this is just an admission that the benefits received are no different than welfare payments with the exception that it is for a lifetime without a work requirement"

This is the biggest, fattest LIE the smug bastard has ever left here. Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Compensation are EARNED BENEFITS ... not entitlements ... that function exactly as TAO and T101 has represented them - as insurance benefits. There are NO, let me repeat 'NO" social security payments to those who have failed to meet their minimum pay-in obligations.

Recently, I have met 3 people whose SS applications have been turned down because they were self-employed and cheated the government of their SUI obligations. Furthermore, all of them are bigoted, belligerent TEA BAGGERS. Serves them right!

I am so offended by the Griper's outrageous lies, if he were here in the same room with me right now, I would slam his goddam face against a wall.

This is what the right wing does best: Fabricate outrageous untruths while characterizing the working poor as deadbeats on welfare. Griper is a damn sick BASTARD with no moral compass whatsoever!

The Griper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Octopus said...

Grifter,
It was your last remark that got you deleted, you filthy dishonest bastard!

Rational Nation USA said...

Octo, feeling quite inky today I see ;) - Damn, I didn't even see what the griper's last remark was. He usually shoots for some semblance of logic. Although lately he has woven some circles.

dmarks said...

octo said: "The state of Florida, for instance, has turned toll roads into profit centers"

This, like any tax, is a disincentive to do the activity being taxed. When I see this, it sometimes encourages me to use alternate routes.

Just like "traffic calming" (a terrible idea) on main streets encourages me to cut through residental neighborhoods to get around the obstacles.

Octopus said...

RN,
Inky indeed. The thing that got my goat was this remark that I found deliberately deceitful:

"an admission that the benefits received are no different than welfare payments with the exception that it is for a lifetime without a work requirement."

Total, asinine bullshit with no basis in fact (please see my comment above @ 3:45 pm). The reason why this bothers me so much is that I am sick and tired of VICTIM BLAME where decent and hardworking people are being characterized as deadbeats, moral degenerates, unwashed, or stupid ... when Senator Orrin Hatch, for instance, called for legislation to force all people on unemployment to undergo drug testing as a condition for receiving "earned" benefits.

Federal courts have found this practice unconstitutional - a breach of unreasonable search, and an unconstitutional suspicion of guilt, among other violations of basic rights.

Just because people lost their jobs due to a recession that was not their fault, now they must pee in a bottle and subject themselves to humiliation on top of every injustice they have suffered thus far ...which, in this economy, loss of jobs also means loss of homes and sometimes even families.

This kind of mean-spirited VICTIM BLAME is beyond immoral. The Grifter's remarks were a variation of the same theme. One need not necessarily hurl epithets to verbally a person; you can accomplish the same by characterizing innocent persons as "deadbeats," as "vermin," as "diseased," as worthy of nothing less than persecution and eradication. This is the same abuse of language used by the Nazis to justify political murder and genocide.

And the other thing got my dander up is the smug phrasing of: "an admission" followed by "you can't have it both ways."

In other words, weasel word phrasing that attempts to pass off opinion, or even outright deception, as fact. IOW, typical Grifter bullshit!

In one of the deleted comments, the Grifter said:

"i'm speaking of those who work under the table but do not include those moneys on their tax forms. i'm speaking of those who work for themselves but do not file. i'm speaking of those who pay taxes on paper but not in reality. i'm speaking of those who earn money by illegal means and dare not report income ..."

Now the Grifter is changing the subject. What do those who don't pay taxes have to do with his original comment - social security as welfare without work? This kind of cheap rhetorical device is called a Gish Gallop.

Finally, the Grifter says this:

"another reason i dislike it [taxes] is because i don't think we should have a system that will incarcerate a person for non-payment of taxes. that, to me is no different from debtor's prison."

The ONLY people sent to prison are those who engage in FRAUD, and let there be no mistake: Defrauding millions and billions in revenue is FRAUD. Hard luck cases do not get sent to debtors prison. No such thing.

RN, it's one thing to have a simple gentleman's disagreement but quite another matter to engage in subterfuge and weasel words and call this a debate. When a person's Gestalt is so fundamentally dishonest, it is more than insulting.

Jerry Critter said...

I think this is just another example of the failure of GOP economic policies...failure for the majority of Americans. The 1% are doing quite will, thank you.

The Griper said...

you can dish it out but cannot take it huh, octopus?

misrepresenting everything i said just confirms that all you said was ignorant rantings.

reprinting what i said by leaving out a portion of it that would give it meaning is dishonest of you, not me.

not allowing others to see what i wrote so as to judge for themselves is dishonesty in itself by you not me.

and calling me a liar before finding out if i can back up my claims is dishonesty in itself but arrogance and self-righteousness on your part.
---------

"The ONLY people sent to prison are those who engage in FRAUD, and let there be no mistake:..."

this is a BIG FAT LIE based upon who a tax lawyer claims are put in jail.
example:
"he facts speak for themselves, the IRS has put taxpayers in jail. The IRS even put a man who I was acquainted with into federal prison."

" High profile persons who are known in their respective communities. These persons are at high risk because the IRS may want to make an example of them for their community so as to scare the community into compliance."

now, those are the words of a tax lawyer and this is only an example. where is there any mention of "fraud" in his statements?

one more piece of information is that most tax debt cannot be wiped out in a bankruptcy either.

so, before you call me a liar again get off that high pedestal you're on and make sure you have grounds to call me that.

Octopus said...

For the record, here is the Grifter's comment fully restored (sans formatting).:

"i'm not speaking of those who do not file as a result of laws exempting them from income taxes even though they should in order to get all the benefits they are entitled to. __i'm speaking of those who work under the table but do not include those moneys on their tax forms. __i'm speaking of those who work for themselves but do not file.__i'm speaking of those who pay taxes on paper but not in reality.__i'm speaking of those who earn money by illegal means and dare not report income.__these are people who are part of the economy who are not included in those figures.__given time i could name a few other groups that would fall into this category also and you probably can too.__and i'd guess that would be about 15%, more or less. this is my primary reason for disliking the income tax system for funding our government.__another reason i dislike it is because i don't think we should have a system that will incarcerate a person for non-payment of taxes. that, to me is no different from debtor's prison. non-payment of taxes is the only debt that can result in person spending time in jail.__then you have those who deliberately do not pay their taxes until they get caught and then make a deal with the government to pay far less than they owe."

In essence, what I quoted from the above was an abstract of the above comment with no unfair or inaccurate characterization taken out of context. No misrepresentations. And no distortions. Since his comment is represented in full, I shall reply to the following:

"this is my primary reason for disliking the income tax system for funding our government."

Like or not, this is the way our government has worked for 100 years. This is the way ALL DEMOCRACIES collect revenue. And like it or not, this is the LAW. An opinion of ONE does not represent the entire country, although I have no doubt you would set yourself up as dictator-in-chief given the chance. Thankfully, yours is merely a lunatic fringe opinion (and as I stated earlier, an opinion is not a fact although the Grifter thinks it is).

So The Grifter doesn't think Al Capone should have been jailed for tax evasion. Or the crooks that ran WorldCom or Enron or Tyson Foods. Of course, The Grifter has a friend ... blah, blah ... which is all the proof he needs. And the Grifter offers a quote ... blah, blah ... but gives no citation or attribution. In other words, he makes up shit off the cuff with the arrogance and grandiosity of one who thinks he can actually sucker people with bad scholarship, bogus claims, and a dishonest exchange.

Grifter, you are done here! Now, go away and don't come back.

Rational Nation USA said...

Octo - I do not like our system of taxation either. In reality it is unfair and in ways encourage the incidence of fraud.

Having said the above I realize no nation can survive as a society, let alone function, without a revenue stream to support its infrastructure and provide basic services as well as a national defense. In the Griper's defense I believe he is essentially saying the same.

Our system would be better if it were a flat tax system were individuals paid 10 percent of their gross income above a certain point. No deductions or exemptions.

Corporations should be subject to the same 10% after legitimate business expenses. No exemptions, deductions, tax credits etc.

The above is just a simple overview of what I have held would be a better tax code for some time. This combined with regulatory reform {eliminating duplicity and truly unneeded and thus counterproductive reg.'s) would result in increased revenue stream and would result in corporations and the very wealthy paying more than they do under the current system.

However, I admit I am not a tax attorney or accountant. Much to my pleasure ;)

Octopus said...

RN,
Although I respectfully disagree on the subject of taxation (in my view, regressive taxation yields far too much inequality and is historically a leading cause of depressions and recessions), my argument with the Grifter is his galling dishonesty. Not to rehash, he is an arrogant and unrelenting boor, and I've already wasted far too much time on him.

BTW, I hope your Thanksgiving was happy and fulfilling.

Jerry Critter said...

I've always wondered that since businesses can deduct "legitimate business expenses" from their taxable income, why should people be able to deduct legitimate living expenses (food, shelter, etc.) from their taxable income?

Liberality said...

Jerry Critter said...

I've always wondered that since businesses can deduct "legitimate business expenses" from their taxable income, why should people be able to deduct legitimate living expenses (food, shelter, etc.) from their taxable income?


BINGO!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Good point Jerry Critter.

If corporations are people, then why aren't they taxed the same way as people are taxed? Or, vice-versa. Why can't people deduct the way people-corporations deduct?

Jack Jodell said...

Shaw,
I was over at Dave Dubya's site and saw how the Heathen Republican tried to jump all over you. So I came over here and I'm glad I did. You have an outstanding blog here which I am adding to my blogroll. Keep up the great work! Even though I'm listed as a Google account, I'm really over at wordpress (http://jackjodell53.wordpress.com/). I'll be back here often.

The Griper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Griper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jerry Critter said...

Griper, Your ignorance is showing.

Rational Nation USA said...

I could swear I posted a comment on the taxation issue here following my prior response to Octo. Must be mistaken.

The Griper pretty must covered it for the most part with his last.

Octopus said...

Grifter,
Reasons why I am the bouncer here:
1 - An Octopus is always well armed.
2 - I work cheap - a bucket of crustaceans daily.
3 - My capitalization/grammar is better than yours.
3 - With friends like you, who needs anemones.

Goodbye. Don't let the swinging door whack you from behind.

Octopus said...

I know people who deduct their multi-million dollar yachts as business expenses and the fuel and upkeep as T&E. There are millionaires who live on those yachts, have postal addresses, are registered to vote, yet pay no local real estate taxes (while working people bear the cost of emergency services, roads, and other trappings of civilization). If one is wealthy and privileged, there are many ways to cheat the system; but just because a privilege is legal, this does not make it ethical. Besides, well-heeled heels have lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians in their pockets and can get away with shit.

Jerry,
The Grifter is not just ignorant, he is dishonest and unethical.

RN,
Your comment should still be there. Did you look @ November 26, 2011 12:34 AM (above)? Or did you post it somewhere else?

The Griper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Heathen Republican said...

"I was over at Dave Dubya's site and saw how the Heathen Republican tried to jump all over you."

Jack, that's not a fair description at all. Shaw and I have a combative but respectful relationship with each other. None of that name-calling you'll hear from people like Octo. Shaw and I have learned to debate ideas without making it personal.

Octopus said...

HR: "None of that name-calling you'll hear from people like Octo."

Oh really! When your very first comment throws off an attitude, what do you expect in kind?

When I remind you that readers have a life outside the blogosphere, and yet you still insist on monopolizing and hijacking comment threads, how is that name-calling?

How conveniently you forget your own indiscretions and name-calling but project your own bad behavior onto others! How does this constitute name-calling?

As the saying goes: IOKIYAR but how quickly you forget that civil and respectful conversation is a two-way street!

When you act like a troll, you will be treated like a troll.

Truth 101 said...

Gotta give old Griper some kudos for not giving up no matter how many times his arguments are exposed for the silliness they are.

Sales tax. Property tax. Fees. Tolls. etc. The lowest wage earners are contributing whether you want to admit it or not.


Simple math Griper. A person making 100k a year buys a car for 20K. Sales tax is $1,400. A person making 20k can only afford a 10k. car. His sales tax is $700. The percentage of income is only 1.4 for the 100k person. It's 3.5 for the poor guy. And he was responsible. Bought the best car he could afford. He's paying more of his income in taxes though.

Shaw Kenawe said...

TRUTH, we can't change people who don't want to look at the facts.

See my post on what David Frum says about this element in the GOP.

Truth 101 said...

We can toy with them though Shaw. At least our side will show the world we care enough to expose and ridicule even if we can't make them see the truth.