Americans Don't Pay much Income Tax

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According to this USA Today article, "Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010."

Could help explain some of our national debt. We know for sure that Greece doesn't collect enough taxes. Perhaps the US should take a lesson.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Comments

I agree Art. Americans don't pay much tax at all, but it shows. I mean its a classic example of you get what you pay for.

However it seems to me that aggressively raising taxes in the US is a poison chalice for any politician. People just hate the idea of paying more in taxes, and then don't seem to understand why services have to be slashed.

Greece's problem was largely created by massive tax avoidance by the very wealthy, which was more or less permitted under the previous conservative government there. They now have a new socialist government (voted in last Oct.) which now has to implement the painful cuts and huge tax rises for those who didn't have the means to escape.

It says alot about Greek nationalistic pride, doesn't it?

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meljomur
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Quote Art:

According to this USA Today article, "Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010."

Could help explain some of our national debt. We know for sure that Greece doesn't collect enough taxes. Perhaps the US should take a lesson.

I agree tax rates are too low. But averages are misleading. You get that misleading low average because a small portion of the wage earners in the country pay most of the taxes. If you want to raise that average, you must raise taxes on all workers which is political suicide.

Almost half of all Americans pay no Federal income tax. I don't think it is a healthy situation to when half of all voters pay no Federal income tax at all.

Every American wage earner should pay a small portion of her income as income tax.

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PeeWee Returns
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote PeeWee: Almost half of all Americans pay no Federal income tax.
That's only for 2009. It seems to me that you wouldn't expect a lot of tax revenue from the lower classes. In 2007 (before the crash), 24.5% of the populations were below the poverty level. After the crash, that figure had to have gone up significantly. Do you really want to tax those people?

I don't think it is a healthy situation to when half of all voters pay no Federal income tax at all
I don't think it's a healthy situation when more than a quarter of all voters fall below the poverty line.

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Art:
I don't think it is a healthy situation to when half of all voters pay no Federal income tax at all
I don't think it's a healthy situation when more than a quarter of all voters fall below the poverty line.

You think raising taxes will help this situation?

PeeWee Returns's picture
PeeWee Returns
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You think raising taxes will help this situation?
Yes! Raising taxes on the very wealthy will result in fewer people below the poverty level. It was lowering marginal tax rates that has resulted in the most massive re-distribution of wealth in recent memory. But then, we've been through that argument again and again on this board.

Art's picture
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

OK, I get it. Debt isn't due to spending so much, it's due to not earning enough.

stwo's picture
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Probably if a household didn't earn enough to pay the rent and its medical bills, it shouldn't spend its income on war toys .

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disese"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Just think of the Percentage when 10% of the taxpayers pay for 100% of the Federal budget. What a glorious day that will be. Until they die of course.

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Roboute
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May. 7, 2010 4:23 pm

Hardly. Just a 33% tax on the N.Y. bankster bonuses would balance the N.Y. State budget.

Even a 33% tax wouldn't break them. They'd still have enough left over to buy Congress and bring down Ireland, Spain or Portugal by shorting their bonds and making derivative bets against them.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote polycarp2:

Hardly. Just a 33% tax on the N.Y. bankster bonuses would balance the N.Y. State budget


Odd, I thought the topic was Federal income taxes

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May. 7, 2010 4:23 pm

Well, either the Feds bail N.Y. and find a tax source to do that, or the banksters will drive it into the pits...like they've done with Greece.

What the heck...N.Y. doesn't need to keep the schools open anyway. Cut the social safety nets as well. Send in the army to keep order and keep people from raiding food stores.

A 33% tax on the top 1% won't break 'em as some have implied. Neither would a 90% tax on incomes above several million a year. It might, however, keep them from having enough surplus money floating around to collapse economies and financial systems..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

When we focus on the fact that the most profitable American corporations, Exxon being just one example, pay zero tax, and that the progressive income tax rate has been gradually reduced from a maximum of 90% on the super-rich to an average of 15%, a clear image of why there is a revenue shortfall emerges. The next thing to look at is the wasteful and redundant military budget, which, if trimmed to a reasonable level, could resolve our national debt. .

Yet, whenever this tax issue arises the focus is on mid-level wage earners, most of whom are up to their asses in usuriously implemented debt and are two paychecks away from becoming homeless.

Our problem is not insufficient internal revenue, it is political corruption and wanton waste.

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MikeK
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

All governments operate on credit, just as businesses do. They utilize iit in the manner the U.S. did when it built the Interstate. It provided an impetus for economic development that followed the investment.

The problems with the right is, they don't want social iexpenditures...and will strangle government to prevent or reverse it. Tax cuts on the wealthy are one way to do that. It plunges governments into deficits.

The financier/rentier class then holds them hostage....sukcing the life blood out of education, medical care, pensions. That's what's happening in Greece, it's what happened in Argentina, it's what happened in Iceland and the Baltic States.

How its done: The Argentina collapse, a documentary on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH6_i8zuffs

Retired Monk - Ideology is ai disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote stwo:

OK, I get it. Debt isn't due to spending so much, it's due to not earning enough.

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Roboute
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May. 7, 2010 4:23 pm

Wa state just passed a gum and candy tax to help our idiot Governor stuff her coffers.

Candy with flour is not taxed as it can be classified as food (somehow). Candy without flour gets a tax increase.

What do you think consumers will do? I approve the vending machine purchases at work. We will now not buy candy that has increased tax added. I am one of millions of consumers that will avoid this increase. Candy manufacturers and distributors will lay off employees as demand decreases. Retailers will have stock that doesn't move and lose money. People will modify their behavior based on financial pain. It's called tax avoidence.

Poly wants to whack the rich with increased tax percentage's. They will avoid it. The bottom 50% that pay no tax will grow to 60-70-80%. Penalizing those that produce will get you a society where no one is willing to produce.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am
Quote Slabmaster:Penalizing those that produce will get you a society where no one is willing to produce.
Odd you would say that. In a recent thread, I asked you what you would do if your income was somehow limited to a percentage of your lowest paid employee. You said that you would start another business so that you would have another paycheck coming in. That sounded really good to me. More small businesses, more jobs.

It seems clear to me that if you make it harder for "those that produce" to get their money, then they will just work harder to make up for it. Seems like a winning formula to me.

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

My opinion is that discussing how much tax we pay without discussing politics is never going to get anywhere. It almost sounds as though taxes should just get paid for whatever the government, we as citizens create, does and the goal is to simply find an acceptable tax rate. It is a complicated issue, but one that must be addressed. For example, proper regulation could produce good results without requiring any taxation. However, due to special interests, political power is exercised to limit regulation that then leads to behavior that results in government intervention that requires tax dollars to be used.

A good example is the deregulation of the financial industry that lead to the bubble that then required a bailout to reduce the risk of total collapse of our economic system. While it can be debated that the affected businesses should have been allowed to fail, as per free market ideology, many adherents to that ideology saw far more threat from failure than from intervention. The point is that tax dollars were used. Had proper regulation been in place, the scale of failure would have been far smaller, and the only tax dollars required would have been spent on regulators ensuring compliance with the law and correcting failed institutions. Bail-outs would have been moot.

Therefore, discussing only how much we pay ignores what causes taxes to be required in the first place: a) that we live in a society that requires support by its members and (b) that as citizens we are driven by certain ideologies that cause us to vote people in that we hope will implement those ideologies.

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Quote polycarp2:

Probably if a household didn't earn enough to pay the rent and its medical bills, it shouldn't spend its income on war toys .

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disese"

Got that right!

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stwo
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Quote PeeWee Returns:
Quote Art:
I don't think it is a healthy situation to when half of all voters pay no Federal income tax at all
I don't think it's a healthy situation when more than a quarter of all voters fall below the poverty line.

You think raising taxes will help this situation?

If they are raised in the right places, I not only think so, but history says so quite loudly.

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Quote stwo:
Quote polycarp2:

Probably if a household didn't earn enough to pay the rent and its medical bills, it shouldn't spend its income on war toys .

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disese"

Got that right!

I don't know....

real early on in my marraige, I bought parts to produce AR-15's and AK47's as GHWBush banned firearm imports of "scary looking" guns in '89. My wife complained about spending what little we had on silly gun stuff.....tough to pay rent, feed the kid, etc...

Until I sold them at a 300% profit and kept that going for about a year or more. When the silly AWB was signed in '94, I stocked up on hi-cap magizines and folding stocks and sold hundreds of them for 5 times what I bought them for. Made a pot full of cash in those days having nothing but fun. The 90's were a good time to invest in the hype foisted on us by liberals.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am
Quote slabmaster:
Quote stwo:
Quote polycarp2:

Probably if a household didn't earn enough to pay the rent and its medical bills, it shouldn't spend its income on war toys .

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disese"

Got that right!

I don't know....

real early on in my marraige, I bought parts to produce AR-15's and AK47's as GHWBush banned firearm imports of "scary looking" guns in '89. My wife complained about spending what little we had on silly gun stuff.....tough to pay rent, feed the kid, etc...

Until I sold them at a 300% profit and kept that going for about a year or more. When the silly AWB was signed in '94, I stocked up on hi-cap magizines and folding stocks and sold hundreds of them for 5 times what I bought them for. Made a pot full of cash in those days having nothing but fun. The 90's were a good time to invest in the hype foisted on us by liberals.

Every stop to wonder how many of those guns wound up eventually in the hands of street gangs? How many people were killed?

Do you give a crap??

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BadLiberal
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote BadLiberal

[...:Ever stop to wonder how many of those guns wound up eventually in the hands of street gangs? How many people were killed?

Do you give a crap??

It has been my observation over the years that the most vigorous gun control advocates know absolutely nothing about guns, or are afraid of guns, or are not inclined to defend themselves under any circumstances -- or all three.

How many 350hp "muscle" cars and hot motorcycles will end up wrapped around utility poles or ramming into sedans and wiping out families? Some will, but does that mean there should be a ban on such devices?

There presently are two channels of access to firearms and accessories, legitimate and bootleg. If every legitimate gun dealer were motivated to shut down because some of the things he sells might end up in the hands of gang-bangers do you believe that would have the slightest effect on the availability of guns via the bootleg market? Do you think gang-bangers buy their guns at Wal-Mart or Dick's Sporting Goods stores?

Government has within the past thirty years driven this nation to the doorstep of a police state in a failed and counterproductive attempt to eliminate the availability of recreational drugs. But it is a fact that any type of drug one wishes to buy is available within 15 miles of any inhabited area of the United States. And you should understand that illegal guns travel through the same channels as illegal drugs. Anyone who sells illegal drugs will sell you an illegal gun or knows someone who will.

So why should guns and accessories not be available to legitimate buyers? Do you really believe that absence of such availability will prevent criminals and gang-bangers from obtaining any kind of gun they want?

When you think about gun control, think about drug control. They are identical concepts.

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MikeK
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Art:

"We know for sure that Greece doesn't collect enough taxes. Perhaps the US should take a lesson.

Taxpayers in Greece are paying plenty in taxes 35%+ for an average wage earner.

+ a 16% social security withholding and thats just the employees side.

There problem is they are giving out money that isn't there too public employees and pensions.

The private sector is getting reamed. I here in greece 3 out every 4 people are on some form of government payout either working or retired. And why do we compare ourselves to some crappy poorly run country over there? forget the comparsions they don't work.

If people on this board want to pay more taxes...You can...!

send them more but don't obligate me or anyone else. I'm out.

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brother
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Poly wrote:

Probably if a household didn't earn enough to pay the rent and its medical bills, it shouldn't spend its income on war toys .

Slab replied: don't know....real early on in my marraige, I bought parts to produce AR-15's and AK47's as GHWBush banned firearm imports of "scary looking" guns in '89. My wife complained about spending what little we had on silly gun stuff.....tough to pay rent, feed the kid, etc...

Until I sold them at a 300% profit and kept that going for about a year or more.

Poly replies: I move the government sell its war toys for a 300% profit or more and pay off the national debt...if it can find another government stupid enough and wealthy enough to buy them..

Maybe the banksters could form a consortium and buy the Air Force. Then instead of threatening to shut down the economic system if they weren't guaranteed trillions in bailouts and guarantees....they could just threaten to nuke the White House.

Slab wrote: Poly wants to whack the rich with increased tax percentage's. They will avoid it. The bottom 50% that pay no tax will grow to 60-70-80%. Penalizing those that produce will get you a society where no one is willing to produce.

Poly replies: And the financier/rentier class has produced what? A financial meltdown, millions of foreclosures, millions out of work, the collapse of Argentina, a Mexico bailout under Clinton, a collapse of Iceland, the Baltic States, Greece and next???????

By all means don't tax their billion dollar bonuses. They need them to make a bundle collapsing something else. Tell me another fairytale about their productive contributions.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Brother:Taxpayers in Greece are paying plenty in taxes 35%+ for an average wage earner.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to request a source for this figure. according to the tax table from this article, 40% is the top rate. An average rate of 35%+ simply isn't plausible. What you aren't telling us is that the rate that is actually paid is much, much lower. Everything I've read says that tax evasion is Greece's foremost national pastime. This article illustrates what a difficult time the Greek government has in collecting taxes owed.
I here in greece 3 out every 4 people are on some form of government payout either working or retired.
This doesn't really tell us very much. Here in the US, I would guess that nearly 100% of all retired people are on some form of government payout (Social Security). Once again, a source would be helpful.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Art, I'm going from memory of coarse and from what I read in newspapers. Yes I still read them as they are more accuate then most internet story and newspaper opinion columes are more accurate than radio shows. Plying thru sources would be ridiculously time waster...right? And I think your correct their taxes might top out at 40% but there is a lot more to consider...who cares we live in the great USA...... what got me erked was the headline.

cheers...

brother's picture
brother
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote BadLiberal:

Every stop to wonder how many of those guns wound up eventually in the hands of street gangs? How many people were killed?

Do you give a crap??

Nope. Never stopped and wondered how many cars were sold off of dealers lots and driven by drunks that killed innocents either.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am

Greece is coming off a military dictatorship, thanks to our CIA, and the transition from a Police State to private businesses and a non-state economy was in process. Then the banksters Goldman Sacked them. And now they are pissed at being done wrong by Wall St. And so is Europe, and the Brits are part of the problem.

Poly asks a very good question for the champions of "personal responsibility" now that corporations are "people." Would we allow any citizen to create the damages done by Wall St. or the on-the-cheap drillers? Why do we have to pay for their profits and their irresponsibility while they get to stay rich and powerful? What legal artifice is required to turn justice upside down and inside out?

Slab, your description of your responses to the resale of guns retains that sincerity of limited perspective. Consequences matter.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote DRC:

Slab, your description of your responses to the resale of guns retains that sincerity of limited perspective. Consequences matter.

Hardly. I don't believe in banning the tool when the operator controls the usage.

Consequences do matter. Ban refined sugar. Afterall, it jumps off the shelf and down your throat.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am

The NRA represents gun manufacturers with an artful program of propaganda aimed at their customers. The stupidity of our gun policies is clear to the rest of the world. I have told you before that I have nothing against hunters and sport shooters. I do not think guns make us safer. I don't want any non-professional drawing one in my defense. I am rather uneasy about having a licensed officer of the law going for his gun.

Gun sales in America match up well with the need of the drug gangs who feed our drug habits. So we send guns South and they send us drugs. If there were no war on drugs or other legal inspiration to illegal profits, you casual policy toward weaponry would be an insignificant problem. In this present mess, it is a contributing factor. I would think some allowance for the safety of the cops would inspire a reasonable compromise on the questionable position of gun possession for threats and intimidation, not to mention vigilante intentions. Make the threat of armed action a crime so there is no "prior restraint." It is crying fire in a crowded theater.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote DRC:

The NRA represents gun manufacturers with an artful program of propaganda aimed at their customers. The stupidity of our gun policies is clear to the rest of the world. I have told you before that I have nothing against hunters and sport shooters. I do not think guns make us safer. I don't want any non-professional drawing one in my defense. I am rather uneasy about having a licensed officer of the law going for his gun.

The NRA fights for the freedoms of law abiding gun owners. I don't worry about someone drawing anything in my defense, as I don't need them to.

Gun sales in America match up well with the need of the drug gangs who feed our drug habits. So we send guns South and they send us drugs. If there were no war on drugs or other legal inspiration to illegal profits, you casual policy toward weaponry would be an insignificant problem. In this present mess, it is a contributing factor.
I think cash is sent south alot more than guns. If you want all drugs to be legal, that is a different topic.

I would think some allowance for the safety of the cops would inspire a reasonable compromise on the questionable position of gun possession for threats and intimidation, not to mention vigilante intentions. Make the threat of armed action a crime so there is no "prior restraint." It is crying fire in a crowded theater.
I shoot regularely with members of the local Swat teams and they are very against goofy gun restrictions. The cop I used to live next door to was also. We have plenty of laws regarding who can own, enforce them. The tiny percentage of vigilante goofballs that make the news are not a worry. Tim McVeigh (which always comes up as the posterboy) used diesal and fertilizer. Should we outlaw those substances?

slabmaster
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