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FACT: For the 2009 fiscal year, Americans paid the lowest taxes in 60 years.


WoTFan
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USA Today

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

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.

"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending,counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future," he says.

Individual tax rates vary widely based on how much a taxpayer earns, where the person lives and other factors. On average, though, the tax rate paid by all Americans — rich and poor, combined — has fallen 26% since the recession began in 2007. That means a $3,400 annual tax savings for a household paying the average national rate and earning the average national household income of $102,000.

This tax drop has boosted consumer spending and the economy, which grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the first quarter. It also has contributed to the federal debt growing to $8.4 trillion.

Taxes paid have fallen much faster than income in this recession. Personal income fell 2% last year. Taxes paid dropped 23%. The BEA classifies Social Security taxes as insurance payments and excludes them from the tax calculation.

Why the tax bite has eased:

• Stimulus law. One-third of last year's $862 billion economic stimulus went for tax cuts. Biggest reduction: The Making Work Pay tax credit reduced income taxes $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.

• Progressive tax rates. Presidents Clinton and Bush pushed through a series of tax changes — credits, lower rates, higher exemptions — that slashed income taxes for poor and middle-class families. A drop in income now can trigger big tax breaks and sharply lower rates, sometimes falling to zero.

• Sales tax. Consumers cut spending sharply in this downturn, thereby paying less in sales taxes.

A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were "too high" and 45% thought they were "about right." Those saying taxes are "too high" remain near a 50-year low.

The lower tax burden should last at least through 2010, says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "Virtually all the stimulus tax cuts expire at the end of the year," he says. "So the key decision is whether to extend them into 2011."

SOCIALISM I SAY! HE'S A SOCIALIST.

Edited by WoTFan
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We don't make anything in this country and Obama spent more money than any president in history. How are "we" going to pay this back?

It's like sitting on a boat in the gulf three weeks ago going, "I don't see any oil yet. Looks okay to me."

Okay. So being "Taxed Enough Already" refers to the future, right? Is the tea bag rank and file under that assumption? Also, was there oil in the water when the previous administration ended the surplus and put us back into debtor status?

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Those tea party people are idiots. I am pretty sure that as long as our money printers will keep printing money, we'll never run out. No problems.

Do you suppose none of them have defaulted on loans or used welfare? Did they protest when their congressmen brought back pork projects to their districts before it could be considered "stimulus"? Do you honestly believe that the majority them are coming to the party with clean hands?

Mmmmkay. :rolleyes:

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Do you suppose none of them have defaulted on loans or used welfare? Did they protest when their congressmen brought back pork projects to their districts before it could be considered "stimulus"? Do you honestly believe that the majority them are coming to the party with clean hands?

Mmmmkay. :rolleyes:

I have no idea, nor do I understand what any of those questions have to do with my post.

The current financial path of the United States is not sustainable, that is something I am certain of.

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Would it have any thing to do with so many unemployed and less work available. No income equals no income taxes, low income equals less sales taxes paid and on and on, thus the democratic spin that we paid less taxes.

FAIL. It refers to tax rates, not per capita taxes collected. I personally paid less last year than the year before, so I'm inclined to believe it.

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