Surprise! Republicans lied about U.S. tax rates!

It's one of Republicans' favorite lies – that Americans are burdened with the weight of one of the world's highest tax rates. Unsurprisingly, it couldn't be further from the truth. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice shows that in 2010, the United States collected less in taxes as a percentage of GDP than all but two industrialized nations that make up the Organization for Economic Development. Only Mexico and Chile collect less in taxes.

According to The Think Progress Blog, the U.S. share of taxes may have increased slightly, as the fiscal cliff deal restored Clinton-era tax rates on incomes over $450,000. However, that modest increase isn't enough to move our nation up on the OECD taxation list, and it still leaves us far below the average.

This report comes just one day before the President officially releases his new budget proposal, which will likely include additional cuts to our social safety net, in exchange for modest tax increases. Once again, our nation will ask those in the lowest income brackets to bear the brunt of spending cuts, while millionaires and billionaires aren't asked to contribute much at all. This is unacceptable.

We should not be implementing more Republican austerity – we should be asking those who can afford it to help invest in our nation, and in our struggling economy. In fact, we shouldn't be asking them to, we should be demanding it. The super-rich shouldn't be hoarding cash as the poorest among us are asked to sacrifice. We can start by taxing all income over $1 billion dollars. Find out how at


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 7 weeks ago

Just bring back the tax structure of the 1950's. All problems are solved. In addition, we need to enforce the other laws currently on the books e.g. Anti-trust, Buy American etc.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 7 weeks ago

DeAnneMarc - (from yesterday’s posts) I must express my comments poorly. I was not suggesting that your god should bless this nation. I was stating I do not believe your god exists and therefore calling upon any god was a means of not doing anything to change America, when one expects their god to bless their nation. Religion or faith as you seem to believe in is an opiate for the masses to escape their reality and an excuse to sit on ones ass and do nothing, while waiting for change. I respect your right to believe in your god, I simply do not share the same thought when it comes to your religion and god blessing someone. I was a Christian by faith until I was able to experience the real world (outside of America) and how things are in reality versus believing in a book of fairy tales and fiction. No offense intended, just giving my opinion of how I view religion and the faith shared by Christians, Jews and Muslims. This belief has created more wars and pain then any political action in our time as humans, walking on two legs. And, it is still going on today. And stating these people are not following what the bible states is another cop-out in an attempt to protect one's belief in their god. I think I stated this view very clearly in Fridays comments. Our fore fathers were smart enough to make sure religion was not mixed in with the politics when creating our Constitution. (freedom of religion is not the same as inserting religion into our politics, that came later.)

Kend - Most of the wealth the upper 2% receive comes from Capital Gains and our President said he would raise that tax back to the level it was previously at 38%. He caved in and the C.G. tax only went up 5%, raising it only to half of what he said he would do. I assume your figure on the taxes on salary earned income is correct. But since most C.E.O.'s and the wealthy receive a great deal of their income from stocks and stock options, they only pay about 20% and not the 38% Obama said he wanted it raised to. After the Republicans got what they wanted on Capital Gains they told the President go screw off and refused to talk about taxes or the Sequestration Bill that Obama had pushed through the Senate and House with the help of Reid and Pelosi in 2010, that is now hurting the middleclass and poor.

Palindromedary - Don't get your shorts in a bind, it was a joke about the Fed's coming after you and you sitting in a cell next to mine. But if you’re that nervous, perhaps you should not state you would like to see their heads chopped off with a guillotine! At this point in my life I am not willing to stop using my right to free speech, even if the bastards are listening in. You have to show intent and an effort to commit a crime against the Government, which is why the F.B.I. uses a sting operation to catch home grown terrorists. I am not recruiting people for an over throw of this Government, I am just stating that so far peaceful marches have changed nothing and perhaps at some point a more violent approach may be needed. If I can be arrested for saying that, then we are living in an era where America is equivalent to the old Soviet Union when it comes to our civil rights.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 7 weeks ago

The Wealthy want Austerity measures as a way to keep their taxes low. The Republicans, Democrats and Obama represent those who fund their political agenda's, the Corporations and the Wealthy. This is beginning to be stale news for Hartmann's blog. Can anyone tell me whether it is Thom or Louise Hartmann that writes this blog page? Obama is the one who created the Sequestration legislation, yet not one progressive or liberal makes any effort to state that. They instead keep calling out the Republicans for forcing Austerity on America. It is the President and the Congress, both Republican and Democrat politicians, which are allowing Austerity to be the law of the land. They could care less about the middleclass workers who will lose jobs and the poor who lose everything from food stamps to feed their children to housing because of cuts to H.U.D., not to mention any gains we will lose in the funding of our public schools. The wealthy will not lose any sleep over the Sequestration and cuts to the American social safety nets that are starting to happen. The wealthy will see their stocks go up while they send their kids to the best private schools money can buy. It is obvious this President is willing to sell out the people who put him in office if it helps to improve his legacy he will leave in 4 years. The 2014 elections will be interesting to watch and see if those affected bother to vote this election. More likely they will believe all the propaganda the politicians will send out in the ad's the wealthy will pay for through their political donations and nothing will change in the House or Senate. Americans will just sit and watch their boob tubes and not bother to vote because of the state of apathy most Americans are in concering the Federal Government. Does anyone really think we are not in a downward plunge and the middleclass will slowly be extinct over the next few decades? K.W.

DrMike's picture
DrMike 10 years 7 weeks ago

Thom, Mike,

There have been RW callers stating that Social Security and Medicare pay out more than what they have taken in:

Response: It is an insurance program, that is the way they work. Many people will pay in and die before they collect.

They say "there is no trust fund - it is all worthless paper IOUs"

Response: please hand me all the worthless paper IOUs in your wallet. Also, please sign over your worthless paper IOU investment accounts to me.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 7 weeks ago

I heard on Randi today that Mitch M, the turtle, has asked the FBI to investigate David Corn of the Nation magazine.

The turtle's motivation was the publishing of an audio taping of one of turtle's secret meetings saying derogatory things about Ashley Judd.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 7 weeks ago

somewhere a tax preparer is toiling away working on some lucky rich persons tax return or some working class truckers. as april 15th looms near by that tax preparer is pondering. if that tax preparer has done some 50 to 60 multi schedule returns and 50% end with any given amount of capital gain not being taxed, say anything from $300-$22,000, just how much additional revenue could the government generate if all that cap gain was taxed like joe the truckers and his cute little stripper wifes W-2s. Even with all they could muster, 3 kids in college and basicaly worthless education credits all because of phase out ranges,and the wifes additional schedule C income (for shownig her stuff) they still paid $14,000 tax on $89,000 taxable income to some other cats $3,000 on $100,000 of taxable income...hmmm. i feel where that tax preparer is coming from. Me? i'm no rocket scientist but if it keeps going this way? America is not only doomed it will be dead, prisoners of a crooked banking system, un equal tax code and really bad government. Oh and by the way i am really sick of walking into my house and seeing that everything is made someplace else other then AMerica....

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 7 weeks ago

i'll really lose it when they out source the making of Pabst Blue Ribbon to China, it's the only red, white and blue i ever really get to enjoy anymore...

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 7 weeks ago

Kend - I checked with Forbes (a good Repub. rag) and here are how they explained the new tax code passed in Washington.

Rate Single Filers Married Joint Filers Head of Household Filers

10% $0 to $8,925 $0 to $17,850 $0 to $12,750

15% $8,925 to $36,250 $17,850 to $72,500 $12,750 to $48,600

25% $36,250 to $87,850 $72,500 to $146,400 $48,600 to $125,450

28% $87,850 to $183,250 $146,400 to $223,05 $125,450 to $203,150

33% $183,250 to $398,350 $223,050 to $398,350 $203,150 to $398,350

35% $398,350 to $400,000 $398,350 to $450,000 $398,350 to $425,000

39.6% $400,000 and up $450,000 and up $425,000 and up

Keep in mind that the tax rates listed in these tables are marginal rates. That means that you do not owe your rate on all of your income. For example, if you single, you earn $100,000 per year, you would not owe 28% on all of your income — you would not owe $28,000 to the federal government. You would owe 10% of $8,925, 15% of $27,325 (the difference between the top and the threshold of the second tax bracket), 25% of $51,600, and 28% of $12,150 (the difference between your income and the threshold of the third tax bracket).

That calculation results in $21,293, or an effective (not marginal) tax rate of 21.2%. That will be further reduced by any credits, assuming your taxable income is the same as your gross income. Your effective tax rate could be much lower if deductions have already reduced your taxable income to $100,000 from a larger gross income. For example, if a 401(k) contribution reduced your taxable income from $115,000 to $100,000, you would still use the same tax calculation I’ve described here, but your effective tax rate would be 18.5%.

We have one very screwed up tax code here. The more complex, the easier it is for the Wealthy to pay less then we actually think they pay. It appears you pay tax on your income as you go down the list and your % changes until you run up to the point your income ends, deducting income as you pass through each tax level.

Sorry for the tax rates being off centered for the bracket. This web page resized everything to fit.

orisdf's picture
orisdf 10 years 7 weeks ago

The proper URL is (NOT

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 7 weeks ago

The tax code actually gives a Corporation tax breaks if they move their Corporation or business to another country. The Corporations got their politicians to revise the tax code when the Free Trade Agreements came into effect and companies were leaving this country for cheaper labor costs and it continues to this date. You can thank Washington and their Free Trade Agreements for the fact we produce very little in this country today. Even the parts on the vehicles made here are shipped in from a country with cheaper labor like Mexico and our favorite competitor, CHINA. Get use to it, nothing is going to change as long as the Corporations get tax breaks and cheap labor for leaving the American work force in the dust as they pack up and leave. Good bye middleclass workers, hello to a two tier society, the RICH and the POOR working class. Within twenty or so years when most of us 55 and older are gone or about to leave this life, there will be nothing left of the world we grew up in and lived our lives with good jobs. I really feel sorry for the kids who cannot afford an education at the university level or a job skill they cannot ship overseas for the masses of cheap laborers that are waiting in the isles for the rest of our jobs.

delster's picture
delster 10 years 7 weeks ago

I would feel a great deal better about all this shit if there weren't so many democrats selling out. Democrats seem more like Republicans than Republicans. I'm not sure what is going on in DC.

Seems like we are in step and fetch mode to Wall Street. When's the last time anyone went to a small independent phamisist or gas station, or ice cream parlor. There is a reason for the treason and an explanation for the betrayal but no one wants to say it out of fear. Why is there so much pentagon weapons development for civil disturbance and riot control. There have been some huge demonstrations against nafta, SOA watch etc but there is no media coverage. Frankly I think there woud be a great many citizens interested. We are alloted venting our anger at candy jpurnalism like 60 minutes, and other nebulous programs that act like their desenting but who are so tied to corporate dependancy their flash broadcast are tame and manageable. It's been said before and I reiterate, "wheres the outrage ?"

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 7 weeks ago

Thanks Ken, this is just Federal tax right? This is personal taxes right? I was right about personal tax rates going up to 39.6 % Though. Canada is 49 % max. But your right with it being complicated large companies sure benefit from that crap.

It looks like your taxes are a lot lower than ours but you don't have free health care though. I am kidding about the free part of course. Sorry but wait until you add 30 million more people toObamas new health Care plan to your taxes have to go up. By the way there is only 34 million in my whole country.

hey are you a Grandpa yet?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 7 weeks ago

Speaking of other industrialized nations and their tax rates, maybe we should pause for a moment and review just what the others get in return for their tax burdens. Thirty two of the thirty three advanced nations have in place a wonderful socialist program known as Universal Healthcare, like the one Kend gets in Canada. We all know who the laggard is, and we in the United States, compared to the other thirty two nations, get to pay twice as much for less, thanks to the useless middlemen commonly known as FOR PROFIT Health Insurance Companies.

Instead of Universal Healthcare here in the United States, we get for a return on our tax burden, things like, bailouts for rich guys committing bank fraud, FOR PROFIT warfare, and tax subsidies for Corps like Exxon Mobile..... giant corp. welfare programs!

Of course Obama did all of the spending on these things, Fox told me so! If only he was as restrained with his spending as those past thrifty Republican Presidents were, you know, Reagan, King George I and II. I hope that helps you a little Kend!

Taxing all income over $1 billion dollars sounds like a good place to start. Or maybe better yet, how about taxing all income over 100 million? This would recycle back into our economy, money that the job cremators like Romney stole from the real wealth creators.... also known as the working class.

Ducinni's picture
Ducinni 10 years 7 weeks ago

I lost hope in the Democrat Party along time ago, and left. They are nothing but Doormats for the Republican Christians, Doormat Democrats. When the Doormat Democrats grow a set of nuts like Senator Liz Warren, maybe I'll rejoin the Party, I refuse to associate my good name to a bunch of COWARDS. I am sick of the Doormat Democrats always taking the High Road of Intellience to deal with Christians, people who believe that an ALL powerful, ALL knowing, ALL wise, ALL loving, talking, thinking, creating GOD was "THERE" "JUST THERE" no beginning, never evolved, was "JUST THERE". A GOD that knows the past, present, and future before it happens, created Lucifer, knowing before He (GOD) created Lucifer, he (Satan) was going to destroy the Human Race, by turning the first Human couple away from GOD..... GOD knew that and with ALL His Love and Wisdom created Lucifer anyway. This is who the Doormat Democrats COWARD down too. Two pictures come to mind when I listen a Doormat Democrat talk (President Barack Hussein Obama) or read the word "DEMOCRAT" (Human photos by Robert Mapplethorpe: Google them it will turn you Christians on) (1). A Man (Republican Christian) with his arm up the asshole of another man (Doormat Democrat). (2). A standing Man (Republican Christian) pissing in the mouth of another man (Doormat Democrat) laying in the ground in front of him.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 7 weeks ago

I say abolish income tax all together.
Why should my hard earned peanuts be taken away from me and spent on bogus wars; i.e. War on Drugs, War on Terrorism, etc.
If we can't manage to keep the country functioning and opperating on Sales tax, Corporate tax, and Capital Gains Tax, then we need to re-evaluate those incharge of the accounting department.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 7 weeks ago

Ken: yes, I agree with everything you have said in all your posts. I guess I am just a little bit paranoid but I suspect we are closer to being like the old Soviet Union than we'd all like. It will most likely just get worse...especially if all we do is make phone calls, write emails or letters, throw what little money we have left into some questionable internet-beggar "movement" whose top execs are likely skimming off the top anyway, vote for corporate-owned Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum...or demonstrate. The last one would be much more effective if millions of people hit the streets. Bring business as usual to a halt. Boycotting would also have a better chance of working. But history has shown that it will take something much greater than all of that to really change things.

There are a lot of internet "beggar" web-sites that try to convince you to "sign-up" and then give them donations. They say all the right things to get you emotionally upset making you think they are "on your side". But just like any shady lawyer (Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe) can you trust them to really be working in your interests? Even some of the fairly prominent ones are raking in the cash, your cash, promising you that your bucks will make a difference. Sorry, but your widow's-mites won't make a difference, you are just making some other person, or persons, rich and the truly wealthy in this country will continue to screw us all. There is only one thing that will make a difference and that has already been stated.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 7 weeks ago

Ducinni: Yup, I know about, and agree with, what you are saying. This myth of God is a rather ridiculous better than the Sun God or the Moon God or any of the other ridiculous superstitious ideas that man has conjured up in his mind over the hundreds of thousands of years of his existence.

They even conjured up a great and all-powerful one, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent but invisible one that acts more like a psychopath than a loving and caring God.

Praying (ie: pretending to talk to) elicits no more effect than praying to one's Teddy Bear. It might have some psychological calming effect...but then so would praying to one's Teddy Bear if one believed that Teddy Bear had some supernatural powers that would make things all better.

That so-called "God of love" is also a vengeful and hateful God and has even commanded the Israelites to mass-slaughter men, women, and the land of Canaan after spending 40 years in the desert after being subjected to Egyptian humiliation....except he made an exception to some of the women and children who were taken as wives and concubines...all blessed..nay, "commanded!" by God. But, those slippery devil believers always find, that was the Old Testament God but not the New Testament God...yeah, right. The Christian and Muslim religions are based on the Jewish religion as well as a good dose of paganism (thank you rock!).

And some people who are smart enough to know all of the pitfalls, non sequiturs, and inanities in those sanctioned religions...still seem to be fallible in flagellating themselves with yet other derivations of those old and antiquated superstitions. They conjure up their own demons and gods and then, with straight faces, try to convince others that only they have the truth and every one else is in error.

They will usually berate those ancient superstitious ideas...those old Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, et al, gods as superstitious non-sense believed by people that didn't know any better. But they seem to disconnect and won't see themselves as just as superstitious and full of the same kind of non sense as those ancient people they berate. Many modern believers don't even have a clue that their religion was largely plagiarized from those more ancient ones. HELLLLLOOOOO!

Dog is love! Get a pet!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 7 weeks ago

Kend - We pay State Tax and tax on non-food products that we purchase. Not to forget the tax on gasoline and every other thing we might have to purchase. I would not doubt that in the end we pay up to 50% of our earned income on taxes! We pay a yearly tax on our homes as well. This shit just keeps getting deeper when it comes to paying taxes to our Federal, State and City governments!

Nope, not yet! Adin Kenneth will arrive here somewhere in the middle of May. Thank you for asking. My daughter insisted his middle name will be Kenneth, it makes a parent and grandparent to be proud. We are all waiting in great anticipation for him to arrive, so grandpa can start spoiling him! He will be my first grandchild from an only child. I can hardly wait for him to arrive! Again, thanks for asking. The doctors have said he is healthy with no birth defects, what more could you ask for, then having a healthy new born in the family!

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 7 weeks ago

Ya the tax thing is so complicated. It's so hard to understand. Trust me I am a non resident trying to do things right in the US and I had to go to five different accountants just to find one who knew what the hell he was doing. How many don't bother and pay any taxes.

Adin Kenneth is going to be one lucky little dude to have you as his Grandpa, Ken. Although I don't always agree with you I am sure everyone else would agree we can tell you are a great guy.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 7 weeks ago

Sorry 10K Canada does not have Universal Healthcare . It has a National health Act. Each province (state) has there own health care system. Doing this on a national level is insane. Every State has different needs so they should all have there own system in my option.

But I agree the government shouldn't bale anyone out. No Obama didn't create all the debt just 6 trillion of it. Still blaming Bush Wow.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 7 weeks ago


megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 7 weeks ago

Alan Grayson is one of the best Congressional representatives America has. Florida Should be grateful and honored for his service. Seeing Thom this afternoon on cable talking with the honorable Alan Grayson about this rhetoric going on about cutting Social Security by indexing it down does fly in the face where it is contrasted to the right to life. My own believe is that Social Security should be doubled. Yes doubled and quickly!

From my view if being born has rights or a safety net to swoop up a new baby through the womb in a heartbeat so should any person that has lived through the rigors of making a life in America, working hard, honestly as a citizen paying taxes for all time and staying out of trouble which is not always easy because of the variability of the Congress in that some make stupid legislation that causes grief or hardship.

Individual citizens that make it to retirement should have a living safety net. The minority in government which are Republicans are of a bad stroke in today’s culture. The Republican representatives and or leadership in the presidency like the Bush family compared to years ago of the Eisenhower types serve themselves not the public that’s why the Republican Party leaves an ugly trail.

Actually anytime a recession is declared all credit companies should be lawfully refrained from dispersing credit reports. A new monetary position should be in balance for bailouts, Federal Reserve payouts for citizens should also be part of the policy. Yes, for John Doe and as well as the corporations. Since corporations are people and John Doe is a person, loans or money given on request which should occur from the Federal Reserve then perhaps America can eliminate unemployment. Sound crazy; of course, I am a monetary maniac. You have to be a maniac to be fair in this discussion.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 7 weeks ago

Do you have any examples of how one province's medical needs are different than anothers?

6 trillion is an interesting number. It is the amount of revenue that would be generated if they let all the Bush tax cuts expire. It seems like blaming Bush is exact.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 7 weeks ago

Punching numbers into the free version of turbotax seems so straightforward. I think the difficulty arises by trying to get the maximum deductions. I must admit I have no clue what a non-resident goes through.

Oxbow 10 years 7 weeks ago
#25 doesn't exist. but i did find a site called i think i may be possible they changed to org.

CASSIE COUNCIL 10 years 7 weeks ago

I know, I hear you, it's about equanimity. But, I met the lawyers who made a living out of creating "Tax havens-off-shore". Do you want to take away their livelihood? Then, start there! ENRON got Skilling jail time; he was one of the' smartest guys in the room', and was well compensated for it. WE give BIG bucks to the wrong-doers in this society. AHH, greed (is) f e e l s g o o d! Now, do you know what to do next? These Bad boys live for Risk, it's like blood for Dracula.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."