Friday, April 9, 2010

Turbo Taxing

The right wing got all frothy over this report in the AP that nearly half of the households in the U.S. pay no federal income tax.

Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

But as Jim Newell at Wonkette points out, it’s misleading to think that they pay no taxes.

They pay their payroll taxes, and state taxes, and local taxes, and mortgage payments ,and insurance premiums, and whatever else that other people CAN AFFORD WITH ALL OF THEIR MONEY. How much do people primarily earning from large capital gains pay in federal income tax, btw?

All that this statistic shows — and yes, deductions and credits may be over the top at the moment, but it’s a fucking great depression is why — is how wide the wealth gap has become here, because 50% of the country absolutely needs most every cent to maintain the basic consumption levels required to keep this economy propelling forward. Want to spread the tax base more broadly? Spread the wealth, baby!

And remember, the teabaggers have been all up in arms because they think their federal taxes are too high (even though they most likely got a tax cut from the Obama stimulus package); now they’re worked up because a lot of people didn’t have to pay any at all? Which is it?

Oh, and why aren’t they bothered that Exxon Mobil paid no taxes at all?

HT to Balloon Juice.