Another Conservative Talking Point Shot to Hell
Conservatives love to distort tax data, well they have to because undistorted data doesn’t support their position. One of the frequently cited pieces of data is that 47% of all Americans don’t pay income taxes, and the implication is that 47% of Americans are living off the sweat and work and taxes of the rest of the population. So, Conservatives want to cut taxes for the wealthy and raises taxes for low and middle income families.
Well as the Tax Policy Center now shows (thank to Paul Caron and his wonderful Tax Prof Blog) , this is largely a myth that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes. First of all, the 47% is now down to 43%.
And as the graphs shows, about 2/3 of those who don’t pay income taxes pay the regressive payroll tax. This means they are working but just not making enough money to have to pay income taxes.
And finally, it turns out that most of the people who do not pay income taxes or payroll taxes are the elderly, the one living on Social Security and little else. Almost all of these people have worked most of their adult life.
So no, 47% of Americans are not living off the work of 53% of Americans. Conservatives just don’t want you to know that, they want you to believe in their fantasy world, not the real one. Of course facts and data are known for their anti-Conservative bias.