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Thursday, February 17, 2011

47% of the People Pay No Taxes!

An Update for Tax Day:

Check out my update to this article:  45% of Households Pay No Taxes.

Updated 9/18/2012:  Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney speaks with derision and disdain about the "47%" who supposedly pay no taxes.  Commentary HERE.


This is one of the constant rallying cries of those of the right-wing.

Many appear to be incensed that they pay taxes and so many of their fellow Americans do not.

I've often ansewred these kinds of whines with a comment on the order of: "Be glad that you have the income to pay taxes." Or:  "I would gladly pay the taxes that you whine about if only I could also have your income."

Now, I'm not a fool. I have close friends who make a lot of money...not millions, but low to mid 6 figure money. They pay a lot of taxes. But they live a very, very good life. They have big homes, vacation homes, a boat, new cars, weekend trips frequently; you get the picture. They are not hurting, taxes or not.

But I just read the best answer to the "Working class and poor people don't pay any taxes" complaint.  Here's the specific comment:


47% of Ameican househods pay NO federal tax
To which my friend at Huffington Post, "APMOTRBC", replied:
And that should horrify you . . . that 47% of your fellow Americans are being paid so poorly by the businesses for which they work they don't make enough to sustain themselves as well as contribute financiall­y to the common good.
I'm going to say this slowly because it seems that conservati­ves can't grasp the concept. THE REASON THAT 47% OF ALL AMERICANS DON'T PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES is that they don't make enough income to PAY IT.
They don't have the money. The reason the rich pay the income tax is because they have the WEALTH.

You do know that the bottom 50% of the country holds only 7% of the assets/wea­lth, while the top 10% controls 83%......

You don't just want your share . . you believe you are entitled to everyone else's share too.”

Thanks, APMO!


  1. Conservatives highlight this fact because they think it's unfair for a group who pays no taxes to decided that another group should pay more.

    Saying that the bottom half doesn't earn enough money to pay taxes is a bit of circular reasoning. We could easily imagine a system where everyone, regardless of how little they earned, paid some tax (such as a flat tax). Some would argue that the fair approach is that if everyone benefits from something, everyone should pay for it.

    Currently, the top 1% pays 40% of the country's taxes. If you think that's unfair, what number do you think would be appropriate - 50%, 60%, 80%?

  2. Actually if you read a few more reports on that you find that there is a bit of BS in that claim. That can only be taken as somewhat "true" if you mean only income taxes. Almost all of us that actually work on the books pay Social Security and plenty of other taxes. It is also interesting that while people claim that we should not make those wonderful companies pay taxes since that means we being customers will be paying somehow make another leap of faith to somehow claim that anyone that does not write a check to the government is somehow not paying taxes. I don't think that when I was renting an apartment that the owner of the apartment did not take into account the taxes he paid when he and I agreed on a rent...I just don't see anybody I rented a house or apartment from going..."You know I like you soooo much I'm going to charge you so little that the taxes for this dump are going to come out of my pocket..."

  3. You are quite correct. In fact, other reports show that the poor and working classes pay more than their fair share in state and local taxes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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