Archive for April 15th, 2010


More Red Herring with that Tea?

April 15, 2010

The Tea Party has been billed as an organic grassroots operation, but a newly uncovered document obtained by Politico suggests the movement has been successfully co-opted as a Republican fundraising ploy.

GOP political consultant Joe Wierzbicki floated the proposal a year ago today to create the Tea Party Express, a nationwide bus tour to “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.” His idea eventually became one of the best known brands in the Tea Party movement.

Then there is the massive Koch Industies connection…


All Americans Pay Taxes

April 15, 2010

Those Who Pay No Federal Income Taxes Pay Other Types of Taxes, Most of Which Take More from the Poor and Middle Class than from the Rich

Conservative pundits and media outlets have seized upon an estimate that 47 percent of taxpayers owe no federal income tax for 2009. This statistic has morphed into the claim by  conservatives that “47 percent of all Americans don’t pay any taxes.”

The conservative pundits are wrong. It’s true that many taxpayers don’t pay federal income taxes, but they still pay federal payroll taxes (and some federal excise taxes) and also pay state and local  taxes. Most of these other taxes are regressive, meaning they take a larger share of a poor or middle-class family’s income than they take from a rich family. This largely offsets the progressivity of the federal income tax.

Claims that the richest one percent are paying far more than their fair share usually focus only on the most significant progressive tax, the federal income tax. They ignore the other types of taxes. As these figures make clear, the U.S. tax system just barely qualifies as progressive.

For example, the share of total taxes paid by the richest one percent (22.1 percent) is not dramatically different from the share of total income received by this group (20.4 percent).

Some say it isn’t fair for the wealthiest Americans to pay a greater share of their income in taxes than those who are less well off.  Sometimes they argue for a “flat” income tax – one rate for all.  Sometimes they argue for a consumption tax to replace all other federal taxes – sometimes (mis)named the “fair” tax.   A consumption tax is the most regressive kind of tax because  the wealthiest Americans obviously do not spend everything they make so some of their income would escape taxation entirely.  How much of their income does the typical working family with kids spend?  Something above 100% – right? – G