Remember when Mitt Romney said that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes in 2012 ? And how he got pilloried for it in the press, because everyone knows that the rich don’t pay taxes, right?
It turns out that Romney wasn’t that far off: 44% of Americans won’t pay any federal income taxes for 2016. And it’s the poor who don’t pay income taxes. This is due in part to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other quirks in the Internal Revenue Code. The actual numbers look like this:
Those are the averages based on income level. The chart below gives a better visualization of who is paying federal income taxes by showing the percentage of total federal income taxes paid by income group:
Take a close look. The richest 20% end up paying 86% of federal income taxes, while the richest 40% pay over 98% of all federal income taxes. The poorest 40% not only don’t pay any federal income taxes, but they get a check to boot. That’s how the current progressive income tax system works.
This is nothing more than a wealth transfer scheme, with the federal government playing Robin Hood. The one thing missing in the above discussion are the actual incomes in each quintile. After doing a short search, I found the following numbers:
Quintile Income Range Lowest 20% < $21,884 Second lowest 20% $21,884 – $42,051 Middle income $42,052 – $67,766 Second richest 20% $67,767 – $109,918 Richest 20% Over $109,918
There’s the kicker: if you make more than $67,767 you are “rich”. And to be in the top 20%, you only need to make more than $109,918. That’s a pretty good income level, but it’s hardly Donald J. Trump territory. And these are the people paying 98% of all federal income taxes.
The plain truth is that the current tax system in the U.S. penalizes hard work and success and rewards sloth and failure. Why work hard when you can live on welfare and SNAP, and get another check from Uncle Sam for not paying taxes to boot?