Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day Protests: Do Most People Know What They're Protesting?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 2:20 PM

We're going to hear a lot of angry complaints about taxes in the media today. People who probably don't owe a dime in federal income taxes will be quoted about how upset they are about their tax bill.

Following up on this week's story about the utter incoherent positions that the GOP congressional candidates are taking on taxes, here's a recent piece from The New York Times that tries to bring reason into the conversation:


Forty-seven percent.

That’s the portion of American households that owe no income tax for 2009. The number is up from 38 percent in 2007, and it has become a popular talking point on cable television and talk radio. With Tax Day coming on Thursday, 47 percent has become shorthand for the notion that the wealthy face a much higher tax burden than they once did while growing numbers of Americans are effectively on the dole.

Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number.

Given that taxes are likely to be one of the big political issues of

the next few years — and maybe the biggest one — it’s worth understanding who really pays what in taxes. Once you do, you can get a sense for our country’s fiscal options. How, in other words, will we be able to close the huge looming gap between the taxes we are scheduled to pay and the services we are scheduled to receive?

The answer is that tax rates almost certainly have to rise more on the affluent than on other groups. Over the last 30 years, rates have fallen more for the wealthy, and especially the very wealthy, than for any other group. At the same time, their incomes have soared, and the incomes of most workers have grown only moderately faster than inflation.

Sadly, it's not really as simple as the politicians would like you to believe.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Jim Nintzel

  • The Skinny

    Will U.S. Rep. Martha McSally remain wedded to the GOP agenda or will she show an independent streak?
    • Mar 30, 2017
  • It’s ShowTime!

    Creative Tucson wants to reinvent public access for the 21st century—and they want you to tell your own story
    • Mar 30, 2017
  • No Healthcare Vote Today After All

    • Mar 24, 2017
  • More »
Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

18th Annual Home Garden Tour

Our Garden Tour features four gorgeous Westside home gardens with talks at each on helpful topics for… More

@ Pima County Cooperative Extension Center Sat., April 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 4210 N. Campbell Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. A Tucson 17-year-Old Loves Her Hometown, and the Internet Explodes (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Education Budget Rumblings from D.C. — All Cuts, All the Time (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. "AZ Schools Now" Town Hall Will Give You a Chance to Be Heard On Public School Funding (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. "Martha McSally Is Not Answering" (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Streets of This Town: Late Night Hunger. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation