Archive for April 10th, 2010

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Utopia!

April 10, 2010

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Drudge and Fox: “Your taxes are TOO LOW!”

April 10, 2010

From Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert:

Taxing the middle class out of existence

I thought Fox News’ beloved Tea Party movement was all about lower taxes. Yet last night Greta Van Susteren commiserated with former GOP senator, and current Fox News talker, Rick Santorum about a new tax study that claimed 47 percent of U.S. households don’t pay federal income taxes because their incomes are too low or they qualify for earned income tax credits. (Most households do pay lots of other types taxes, though.)

The study received banner treatment at the right-wing Drudge Report (ROB THY NEIGHBOR: HALF OF HOUSEHOLDS PAY NO FED INCOME TAX), and in an AP article, a conservative from Heritage Foundation bemoaned that too many families were getting off easy:

“We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing,” said Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

That was certainly the theme on Fox News last night:

SANTORUM: Look, what we have is a situation that Thomas Jefferson warned us about from the very beginning. When you have — when you reach the point where people feel like they don’t have to pay anything and they’re getting money out of the Treasury for nothing, then there’s no end to the amount of government that people want.

From a purely philosophical perspective, wouldn’t a study claiming that nearly half of U.S. households escape paying a federal income tax be good news for a political movement –as well as its chief media enabler–that rallies for lower taxes? Am I missing something here, or is Fox News’ hypocrisy slip just showing again?

Maybe more people aren’t reaching the income tax threshold because their incomes have dropped them below what we used to call “middle class.”  You remember – when one wage earner working one job could support a family.  The top income tax bracket has been cut from 70% when Ronald Reagan took office to about half of that today.   But Faux STILL thinks that their buddies pay too much and that you pay too little. Many conservatives are quick to make the pitch that the top one percent of America’s richest pay almost 35 percent of the nation’s taxes, but they fail to mention that the same richest of the rich own nearly 35 percent of the nation’s net worth or that the top 10 percent own 71 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Help is on the way!  Or rather, it’s already arrived.  Contrary to popular opinion among tax-hating tea party members, almost all of us got a tax cut this year.  As President Obama pointed out in his weekly address this morning:

“So far, Americans who have filed their taxes have discovered that the average refund is up nearly ten percent this year — to an all-time high of about $3,000. This is due in large part to the Recovery Act. In fact, one-third of the Recovery Act was made up of tax cuts — tax cuts that have already provided more than $160 billion in relief for families and businesses, and nearly $100 billion of that directly into the pockets of working Americans.

“No one I’ve met is looking for a handout. And that’s not what these tax cuts are. Instead, they’re targeted relief to help middle class families weather the storm, to jumpstart our economy, and to bring the fundamentals of the American Dream — making an honest living, earning an education, owning a home, and raising a family — back within reach for millions of Americans.”

Although a majority of Republicans don’t believe it, federal taxes are significantly lower by every measure since Obama became president – 40% of Obama’s stimulus package (opposed by ALL Republicans in Congress) involved tax cuts. These include the Making Work Pay Credit, which reduces federal taxes for all taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 by between $400 and $800. The Tax Policy Center, a private research group, estimates that close to 90% of all taxpayers got a tax cut last year, including almost 100% of those in the $50,000 income range. For those making between $40,000 and $50,000, the average tax cut was $472; for those making between $50,000 and $75,000, the tax cut averaged $522. No taxpayer anywhere in the country had his or her taxes increased as a consequence of Obama’s policies.

Someone please tell the Republicans! Are they so stupid that they don’t KNOW that Obama and the Democrats cut taxes for most Americans – or do they know better and are just lying to continue misleading the Tea Party masses? It’s one or the other, and I don’t know which is worse.