Ten Things You Need to Know about Taxes

NOTE: This post comes from the DemosOur Fiscal Security Project.”  Demos is our most recent content partner and we are happy to have them.

We heard plenty about taxes during the election and are likely to hear plenty more.  This should help translate the rhetoric.

1.     It’s no surprise we have a deficit; we’re trying to create a high-speed track into the 21st century on a steam-engine federal budget. The government collected less in taxes in 2009 than it has in over three generations, and tax rates are near historic lows.

2.     Prior to the recession, spending rose, on average, 5 percent a year over the past decade, a rise largely attributable to the expenses of the two unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3.     The Bush tax cuts added $1.7 trillion to the nation’s debt over 2001-2008, which is more than it would cost to send 24 million kids to four-year public universities.

4.     On average, government spending boosts the economy by over 225% more per dollar spent than permanent tax cuts.

5.     Corporate income taxes account for only 1 percent of GDP are 76% lower than they were 50 years ago. Exxon Mobil, the most profitable corporation in history, paid ZERO federal taxes last year.

6.     The Bush tax code taxes wealth less than work: middle-income paychecks are taxed at 25% compared to stock dividends and capital gains for the wealthiest, which are taxed at a top rate of only 15%.

7.     98% of small business owners are not in the top 2% tax bracket that would increase (from 35% to 39.6%) under the Obama plan to let the upper-income Bush tax cuts expire.

8.     The tax rate on the top income bracket was as high as 80% during the 1960s, when the average growth rate of the economy was almost 4.5%, compared to a growth rate of around 1.7% for the past decade of historically low taxes on the wealthiest.

9.     Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes in America pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same share of their incomes as people making just $50,000 to $75,000.

10.   A Wall Street transactions tax of 0.50% on short-term speculation could raise up to $170 billion annually.

by AlanCleaver_2000 via Flickr/Creative Commons
by the Our Fiscal Security Project

96 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman6 years ago

Thanx.

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Doug D.
Doug D6 years ago

Our system is flawed to say the least. Unfortunately we will have a much harder time fixing it, after the results of the Citizens' United case.... Money is corrupt, and so are the people with lots of it.

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Michael Cunningham

And yet the income tax receipts for the Bush years were more than 50% higher than the Clinton years! The percentage figures are correct. But what do they mean? The GDP in the '60s was some $717 billion on average. An increase of 4.5% is about $31 billion. For the last decade the average GDP - $12,247 billion. The 1.8% increase comes to $220 billion. Seven time the increase of the '60s. Though the GDP has grown by a factor of 17. Depends on how you want to look at things. The percentage is not as good, but as a number grows it takes more and more to make the same percent of increase. Fact is there is still growth. Problem is that you think high taxes fuel growth. But I have shown that belief to be in error.

Can't discuss the link that id's to “docid=54” as “54” does not exist and Can't determine which of the ten that have that as part of the id to which you meant to refer .

"Last but not least important:
The tax rate on the top income bracket was as high as 80%
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=213 during the 1960s, when the average growth rate of the economy was almost 4.5%, compared to a growth rate of around 1.7% for the past decade of historically low taxes
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=54 on the wealthiest."

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Michael Cunningham

"Historically, Mike, whenever taxes for the wealthy are cut significantly, the economy tanks; when the top tax rates are raised again, the economy recovers. "

I have already shown that to be untrue! As shown in " Michael Cunningham says - Nov 12, 2010 3:21 PM"

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Michael Cunningham

"the rich weren't whining. People like you were."

I am not wingeing even now. If the facts are weak I challenge them. Apparently I deal honestly with the results of that challenge.

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