Here’s a thorough examination of federal revenue data which shows just how unfair it is for all those horrible poor people to go without paying any taxes at all, and how rough America’s billionaires have it as a result.
It actually further undermines the efforts to paint the less wealthy half of America as leeches, which I mentioned a little while ago.
As you actually look at the data, the sound bite of “Half of Americans don’t pay any taxes” becomes “Half of adult Americans don’t pay federal income taxes”, and then “18% of adult Americans don’t pay any federal taxes”, before finally arriving at something which might accurately describe the “freeloading” situation:
Once you count those who pay income taxes, those who pay payroll taxes, the elderly (who are more likely to be retired) and those earning less than $20,000 a year, fewer than 1% of American adults remain who aren’t contributing.
(That poverty line of $20,000, by the way, is less than 0.2% of the total annual income of the average CEO on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.)
And that’s just federal taxes. The number of people genuinely not paying any taxes goes down even further if you assume that they ever buy stuff.
Absolutely nothing about the idea that the lowest earners in the country are the ones who should be paying the greatest price for the debt crisis adds up. Pretty much across the board, the richer you are, the smaller the proportion of your income that the government takes from you.