Saturday, April 10, 2010

Inconvenient Truths of the Day

Liberals still stuck screaming about the supposed inequity of the Bush tax cuts, and not convinced by prior posts, should read "5 Myths about your taxes" by Roberton Williams and Rosanne Altshuler in last Sunday's Washington Post; a sample:
About 45 percent of households will owe no federal income tax in 2010, according to our estimates. Half of them earn too little, while the other half -- mostly middle- and lower-income households -- will take advantage of tax credits such as the earned income credit, the child and child-care credits, the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits, which help pay for college, and the saver's credit, which subsidizes retirement saving. . .

Washington spends more than it takes in through tax revenues, resulting in a projected budget deficit of almost $1.35 trillion in 2010, or 9 percent of GDP, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Couldn't we get rid of the deficit by raising taxes?

No. A study we conducted at the Tax Policy Center found that Washington would have to raise taxes by almost 40 percent to reduce -- not eliminate, just reduce -- the deficit to 3 percent of our GDP, the 2015 goal the Obama administration set in its 2011 budget. That tax boost would mean the lowest income tax rate would jump from 10 to nearly 14 percent, and the top rate from 35 to 48 percent.

What if we raised taxes only on families with couples making more than $250,000 a year and on individuals making more than $200,000? The top two income tax rates would have to more than double, with the top rate hitting almost 77 percent, to get the deficit down to 3 percent of GDP. Such dramatic tax increases are politically untenable and still wouldn't come close to eliminating the deficit.

As April 15th approaches, read the whole thing.


bobn said...

About 45 percent of households will owe no federal income tax in 2010, according to our estimates.

Arghhh! I thought you had avoided this conservative crapola, Carl.

This claim only makes sense if you exert the massive dishonesty to exclude the FICA tax, as somehow not a federal income tax. Otherwise, see the CBO here. Even the lowest quintile pay something.

FICA is Federal. FICA is collected like an income tax. FICA is spent like all taxes, not put into some mythical "trust fund", as noted here.

So it's Federal, it's collected from income in proportion to income (upt to about $100,000, where ti tops out, making it regressive) and it is spent like all other taxes.

So, in what way is this not a federal income tax - because the governement calls it something else and it's convenient to ignore the facts so you can makke statments like the one quoted above?

That is a game for vicious idiots.

Carl said...

I did say "income tax." And an important point is the growth in the share of filers which pay no income tax. Further, even taking your approach, 40 percent of households contribute only about 5 percent of all Federal taxes.

Carl said...

Besides, subtracting Social Security benefits, payroll taxes over a lifetime also net negative for 80 percent of individuals.