Taxes under President Barack Obama are lower than they were under any president since Jimmy Carter, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.
The average household federal income tax rate fell to 7.2 percent in 2009, and the average rate for all federal taxes including payroll taxes fell to 17.4 percent.
Taxes fell for a number of reasons, including the sluggish economy and tax cuts passed as part of the 2009 stimulus package.
There is more than a little irony in the report. 2009 saw the birth of the Tea Party, which claimed to be opposed to the heavy, onerous tax burden faced by Americans. But as the Tea Party was launching its broadside against Obama, tax rates were dropping to lower levels than under Ronald Reagan or either President Bush.
Taxes fell across the board. The lowest 20 percent of earners paid just one percent of their pre-tax income to the government, while the top fifth of earners paid 23.2 percent, down from 24.7 percent in 2007.
The Romney campaign has falsely claimed that Obama has raised taxes on Americans. While some taxes have gone up under Obama, including the excise tax on cigarettes, the overall tax burden has clearly fallen dramatically.
Democrats attacked the GOP using the new data.
“However much Republicans try to perpetuate false claims, the facts speak for themselves: tax rates have never been lower than under President Obama,” said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Republicans, meanwhile, said that taxes had only fallen due to “a weak economy.” And they attacked him over his opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000.
“Despite yet another disappointing jobs report on Friday, he doubled down on that tax hike,” said Michael Steel, a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
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