Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
You never paid sales tax, social security taxes, medicare taxes, car registration, property taxes, ad nauseam that whole time? That is pretty atypical. And most of those are regressive, not progressive.
The average person making 20,000 or more pays 35-45% of his income in taxes when all is said and done. That you formed a freak exception is not challenge to that. Bombadil gave a link, which you did not address.
For goodness sake, Warren Buffet (if we are going to use anecdotes) paid less, as a percentage, in taxes than I did last year, and he has never produced squat. He is a financier and "investor"
In anycase, the OP and the sham of a journalistic source he linked should not do something so dishonest as ascribe this, whatever its value, to an actual economist who did not write it.
I was speaking about Fed income taxes only. I was wan't interested in his link, only the misreprentation of the "rich" vs. the poor.
And that is exactly the problem. Lots of people have problems understanding this concept. Its frequent portrayal by the right wing media exacerbates the problem. Let me try to help you understand.
Let's take a guy I know who makes ~$500k/yr. He's always complaining about how much he pays in taxes. Says he pays 40% in taxes(which I doubt). Then he'll ask me what my income tax bill is and bemoan how bad he's getting it and how everyone should pay their fair share and it's not right that he has to pay so much. Ok, so he pays 40% of his income in taxes, so do I. He denies that I pay as much as he does, proportional to our respective incomes.
Let's examine the tax loads. His first. He's married and gets the standard $12k deduction. On $488k he owes: ~$141k in income taxes. That's 28.9%. +1.45% for medicare=30.35% For SS let's just use the regular rate, it's probably going back soon anyway. 6.2% of $220k=13640 or 2.8% Total so far= 33.1%
Gas tax- $1000
State fees-vehicle/hunting fishing license- $150
Sales tax(let's say they spend $50k on taxable purchases)-$4000
Embedded taxes(import tarriffs and corporate taxes and payroll and unemployment taxes) 25% of goods and services purchased- $12,500
Embedded taxes on mortgage principle and interest and insurance- $2500
Those are all the ones I can think of right now, total $24200 or 5%
Total tax burden so far 38.1%
Let's say I make $50k and pay 6% in income taxes. 7.65% for SS/MC. total 13.65%
My sales tax will be less than theirs, we'll figure $20k in taxable purchases-$1600
Embedded taxes-$5000+$2500 on mortgage and insurance
I pay all the other taxes the same. Total $14300 or 28.6%
Total tax burden so far 42.25%
Whoa! Did I really just calculate that I pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes earning $50k/yr than my friend who earns $500k/yr? I think I did. So it isn't quite the case that income tax is the only tax that matters. All of these are real taxes that we really pay with real money, some are less direct than others. All of them are also optional, so the argument that one doesn't have to pay any particular tax is irrelevant. If you don't want to pay income tax, keep your income below a certain threshhold. If you don't want to pay property tax, then live with your parents, or in a mobile home on a small lot for a minimal bill. If you don't want to pay sales tax, make everything you need yourself. If you don't want to pay excise tax, make your own tobacco and alcohol. Et cetera.