The ‘50 percent pay no tax’ fraud, Part II

I’ve dealt with this claim before, pointing out that the actual number of taxable units (households and individuals) that earn enough to file tax forms but pay no federal income tax is actually 38 percent, not 50 percent. (Source: Factcheck.org)

But let’s add some context to the discussion. First of all, as the Tax Foundation points out, the relatively large percentage of non-income-tax payers is a direct consequence of the Bush tax cuts that conservatives laud in other contexts. As the foundation pointed out in 2004, the number of zero-tax filers “was 29 million in 2000, and it will be 44 million in 2004, a 50 percent increase.” Again, it attributes that change to the Bush administration.

And of course, income taxes are just one of several forms of federal taxation — you’ve got gasoline taxes, payroll taxes, etc. The Congressional Budget Office has analyzed total effective federal tax rates by income, and comes up with the following (2005 numbers):

—————-Average income ————Effective fed tax rate

Lowest 20 percent………$15,900 ……………………4.3 percent

Second 20 percent…….. $37,400…………………… 9.9 percent

Middle 20 percent……….$58,500………………….. 14.2 percent

Fourth 20 percent……….,$85,200………………….. 17.4 percent

Top 20 percent…………..$231.300…………………..25.5 percent

Top 1 percent…………..$1,558,500………………….31.2 percent

And who are the people who don’t pay federal income taxes? Again, according to the Tax Foundation:

“Broadly speaking, the 44 million zero-tax filers are: low-income, young, female-headed households, part-time workers, and beneficiaries of the $1,000 per-child tax credit.

The 44 million zero-tax filers will be largely low-income. Indeed, 75 percent of will earn less than $20,000 per year and 97 percent will earn less than $40,000. Fewer than 1 percent will earn more than $75,000 per year – a group comprised largely of business owners whose tax liabilities will be erased due to business losses, carry-overs from prior year AMT payments, or foreign tax credits.


Zero-tax filers in 2004 will be overwhelmingly young. Looking at the age of the primary breadwinner on these tax returns, only 22 percent are 45 years old or older. More than one-third (36 percent) are younger than age 25, and 56 percent are younger than age 35. Interestingly, there is a large cluster of households (22.4 percent) where the principal wage earner is between the ages of 35 and 44. Most likely, these are modest-income families who are benefitting most from the increased value of the child credit to $1,000.


The racial or ethnic composition of the 44 million zero-tax filers will roughly mirror the demographics of American tax filers as a whole. For example, white Americans are 83 percent of total taxpayers, and the percentage of zero-tax filers who are white is 79 percent. African Americans are roughly 13 percent of total taxpayers and 17 percent of zero-tax filers. Asian Americans comprise 3.6 percent of total taxpayers and 3.4 percent of zero-tax filers.”

In general, then, those who don’t pay federal income taxes tend to be young families with children, often headed by a single mother, where the head of household has a job and is trying to make ends meet on a modest income. The racial background of that population largely mirrors that of the country at large.

Some may believe we should increase the tax burden on that population. Me, not so much. But then I’m officially a commie anyway, according to some of you.

230 comments Add your comment

Redneck Convert

February 24th, 2009
1:47 pm

Well, this is proof Bookman is a Commie. If us Conservatives say 50% don’t pay no taxes, then that’s how many don’t pay. I don’t care what your facts say. Who are you going to beleive, a bunch of liars in Washington or some honest hard-working rednecks in GA?

Mrs. Godzilla

February 24th, 2009
1:50 pm

JAY….Your my second favorite “commie”…..my pop is number 1.

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
1:58 pm

Smoke and mirrors..

The problem is not that low income people pay no federal income tax. The problem is that low income people paying no federal income tax get huge federal income tax refunds! While paying no federal income tax!!

Jay

February 24th, 2009
2:00 pm

The “smoke and mirrors” numbers include the earned income tax credit, King.

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
2:01 pm

Obama’s problem is that he wants increase the number of low income people recieving those huge federal income tax refunds. While paying no federal income taxes!!

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
2:05 pm

Instead of Americans paying U.S. taxes, let’s tax the Canadians.

That might be one solution we can all agree on?

We can probably talk them into it for a year or two….

We can call it a “Proximity to our purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain Tax”

…”Hey, if you want to border us, you got to pay.”

Brill

February 24th, 2009
2:09 pm

It looks like this blog also kills any “the rich don’t pay their fare share of taxes” fraud as well.
Looks to me that the top 21% pay 56.7% of all taxes and that number looks only to climb higher. But why tax the bottom ? Can’t get blood from a turnip.

tcoach

February 24th, 2009
2:13 pm

—————-Average income ————Effective fed tax rate

Lowest 20 percent………$15,900 ……………………4.3 percent

Second 20 percent…….. $37,400…………………… 9.9 percent

Middle 20 percent……….$58,500………………….. 14.2 percent

Fourth 20 percent……….,$85,200………………….. 17.4 percent

Top 20 percent…………..$231.300…………………..25.5 percent

Top 1 percent…………..$1,558,500………………….31.2 percent

I thought we were told yesterday and today how rich people do not pay their share of taxes. Any of you from earlier want to ammend those comments from 2 down?

Thought not, but we will nt judge your ignorance.

Chad Harris

February 24th, 2009
2:13 pm

How in the world do people who pay no tax get huge federal income tax refunds unless they literally steal the checks and cash them illegally? I’d like to see the support for this.

I don’t know one veteran successful accountant who can’t point out that very affluent people and corporations find a gamut of ways to minimize their tax liability. Not one. None of them, regardless of their political persuasions, argues with the fact that the Bush administration and the Republican control for 12 years was hugely skewed to give tax advantages to the very wealthy and place the major burden on the middle class income brackets and the poor.

It sure will be interesting to see the list of illegal UBS off shore tax shelter participants. Of course there won’t be any conservatives on that list. Dream on. And this was legally a very good deal for UBS.

UBS Is Said to Have ‘Weeks’ to Release Documents

radiowxman

February 24th, 2009
2:15 pm

I don’t think people are talking about raising the tax burden on the poorest of the poor.

Rather, it’s the floating target that “the poor” has become.

Who is poor? Who qualifies for no taxes? Who qualifies for a tax “cut”? This number keeps floating up and up.

Meanwhile, the qualifications for being “rich” (and therefore an inherently evil person who doesn’t need all their money and thus the government is justified in taking as much as possible) continues to drop lower and lower.

Brill

February 24th, 2009
2:22 pm

I hadn’t even seen this when I originally posted. This is going to skew that chart even further. “Obama also seeks to increase tax collections, mainly by making good on his promise to eliminate some of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. While the budget would keep the breaks that benefit middle-income families, it would eliminate them for wealthy taxpayers, defined as families earning more than $250,000 a year. Those tax breaks would be permitted to expire on schedule in 2011. That means the top tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the tax on capital gains would jump to 20 percent from 15 percent for wealthy filers and the tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million would be maintained at the current rate of 45 percent.”

Joe

February 24th, 2009
2:22 pm

And to take it a step further, Jay, if the so-called FairTax were to be put in place, those people who are earning very little will continue to do so, which would further entrench them in their socio-economic caste. In a progressive tax structure, those who earn less are given the opportunity (in theory, though in practice this doesn’t happen enough…) to save and build wealth, which will help them get to a higher tax bracket.

I like the concept of the progressive tax system, but our current system is not good because of all of the laws and regulations. Let’s simplify the tax code to this (assuming a single filer):

10% — < $8,350

15% — < $33,950

25% — < $82,250

28% — < $171,550

33% — < $372,950

35% — $372,051 and up

That’s it. The tax booklet that you pick up at the post office becomes a sheet of paper with one chart. Across the top is single, married, single with 1 dependent, etc. Down the side is percentages. In the grid are your earning ranges. If you withheld more than your percentage during the year, you get a refund. If you withheld less, you pay. Period. No special exemptions, deductions, or anything. You pay what your earning says. If you’re a CEO who draws a 100K/year salary, but gets a $5,000,000 bonus, your 100K is taxed at 28%, and your $5,000,000 is taxed at 35%. If you start the year making 50K, lose your job, and get another making 30K, you pay at 25% for the period of time that you earned 50K, and 15% for the period where you earned 30K. That’s it. No loop holes, nothing. Pay what the chart says.

(BTW, the numbers in the example come from this year’s tax 1040 booklet)

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
2:22 pm

Easy Chad..

Say I decide to sit around next year and make no money. At the end of the year I file 0 on my tax return. But hey! Now a days.., I get a progressive earned income write off of $17,900, just as if I had made that money during the year, with taxes taken out.

And you know what that means….., a full tax refund for all those taxes that I progressively didn’t pay last year. About $3000..

bugger

February 24th, 2009
2:32 pm

We’ve been told for the last eight years by you and the rest of the media that the Bush tax cuts only benefited the very rich. Now it seems it nearly doubled the number of low income workers who don’t pay taxes. this is why a lot of people don’t take the media very seriously.

Also since you are now relying on data from the congressional budget office maybe you could do a piece on their warning that Obama’s stimulus plan will not achieve what we are being told, and it will put a drag on the economy for many years.

radiowxman

February 24th, 2009
2:34 pm

Joe — that sounds good, but unfortunately it’s impossible.

After all, what would all those K street lobbyists do? Companies don’t pay them to sweet talk politicians and take them on “fact finding” missions to exotic locales for nothing.

Not to mention all those CPAs out there. Nay, we need a 10,000 page tax code. All in the order of “fairness,” you know.

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
2:37 pm

Oh, and happy Fat Tuesday everybody – get all those vices out of your system today, for tomorrow we must repent!

Paul

February 24th, 2009
2:38 pm

Opinions formulated based upon data.

Great concept. It can be applied to other areas, too, not just tax discussions!

Jay, your thread, as I read through the part of the single mother head of household with a modest income who doesn’t pay tax reminded my of the Chris Rock routine where talks about being black and then looks out over the predominately white audience and declares “Ain’t none of you want to change places with me. And I’m RICH!”

That young mom may not pay taxes. But “ain’t none of us here” want to change places with her, either.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
2:40 pm

bugger

With that moniker, don’t post on any British blogs…

Hey Bosch!

BSG got erased from the DVR. Thank heavens SciFi puts episodes online.

I always repent. Tomorrow. As Ian Fleming wrote, “Tomorrow never comes.”

Or was it Tomorrow never dies? whatever-

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
2:45 pm

Paul,

Uh huh, yeah, that DVR you speak so highly of. Ellen Tigh, she still just as evil – no one race is better than the other – when you get all those sappy human emotions involved then everybody is doomed. Doomed!!!

It was Tomorrow Never Dies – one of the worst Bond flicks ever.

But you better be repenting man!!!

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
2:48 pm

OH NO! I forgot to put a BSG Alert at the top of my post for Joe!

Joe, if you see this – do not read 2:45.

Paul,

And uh, yeah, Mr. Bugger should re-think things. I know this guy once who was going to name his son John Thomas – actually, it was my sister’s friend, and she was like, “uh, you might want to re-think that, seriously.”

Mr. Snarky

February 24th, 2009
2:49 pm

Thanks Jay. I love it when you debunk the myths that the wingnuts cling to…and there are so many.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
2:50 pm

Bosch,

So if I repent, when Tomorrow comes,

I’ll Never, Ever Die?

Then does the same hold true

For our Cylon friend, the erstwhile Ellen Tigh?

Poetry alert!

Greg Mendel

February 24th, 2009
2:51 pm

I had lunch today with a guy who bitched about Obama’s stimulus bill and all the deadbeats who take money from his pocket via the federal government and pay no taxes. I offered to pay for lunch, but he took the check. Said it was a business expense.

(In truth, I made that up. It wasn’t today. It was about a million times in the last 30 years.)

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
2:54 pm

Paul,

Never Ever Die? I think it’s something like that, but personally, I think that would get boring after a few hundred years and I’d miss my family and all.

Poetry? Huh? What cho’ talking’ ’bout Willis? I don’t know why that keeps popping into my head.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
2:55 pm

Bosch

John Thomas? Is that a regional thing? Something tells me I don’t want to know…

Oh yea, Joe, sorry…

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:00 pm

Bosch 2:54

And you call yourself an artist…

whoever said your family won’t be there? And that consciousness takes a form unfathomable? Or fathomable but unknown?

Sorry folks. Just a couple Episcopalopians bored in Sunday school class.

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:01 pm

Paul@ 2:55,

Quit it. You are messing with me. You can’t be serious.

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:04 pm

Paul@ 3:01,

Well, if you look at it THAT way, then yeah, I guess.

I’ve always teased my literalist friends that I think everlasting life would get kind of boring after a while – and even if there was a heaven, then I mean, I’d get kind of bored seeing the same old golden streets, and being a God cheerleader after a few millenia.

RW-(the original)

February 24th, 2009
3:07 pm

Chadly,

Switch over from watching General Hospital and pretending you’re a doctor to Judge Joe Brown and pretend you’re a lawyer. You’ll see plenty of people without jobs paying for all sorts of things with their tax “refund.”

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:09 pm

Bosch

Yeah, that’s where it kinda breaks down.

Same with the 72 virgins thing. Saw a funnily gross ‘toon a while back, little guy, skinny, squashed under a, well, she was about 90 times his size. Voice from Above says “hey, all I promised you was they’d be virgins.”

I think people rioted somewhere –

BTW – did you know “Osama bin Laden” is Arabic for “John Thomas”?

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:15 pm

Paul,

John Thomas = Osama bin Laden?

No I did not know that, but I certainly believe it.

And I’m sure there were some flag burnings, beheadings, and general tomfoolery.

[I'm starting to get paranoid - I hope OBL's dudes can't hack into this blog and read this stuff - we are doomed if that happens]

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:18 pm

Yeap, yeap. Talkin’ about taxes is kind of boring, Jay. No offense. Like I’ve said before – the only thing I know about taxes is that I pay ‘em – and I don’t agree with the Fair Tax thing. Other than that?

Um. I get off-subject. Sorry.

G

February 24th, 2009
3:18 pm

When will it dawn on the Republicans that this economy will flourish as intended when purchasing power is placed in the hands of the middle class in order to buy the goods and services produced by American corporations and businesses?

This is basic economics and this approach served the nation well until Reagan and his ignorant views led to deficits and the start of the decline of the middle class as a result of his “trickle down” idiocy.

Profits are based on the fact that the majority of people have the money to buy products. If they don’t, nothing works to grow and sustain an economy.

This is basic reality and simple to understand unless greed and self interest defeat reality.

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:22 pm

Paul,

And since we are randomly topic surfing (no offense Jay) – I’m reading a great book that I’m sure you will really like:

“Fool” by Christopher Moore – my sister who is about as cynical and sarcastic as I got me into his books – could be because we shared a womb at some point in our lives, but to be fraternal – we are carbon copies of each other. Yes, be afraid, there are two of us.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:31 pm

Bosch 3:22

No wonder you root for the Cylons! It’s the carbon copy thing.

I’ll pick that up next time I go to the library. I’ve read a few by Dale Brown – series began long ago and he’s made a good living at it. Light fiction, don’t take it seriously. But in one of them some defense contractor came up with these exoskeletons with minihydraulic actuators that allowed soldiers to run fast and jump high and crush things. Also had weapons on board, like Centurions. About the same size, too. In a couple novels they went to the mideast after terrorists. Fun stuff.

Then I read in a journal about a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) development with exoskeletons… must’ve read the book. Said the glitch was the battery power. Then read another journal about nanotechnology applied to microbattery development. Cool stuff.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
3:32 pm

Jay, man, you’ve gotta stop the habit of ending your reading when you get to a figure you can support, and ignoring the rest.

First of all, you are using 2004 figures. Bad form at best, as tax rates have changed for the better for some in the past 4 years.

Next, if you read a little bit further, you’d see the following quote:

“Even 58 million is not the actual number of people because one tax return often represents several people. When all of the dependents of these income-producing households are counted, roughly 122 million Americans – 44 percent of the U.S. population – are outside of the federal income tax system.”

So, 44 % is even closer to our magic number of 50%, but then this is 2004 data. Now, if THAT weren’t enough, when you get to the WSJ article whose link I’m posting below, you’ll see that even the IRS says that the bottom 50% of wage earners paid only 3% of all taxes in 2006. And that, my friends, when you round up just 3 piddly percentage points, gets you to the “nearly half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes” FACT. So, who are we to believe; a Socialist opinion columnist writer for the AJC and his links to less than current data and questionable sources,or the IRS itself?

Things that make you go, “Hmmmmm”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121659695380368965.html

Game, set and match to the conservatives on this blog, and a failing grade for Bookman once again.

Eric

February 24th, 2009
3:34 pm

According to that graph, the top evil rich guys pay 31% (not to mention many of them pay state taxes too).

At the end of the day, nearly 40% of every dollar they earn goes to the government.

Jay, if that’s not enough for you, please tell me what you think the top rate should be. Is 45% enough? How about HALF…do you want to take a full HALF of a person’s wage to fund your entitlement programs?

Is 4.3% too much for someone to have to cough up to carry their “fair” share? 4 cents out of every dollar…you think that should be lower? You think a free ride is acceptable?

Any of you other lefties, feel free to give me a number too…what’s a “fair” amount to seize?

Joe

February 24th, 2009
3:37 pm

Bosch,

If we’re nominating books now, I’m currently going through Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m a pretty big Gladwell fan for a number of reasons, and this one is really good because it deals with success and some of the hidden reasons for success…

Joe

February 24th, 2009
3:37 pm

weatherman,

Tell me about it. I seem to come up with the ideas that make sense, but will never happen because, well, they make sense.

Hillbilly Deluxe

February 24th, 2009
3:48 pm

To BD @2:05

Good idea but the Canadians probably won’t want to pay since they already have their own purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain. ;-)

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:48 pm

Paul,

I don’t root for the Cylons! Pay attention. But yeah, I have a copy – well, there are a few major differences.

Dale Brown – got it. I think it would be fun to have Centurion hands, well, not permanently, but like gloves – those claw things could be handy, but could get in the way when I’m trying to work.

OH, and Andy said he’s watching BSG – he said he’s almost through with season 2.5 – I hope he wasn’t kidding. He said he liked it. Well, duh.

The other day, tcoach and I were discussing how we would like to see goals and benchmarks for the stimulus package, and then I clicked on the AJC’s homepage, and they had a document that was the goals and stuff. It was weird.

This book – I’m about 2/3rds way through – I started it yesterday when I was on chicken soup and ginger ale duty, and there have been a couple times when I’ve thought (as I was laughing so loud I snorted) – “Oh Paul would really think that’s funny.” It’s a really funny satirical parody (is that redundant) of King Lear.

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:49 pm

Dave R,

VERY funny post on the last thread about Slim Whitman and the Sham Wow guy. Kudos.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:49 pm

Dave R

If I may observe, the issue wasn’t about population. Or about numbers in households. It was about the “actual number of taxable units (households and individuals) that earn enough to file tax forms but pay no federal income tax.” I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to count the kiddies of the parents with jobs when discussing the numbers who do and don’t pay tax.

As far as the chart with the income shares – if you substitute “wealth held or controlled by” rather than ‘income” (remember, Teddy Kennedy makes only his senate salary, as does Nancy Pelosi) I’d say the share paid has a bit further to go. Towards the top one percent or so.

getalife

February 24th, 2009
3:50 pm

Officials: Obama to announce 19-month Iraq withdrawal plan

N.J,

February 24th, 2009
3:50 pm

Conservative 7 Republican assertions about who pays taxes and who does not are more clear evidence that cuts to education under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 have had a clearly catastrophic effect on American’s skills in both mathematics and sciences.

40 percent of the federal budget is financed by borrowing the SURPLUSES from payroll (otherwise known as Social Security and medicare taxes)

In fact ALL of the Bush tax cuts were funded by BORROWING money from projected Social Security surpluses. Since income over 104,000 dollars is NOT subject to payroll taxes, the rich do NOT pay very LITTLE of that 40 percent of taxes that are borrowed to fund other spending and to fund 46 percent of the Bush tax cuts.

The biggest B.S. about the wealthy and the amount of taxes they pay is that the AVERAGE rate of taxation on GROSS income in that top one percent is 23 percent. After they take all of the deductions that are available to the wealthy, but barely available to the working middle class and not available to the working poor at all, wealthy Americans barely pay a higher percentage in OVERALL taxation than the working poor and working middle class do.

When you factor the portion of their income that they do not pay payroll taxes on, and account for the deductions that they are able to take to get to the “net income” that taxes are paid on, the wealthy do not pay much more of a percent of their income than the poor and middle class do. The tax rate is almost flat.

Bosch

February 24th, 2009
3:52 pm

Joe,

That’s interesting. I’m writing that guy’s name down now on my books to read list. Many times on this very blog here, I often, just for the fun of it, ask people what makes one successful – which usually leads to a discussion where I am accused of being envious of those with money, you know, kind of what we saw earlier.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

February 24th, 2009
3:53 pm

Jay, as best as I can figger your statistics center on the ratio of non-income tax pating filers to total filers. You assert that ratio is 38% or thereabouts.

What about people who do not file? It is my understanding that people who don’t owe tax do not need to file. Also, just to keep the liberal sheople in their perpetual snit and wardance,what about all those welfare mama’s with a little sucker under each arm (overwhelmingly negro, by the way), are they required to file and, if they are not required, is the ratio you stae valid and the racial mixed your proffer?

Perhaps, your ratio is correct with respect to filers, but inaccurate with respect to the total population when non-filers are included in the numerator. Please advise.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:54 pm

Bosch 3:48

You don’t root for the Cylons? Stop trying to spoil my post. Pesky facts… they oughta support whatever I want to believe…

On topic post!!!!!!!!!!!! With BSG as the cover!!!!!!!!

Of course Management likes BSG. It has good guys and bad guys and moral ambiguities and philosophical underpinnings. And Sixes. Lots and lots of Sixes.

Dave R

Yeah, I second the Slim Whitman thing. We owe him a lot, especially since he saved earth in that attack from Mars movie.

@@

February 24th, 2009
3:56 pm

Ahh yes, the Women’s Movement…..The Sexual Revolution of the 60’s…..

it set us FREE!

’twas a good thing, it was.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:57 pm

getalife

That was a good reality check. Thanks.

Tonight is a Dripping Springs toast in celebration.

And I’ll do it again when the Administration shares its grand vision of Afghanistan with us.

I wonder how long it’ll take’em to figure it out?

Paul

February 24th, 2009
3:58 pm

@@

So where’d the stilettos come from?

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
4:00 pm

Jay, you’re using old stats. Even if accurate, an additional 12% pay no “maaningful” income tax. Last year we paid $2. I would guess there were at least 20 million other retired households like ours that paid less than $100.

That said, the rich can certainly pay a 10% sur tax, and the rest of us are going to have to kick in our “fair” share, which in our case would be $2-4,000.

You’re right about Bush, tho. In his zeal to give breaks to the rich, he dropped too many off the rolls, at Dems insistance, I might add.

Jay

February 24th, 2009
4:01 pm

Sorry, Dave R. You flunk reading comprehension.

As the post makes clear, the source for the 38 percent figure is Factcheck.org, not the Tax Foundation. Furthermore, the 38 percent number is a number that is projected for 2009, based on current tax law. It is as current as possible.

The Tax Foundation numbers that you cite — and base your already flimsy argument upon — are indeed five years old. So to review: MY numbers are extremely current; YOUR numbers, which you have to massage and add numbers to and then round up just to get in the neighborhood of being right, are the old ones.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
4:04 pm

N.J,

February 24th, 2009
3:50 pm

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

February 24th, 2009
3:53 pm

Great points.

Secret post: be a rich guy and pay low income tax...

February 24th, 2009
4:05 pm

The “income tax” that Bookman refers to above is only for plebs, chumps and boobs.

Want to be a rich guy and pay low or even no income tax? OK, follow these simple instructions:

1. Don’t earn “income,” “recognize capital gains.” Income is for regular chumps – boobs as inspecifically defined in the tax code. These so called “capital gains” that you “recognize” are only taxed at 15%. If you can rig your tax return so that you and you wife only “show income” of $65,100 or less, you pay 0% on these “capital gains.” What sort of boob pays 31.2%?

2. If you are force to take some type of cash payment, make sure that “take a dividend.” These “dividends” too are only taxed at 15%.

Please be quiet about these tax secrets. I wanna keep my lucre. I don’t care how the public finances are met – as long as it is not on my back. If the lot of suckers, dunces, boobs, chumps and plebs that earn regular “income” find out, they are going to be PO’ed.
Mr. Top 400 Riches People in the US

http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/29/irs-high-income-personal-finance-taxes_0129_wealthy_americans.html
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100073978

Jay

February 24th, 2009
4:07 pm

Wow Wyld Byll … ordinarily I’d pull something like that down. But I’ll leave it up so all your fans can read it. That’s really something.

As to the filing question, you don’t have to file if you make less than $3,000 (at least I think that was the number last year). My college student daughter, for example, made less than that at her summer job, so she didn’t have to file. If you make more than that, you do have to file regardless of whether you owe tax.

BPJ

February 24th, 2009
4:09 pm

My position is that payroll taxes are taxes. Taxes on income, in fact. Are the “conservatives” saying that payroll taxes are not taxes on income?

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
4:13 pm

Keep dreamin’ Jay-man.

But I’ll accept one little correction. To be completely fair, the subject shouldn’t be that 50% of Americans don’t pay income taxes. It should be that the bottom 50% of people who earn income account for only 3% of tax income. Either way, the whole “rich don’t pay their fair share” is as much a myth as a logical liberal argument.

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:13 pm

This is all moot of course, because money we earn does not belong to the government in any way shape or form.

We could fund our military, roads, and infrastructure with a 10% flat tax across the board, and then get on with our lives.

The ridiculous notion that government should take more of our money, as opposed to spending less, is absurd.

But then, arguing with a Democrat about it is like trying to teach a retard how to tie their shoelaces.

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
4:15 pm

How much of a tax refund did she get for make less than $3000 Jay??

WhoCares

February 24th, 2009
4:17 pm

40 acres and a mule!

getalife

February 24th, 2009
4:18 pm

Paul,

Now that the Taliban have cut a deal in Pakistan, it is time to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Defense spending has to be cut.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
4:18 pm

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
4:13 pm

You’re right. It’s a national disgrace that half of us earn so little. Maybe if work was rewarded more equitably the wealth wouldn’t have to be redistributed.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
4:21 pm

getalife

February 24th, 2009
4:18 pm

Get UBL and then get out.

Amen on cutting defense spending. At least 20% and closer to 40%. Half of it could come from withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan.

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:24 pm

Yeah everyone want’s to be rewarded ‘More equitably”, but nobody is interested in enhancing their skill-set, adopting good work ethic, or even starting their own business to see how “easy” it is.

I never went to college and I’ve made over 80,000 per year for the past five years, and will likely pull in more than that over the next five, despite the economy.

Everyone I know on a personal level that whines about how much they make or how “unfair” things are, are always the ones calling in sick to work all the time, doing nothing all day, and drink their money away clubbing and bar hopping all weekend.

I know that’s anecdotal, but it’s still pertinent.

Jay

February 24th, 2009
4:24 pm

None, King. She was still listed as a dependent.

But graduation comes in May.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
4:27 pm

So gelding, now you want to tell us all how much we should each earn? Based on who’s criteria?

The market pays what the market thinks you are worth. Sorry.

Of course, I think Bookman is overpaid, no matter what he earns.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
4:27 pm

Don’t forget the percentage for Oblahmi cabinet appointees- 0%.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
4:28 pm

Income and wealth are two different things. There are millions of folks that control plenty of wealth that pay little or no income taxes, and you have millionaires that collect Earned Income credit, since they report so little income, since they have assets protected in trusts and/or foreign accounts and tax dodging schemes of various sorts, or they are just sitting on big enough piles of assets. Since EIC is not means tested, I know of people with $1M and up net worths that collect EIC.

Tens of thousands of tax accountants make grand livings helping people hide assets and income to avoid taxes and ex-spouses, etc. Some of it is legal, some of it is legal only until you get caught.

(Earned Income Credit maxes out at $438 per individual earner, or $4824 for a worker with 2 or more children, but note that this a tax credit, and is offset by the actual income tax owed. Other tax scams and loopholes of the wealthy result in far more revenue loss to the feds.)

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
4:31 pm

And after May…, is it right that she gets a $3000 federal tax refund, even though she only made $3000? Her fair share??

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:32 pm

There is no “revenue loss”….it doesn’t belong to the feds in the first place. It belongs to those who’ve earned/invested it.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
4:32 pm

Bookman, do you think that Wyld Byll dislikes Mr. Obama because ol’ Byll thinks Mr. Obama is just too “overwhelmingly Negro”?

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
4:32 pm

Well, the stock markets bounced off the lows again. Hopefully it’s the beginning of a rally, at least back to Dow 10,000.

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:24 pm

Congratulations. I was thinking about minimum wage workers and failed CEOs being paid hundreds of millions in salary and stock options, not to mention outrageous benefits. Could the answer be as simple as starting high school later in the day?

Joe

February 24th, 2009
4:32 pm

Bosch,

He’s the guy who wrote “Blink” and “The Tipping Point”.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
4:37 pm

Jay

February 24th, 2009
4:24 pm

I think that $3,000 only applies to dependents.

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=105097,00.html

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:40 pm

After “the messiah” speaks tonight, I predict the dow will drop another 200 points tomorrow morning.

Chad Harris

February 24th, 2009
4:41 pm

I see what you mean Reality King. But the people at the lower end of the scale and the people who are the bell shaped curve of Americans aren’t getting much of a break/cut from everything I’ve been able to read so far.

I don’t think as some commenters have said, that the definition of who will pay more has fluctuated per Obama’s projected tas restructuring if he gets it through Congress though.

There is no reason why for years, the that filing taxes and the tax regulations cannot be made infinitely more clear instead of being written in the most absurdly stillted convoluted ways. Congress seems to have been tone deaf for 25 years as to clarifying tax regulations.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
4:41 pm

getalife February 24th, 2009 3:50 pm Officials: Obama to announce 19-month Iraq withdrawal plan

getathejoke: Um:

The U.S. military will leave behind a residual force, between 30,000 and 50,000 troops, to continue advising and training Iraqi security forces, the two officials said. Also staying beyond the 19 months will be intelligence and surveillance specialists and their equipment, including unmanned aircraft, they said.-MinnStarTrib

That’s just a wee bit short of all the troops Oblahmi promised to pull out in 16 months during the kampaign, and, remarkably, looks exactly like the Status of Forces Agreement that Bushie signed several months ago.

Isn’t barry just amazing?

Rah rah rah, sis boom bah, Oblahmi, Oblahmi, blah, blah, blah-Urinal/Jihad

bozos

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
4:42 pm

Thumbs down Jay??

‘My mistakes are my problem and I will fix them myself. I will not teach my child to take handouts and I will pay for my family. I am sick of paying for everyone elses kids and homes! ‘

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:42 pm

“I was thinking about minimum wage workers and failed CEOs being paid hundreds of millions in salary and stock options, not to mention outrageous benefits.”

Well I started off as a minimum wage worker. As my skills developed, I naturally earned more money. Minimum wage jobs are not a career choice, they are where one starts off in the work force, or works to add extra income.

As far as the CEOs, I don’t really care how much money they make. Private Companies have boards and their own regulations regarding that. It’s still not up to the dummies in government to decide how much someone should earn.

Chad Harris

February 24th, 2009
4:45 pm

NRB–

If only Bush could have had several more terms. If only Greenspan were back and Gramm could be installed in Larry Summers’ job. Because if that had happened, and they’d been in place on Jan. 21, the Dow would be through the roof and there would be an economic prosperity chicken in every pot.

Those 600 thousand plus jobs that dropped just as Bush was having the door hit their posteriors would have disappeared. The banks would be flourishing instead of a pandemic zomby milieu where Summers and Geithner are frankly damned if they do nationalize them and damned if they don’t.

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:45 pm

“There is no reason why for years, the that filing taxes and the tax regulations cannot be made infinitely more clear instead of being written in the most absurdly stillted convoluted ways. Congress seems to have been tone deaf for 25 years as to clarifying tax regulations.”

That’s why we need the FairTax.

Problem is, liberals would rather keep 20,000 pages of schizophrenic tax code on file so that they can ream “the rich” and wage their class warfare as opposed to doing the right thing and making the system truly fair.

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
4:47 pm

I too started at the bottom Chad. And don’t seem to remember getting any handouts, other than a pell grant. But luckily for me…, this is America.

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:48 pm

Chad,

I’m not a fan of Bush. He grew government too big and spent too much. That’s why I voted libertarian in ‘08.

The government can only influence the economy in a NEGATIVE way. Never in a positive way. If they claim that they can do something positive for the economy, it must only be by undoing something negative that they caused in the first place.

Again, the government can only influence the economy in a NEGATIVE way. No matter who’s running the show.

@@

February 24th, 2009
4:50 pm

Paul:

So where’d the stilettos come from?

The same place where silk stockings with seams up the back came from.

Stilettos can be very dangerous if a girl doesn’t have the gift of balance.

Pogo

February 24th, 2009
4:54 pm

Is it just me or does anyone else sense that there was and is some kind suppressed urge in the Democratically Controlled House Of Reprehensibles (not a word) to spend our money, which they couldn’t do when Bush was in office? Now that they have free reign to spend at will, unfettered by a Commander in Chief that is fiscally responsible, they are going to do it no matter the consequence to us and our children. Now that they are liberated (and by liberated, I mean they have a Commander in Chief that also knows only one approach to fiscal and social problems and that is to spend more taxpayer money), they are going to spend money like a 16 year old with a credit card. This new deal they have with keeping the government going for the rest of the year for around 500 Billion which contains about 10 billion in earmarks (pork products) should make us all very proud. Obama pledged to do away with earmarks. Will he face up to Pelosi, Dodd, Rangle and Frank, the Four “Horse People” of the apocalpyse and keep his promise? Naaaa. I don’t think so. He loves it as much as they do. Everytime they send out one of these McRib Sandwiches, they have a group picture looking like they are bunch of lottery winners. They certainly seem gleeful throwing away our future.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 24th, 2009
4:54 pm

Back for a bit.

To answer your question @ 4.32, GHT Superstar, try asking Wyld what he thinks of elected officials from majority-black cities and districts. He’s really enlightening on that topic!

Dave R, given that you’re trying to wriggle out of what you’d peddled earlier today, this might be a fun time to ask you if you ever managed to find a more-recent-than-April2005 cite to back up your assertions about the supermagnificent, we all gotta emulate, REE-tarment plan from Galveston.

in the meantime, since you’re fond of the year 2005, here’s one alternative take on the plan from around that time; curiously, it’s a couple of months after your cite, and I didn’t find much in-depth analysis beyond that–could it be that no sane individual bothered to claim it as a national model thereafter?

Galveston Cannot Provide a Model for National Social Security Reform

…The Galveston Plan also features higher payroll tax contributions: 13.9 percent of payroll, as compared to 12.4 percent under the traditional Social Security system…

When Galveston county opted out of Social Security, it was essentially “free riding” on the rest
of the country. Galveston county workers do not provide any contributions to support current
Social Security beneficiaries, including former Galveston county workers who retired prior to
implementation of the county’s system in 1981. Only about 5,000 employees participate in the plans
run by Galveston and the two other Texas counties opting out of Social Security, so these counties’ opting out of Social Security has a negligible impact on the finances of the program as a whole.

But the Galveston model would be impossible to replicate on a national scale. If Americans in
general redirected all of their payroll taxes into new private plans, there would be no tax revenue left
to pay the $500 billion in annual benefits promised to Social Security’s 45 million current
beneficiaries. Those benefits consequently would have to be funded by income taxes or an entirely
new tax, such as a Value Added Tax.

Even if the new private plans appeared to provide a better deal than traditional Social Security (which is not case with the Galveston plan), that apparent free lunch would evaporate once the cost of the additional taxes needed to support current beneficiaries was factored into the equation.

more on this here:
http://www.cbpp.org/6-2-05socsec2.htm

RealityKing

February 24th, 2009
4:57 pm

If this old pig farmer from south georgia can make it…, anyone can.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
5:05 pm

DB, great point. That really messes up the Galveston fantasy.

The Bookman RightWingnutterbutters are incredibly lousy lawyers and even worse at economics.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 24th, 2009
5:06 pm

I just notice that this page is less delicately titled than the blog-post’s headline… hey… wait a minute…

You TOTALLY stole that line from me, Jay! I’m telling!

getalife

February 24th, 2009
5:07 pm

Andy,

You forgot this part:

“They would have to be out by 2011.”

Jay

February 24th, 2009
5:18 pm

Well Bud, your “racist file” would have an entry or two itself, as I recall….

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
5:19 pm

getathejoke: You forgot this part-

A further withdrawal will take place before December 2011,the period by which the U.S. agreed with Iraq to remove all American troops.

By which Bushie already agreed.

Look man, Oblahma makes “announcements” such as these because he knows that the basic democrat is a moron, so go ahead, prove him right.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
5:22 pm

Obama Job Approval Dips Below 60% for First Time-Gallup

Hehehehehehehehehe.

Look out below!!

DB, Gwinnettian

February 24th, 2009
5:23 pm

Eric’s bit @ 3.34 is a classic. We’re supposed to be shamed–SHAMED, I tell you!–that we ever had the temerity to expect decent entrepreneurial job-creatin’ Americans to pay something approaching, oh, like… half the top marginal tax rate imposed upon them back in Ike’s day.

Eric, if you want a serious answer, and if you’re still lurking, I’ll humor you and give you this much. I think that there are a lot of factors that go into workers’ wages.

Those with the money and power to affect legislative tweaks to the tax code and trade policy and suchlike tend to ensure that they’re taken care of.

Organized labor, these days? Not so much.

This conversation is happening in a very weird vaccuum. You’d think there wasn’t any rest-of-the-industrialized-world around for comparison; could that be because if working Americans, those folks in the bottom four quintiles, got reminded a little more often what kind of wages and living conditions their counterparts in other nations were seeing, they’d not be so receptive to conservative arguments?

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
5:26 pm

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
5:22 pm

YOU REALLY SHOULD SEE A DOCTOR, AS IN PSYCHIATRIST.

http://www.find-a-psychiatrist.com/

NRB

February 24th, 2009
5:28 pm

That’s why entitlement programs are a cancer.

I say, cut out social security. Anyone currently collecting on it still gets their money ’til they die.

We’ll just tax liberals at 99% to pay for it for the next 20 years or so. Since they’re so “generous” and “loving”, you know.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
5:31 pm

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:40 pm

I PREDICT IT WILL BE UP TOMORROW, AT LEAST 1%.

GE selling for $9? Doesn’t it have to?

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
5:31 pm

Obama will touch on his efforts to restore fiscal discipline at a White House fiscal policy summit on Monday and in an address to Congress on Tuesday.

Yep-

House Democrats propose $410B spending bill, The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls.-Yahoo/ kult of baraK

Oh, I get it, so what ever Oblahmi says we can figure on seeing the exact opposite happen.

Got it.

ew

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
5:33 pm

NRB

February 24th, 2009
4:42 pm

The boards aren’t doing their jobs, and the shareholders are getting ripped off.