Calling out the 47%-51% paynotax lie.

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by OmegaEnigma, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. OmegaEnigma

    OmegaEnigma New Member

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    You know the classic statement, “47% of wage earners don’t pay (any) income tax.” Lately I think it’s been 51%.

    I’m sick of hearing it, it’s a flat out lie, it’s nothing but bogus propaganda, and only people completely ignorant of how taxes work could or would believe it. (Which shows how dumb right wingers really are.)

    I’m going to leave some resources here to prove my point and you can evaluate the facts for your self, but fist I am going to offer a bit of a logical challenge to those who think they can keep that claim alive.

    First of all let’s clarify specifically who we are talking about in that statement, US citizens, (NOT status violators & undocumented immigrant workers,) people with taxable incomes, (so that means you have to make more than $9,350 in an entire year if you’re single and more than $18,700 if married.)

    31% of Americans made less than $10,000 last year, so even if they had money deducted from their “wages”, if that’s what they had, they got it refunded to them last spring. That’s no evasion, that’s the law.

    Below $22,050 is considered poverty level, and 61% make less than $20,000 a year, so it’s possible there are a few tax evaders in that range? Maybe a few, but no “47%” or is it “51%” this year? Do the math, it’s not there.

    Now, if they evaded paying taxes, how did they do it? In order to work at a legitimate job as a legal citizen, you have to have a Social Security number, so everything you make gets registered and recorded. That’s how it works for a “wage earner”. Your payroll tax is automatically deducted from your check before you ever get it.

    How do you evade that system and not pay an income tax?
    I don’t know anyone who has or does in all my years of working, and even if you only make minimum wage, it gets taken out of your check.

    See how ridiculous this concept is? And, unlike the wealthy people, there are very few possible deductions to your final tax form that you can even claim. That’s real life.

    The fantasy world that the Republicans would have you believe is that by some magical method poor people are ripping off everyone by not paying anything at all! This makes them feel better about the fact they are only paying an average of 4% of their own income taxes regardless of the higher rate, because they CAN claim all kinds of fancy deductions and reduce it to a mere drop in the bucket!

    But that’s a different argument for a different topic, right now I want to examine how this absurd “47%” story got it’s start.
    It’s simple really, a financial magazine published a headline that “47% of Americans paid no taxes last year!”, and the GOP picked up that line like a parrot and has been repeating it ever since!

    Well guess what, I didn’t pay any income tax last year! Or the year before that, or the year before that! I think I owed the IRS $11.00 years ago way back when, and I paid it. Notice the term “owe”? If you don’t “owe” any money, you don’t pay any money, right?

    So how could I not “owe” money to the IRS? What’s my great secret?
    Let me add some more radical insight for those of you who believe the 47% story, aside from that one year, the IRS owed me money every year for the last 20 years! How’s that for amazing?

    You see, it’s all about using the wrong term in the right way to make it look good, or bad.
    The IRS owes me money every year because they deduct too much from my payroll tax, so I get a check back for the difference every year. That is to say, like 70% of working class Americans, I pay my fair share of taxes and then some, and there’s no getting out of it for the lower income brackets. If you pay a payroll tax, you pay an income tax, it’s that simple.

    The article in that magazine actually covered that issue, but right wing bloggers and people like those on this forum don’t care about the facts, they just want to spout off something that makes them look good.

    Even the news media is guilty of repeating it wrongly and not examining the facts, so it’s no wonder people like Anderson Cooper has to apologize for bringing it up as a moderator in a GOP debate.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/anderson-cooper-apologizes-repeating-lie-4

    If you are serious in wanting to know how it all works, here is a good article with graphs and charts to lay it all out.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505

    Obviously there are more people who simply don’t make enough money to be worth taxing now than there were back in 2008, but the income for CEOs has increased 40% just last year, and the basic example of this article is still in their favor.

    http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2009.pdf

    Let’s face it, you’re not going to get enough money out of someone making less than $10,000 a year to be worth the effort, and the wealthy are doing so good right now, it would not hurt them in the least to pay the full tax rate they are supposed to be paying, but are not.

    Every time something comes up about taxes, someone is there to spout off the 47%/51% load of rubbish like they had a clue and it was a fact, but they don’t and it’s not.

    Rather than trying to argue this point with every fool who tries it, I am going to dedicate this post to that augment, so lets see where it goes.
     
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  2. Vergilius

    Vergilius Banned

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    Good points. I think cons often use this tactic to create the idea that if a person makes more money than another person they pay more taxes and therefore should have a greater voice in our government. Unfortunately, that line of thinking has gone all the way to the top -- where the wealthiest Americans pay more in lobbying than they do in taxes!
     
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  3. jhffmn

    jhffmn New Member

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    1) Nice evaded tax strawman! Who is claiming there is tax evasion? If at the end of the year all of the money they pay in is refunded they payed no income tax. It's the law, and it needs to be changed.

    2) Payroll tax is not income tax.

    Anyway, thanks for trying.
     
  4. Daybreaker

    Daybreaker Well-Known Member

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    The 47% number comes from some book written by some guy ... a republican was kind enough to link to it a while back ... but I could never find an explanation of where the author got that statistic.
     
  5. OmegaEnigma

    OmegaEnigma New Member

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    Oh I love this, this is exactly the kind of response I would expect from someone who uses the 47% argument, someone who has no idea what we are talking about!

    Clearly you don’t grasp the concept of “taxable income”. Let me try to make it as simple as possible, if your total annual income was less than $9,350 in 2009 and you were single, you are exempt from paying taxes. If you made that much or over, you paid 10%.

    This tax threshold exists because it would be both pointless and harmful to further burden people who already do not make enough to live on and are nearly without any income.

    Now, if you get a job and get paid for whatever short time it takes to make less than that amount, what few checks you did get had Federal Withholding Taxes taken out of it before you got it, so they refund it if you were under that threshold for the year. (Not the payroll tax though, they keep that.)

    People like me who make more than that get FWT taken out all year at the rate for our income bracket, so at the end of the year our income tax is paid in full and we are ONLY refunded the over draft.

    Sometimes not enough was taken out and that’s when we actually owe income tax, but like my example for that 1 year, it was a whole $11.00.

    People who are independently wealthy and do not have “jobs” cannot and do not understand this because they have to keep track of all their own earning and then pay their income tax at the end of the year out of their earnings. To people of that level, the idea of getting a refund is unimaginable and seemingly backwards, but only because most of them never had to work a real job in their lives!

    How could they relate to having the taxes yanked out of their earnings before they ever got it? Or where that money goes or how it’s used?

    If you had an income of $30,000 last year, and the tax rate was 20% for that bracket, and they took out $6,500 over the year, you would get a $500 refund. The income taxes were paid, the government paid you back what they had overdrawn.

    No tax evasion was committed, nobody was ripped off. The 47%/51% pay no income tax argument is bull puck.

    As for the law needing to be changed, yes it needs to be changed. I personally think the taxable income threshold should be pushed up to $20,000, but then that would definitely mean more than 61% would not be paying taxes! LOL!

    That would result in even more of the “tax burden” being pushed off on the rich, and as it should be! The Irony of me making that statement is I would be paying more taxes if that happened, and I would be happy to do so!

    I will gladly pay 30% or more IF the top 1% & 2% will pay the same percentage, no loopholes, no exceptions!

    No, but anyone with a paycheck gets their income tax withheld in much the same way at the same time, so the income tax is being paid regardless. The only people with jobs that may be “exempt” from that are students.

    I know those two terms seem to create a lot of confusion on this topic, but trust me, if you have a legal job, and you’re a legal citizen, you are paying your income tax in advance, in ADDITION to the payroll tax.

    This IS another great reason why they need to simplify the whole tax system, people from different income classes keep thinking the other class is cheating. LOL!

    Make no mistake about it, the rich class IS cheating.

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-17350-9_things_the_rich_dont_want_you_to_know_about_taxes.html

    No, no, Thank YOU for trying!
    Even if it was a weak and scarcely noticeable argument, it gave me fuel to produce a more definitive reply.
     
  6. jhffmn

    jhffmn New Member

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    The 47% number is based on the % of households with enough of a tax credit to wipe out their income tax liability.

    If you have enough tax credit to wipe out your income tax liability, you pay no income taxes. Nothing said in this thread has countered that fact and claiming that you have refuted that anyway is just silly.

    Anyway, according to the Atlantic that number is now 51%. http://www.theatlantic.com/business...americans-pay-no-federal-income-taxes/238329/

    So 51% pay no income tax.

    Here is a chilling graph. More and more of the tax burden is placed on fewer and fewer people as our government goes into a deficit death spiral under Obama.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You wrote this rather lengthy diatribe, but neglected one small, yet VERY important point.

    You have forgotten about deductions. A great many have deductions that are very high due to mortgage interest, children etc. All have at minimum the standard deduction, which, without looking it up, I believe is somewhere in the 17k range. The tax rates you mention are to taxable income...not income earned. Taxable income is the income that exceeds the amount of deductions.
     
  8. jhffmn

    jhffmn New Member

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    Here is a free tax calculator to try out.

    http://www.hrblock.com/free-tax-tip...P019GS-G-Tax Calculator|KWRD014Tax Calculator

    I entered in the following things

    1) I used the median household income in the US (31,111) as the single head of a household.

    2) 2 children ages 10, 12

    3) 0 federal taxes withheld

    4) State taxes of 1k

    5) 7k in mortgage interest, so for a 110k house or so.

    Hey I got $849 back! Yay for welfare! The state pays me to draw breath!
     
  9. akphidelt2007

    akphidelt2007 New Member Past Donor

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    The question I always have is why would conservatives, who hate the Government more than anything... want poor people who SPEND all their money in to rich peoples businesses, want the poor people to send their money to the Government instead so they can send the money right back to them.

    The conservatives have turned this country in to a war against the poor and the Government. Anyone who hates the Government should not want anyone to pay more taxes, especially the poor.
     
  10. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Typically....when you see this statistic being quoted by conservatives, it is not for the purpose of arguing the poor have to pay their fair share. Rather it is typically quoted to defend the notion that there isn't enough progressivity in our tax system, or that the rich don't pay their fair share.
     
  11. saintmichaeldefendthem

    saintmichaeldefendthem New Member Past Donor

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    The 47% number comes from the IRS. It's such easily verifiable public information that somebody has to be seriously deluded, enough to question the IRS itself, to contest it. You might want to fire up some more brain cells before joining this conversation.
     
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  12. jhffmn

    jhffmn New Member

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    It's irresponsible to allow people who pay no income tax to vote on how the government spends income tax revenue.
     
  13. akphidelt2007

    akphidelt2007 New Member Past Donor

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    That wasn't what I said. I said why would you want them to give the money back to the Govt instead of to you? Makes no sense whatsoever comparing yourself to another person. They make $31k a year and have 2 kids, they have enough problems to deal with. I can care less about class warfare this is just basic economics.

    Why in the world would you want them to give their money to the Government instead of to you.
     
  14. Awryly

    Awryly New Member Past Donor

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    Of course it's a lie. All working Americans pay federal social security taxes, and a plethora of state and local body taxes.

    How Republicans ever get elected on the back of their nonsenses about this and just about everything else is an eternal mystery to me.
     
  15. Subdermal

    Subdermal Banned

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    ^^^this^^^.
     
  16. Subdermal

    Subdermal Banned

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    Pay attention.

    The Conservative line is that 47% pay no Federal Income Taxes, and that is correct. In fact, jhffmn pretty definitively established that the number is 51%.

    This isn't about State or Local taxes, which many still don't pay. Nor is it about payroll taxes, which aren't taxes at all.
     
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  17. xsited1

    xsited1 New Member

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    Another incorrect post. Maybe your New Year's resolution should be to post something factual.
     
  18. Awryly

    Awryly New Member Past Donor

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    I am sure that it is a great consolation to those who "pay no Federal Income taxes" (as defined by those whose argument is that 47% or thereabouts don't pay them - whatever they are) to know that the taxes they do pay are so happily disregarded in national political debates.

    It must make them feel truly blessed.
     
  19. skeptic-f

    skeptic-f New Member

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    So just where were your municipal (probably property) taxes, payroll taxes, mandatory government fees (driver's license, for instance), public school taxes and fees and other bits of your money that go to the government in some form or another? That median household is paying a lot to government - they're just not paying it in the form of income tax.
     
  20. Awryly

    Awryly New Member Past Donor

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    So, one must ask, is who pays the Social Security taxes that keeps Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and state governments going?
     

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