This year, Americans had to work from Jan. 1 until today just to earn enough to pay their total annual tax bill. Starting tomorrow, you can start working for yourself.
That we must work 107 days out of the year just to finance government spending is not right. But adding insult to injury is the reckless way government manages our money.
Americans are willing to pay to support vital services like national defense, roads, fire and police protection, education and a safety net for the elderly and the poor. What is intolerable is the hundreds of billions of dollars of our hard-earned money that is wasted on unnecessary programs, duplication, red tape, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. Over the past decade, the federal government has made hundreds of billions of dollars in improper payments…..
The Laffer Curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between tax rates, tax revenue, and taxable income. It is frequently cited by people who want to explain the common-sense notion that punitive tax rates may not generate much additional revenue if people respond in ways that result in less taxable income.
Unfortunately, some people misinterpret the insights of the Laffer Curve. Politicians, for instance, tend to either pretend it doesn’t exist, or they embrace it with excessive zeal and assume all tax cuts “pay for themselves.”
Another problem is that people assume that tax rates should be set at the revenue-maximizing level. I explained back in 2010 that this was wrong. Policy makers should strive to set tax rates at the growth-maximizing level. But since a growth-generating tax is about as common as a unicorn, what this really means is that tax rates should be set to produce enough revenue to finance the growth-maximizing level of government – as illustrated by the Rahn Curve.
Large tax increases are just months away. Jan. 1, 2013, is already being dubbed Taxmaggedon. Seven existing tax policies will end and 18 new taxes from Obamacare will begin, leading to a $494 billion tax increase at the start of next year. Heritage tax expert Curtis Dubay warned about the consequences:
Although these tax increases will not start raising new revenue until next year, they are having a negative impact on the economy today. Families, businesses, and investors need to know how much tax they will pay in the future before making important economic decisions. The uncertainty caused by Taxmageddon means they are stuck in neutral while they wait for President Obama and Congress to act. This is slowing job creation and stopping many of the millions of unemployed Americans from going back to work.
Some multimillionaires do pay a lower effective income-tax rate than some middle-income taxpayers; receiving a chunk of your income via long-term capital gains rather than a paycheck is just one reason that happens. But the top 20% of income earners paid 70% of federal taxes in 2007, according to the most recent data available from the Congressional Budget Office.
That group also pulled in 60% of total pretax income, according to the CBO.
Meanwhile, 46% of taxpayers don’t pay any federal income tax, but they often pay a hefty portion of their income to levies at the federal, state and local level.
Those include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare; state and local sales taxes on groceries, clothing and other purchases; and federal and state excise taxes on things such as gas, cigarettes, alcohol and airline tickets.
Americans making over $50,000 paid most of the federal taxes that were paid in the U.S. in 2010.
According to statistics compiled from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the Tax Foundation, those people making above $50,000 had an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, and carried 93.3 percent of the total tax burden.
In contrast, Americans making less than $50,000 had an effective tax rate of 3.5 percent and their total share of the tax burden was just 6.7 percent.
Americans making more than $250,000 had an effective tax rate of 23.4 percent and their total share of the tax burden was 45.7 percent.
Out of the 143 million tax returns that were filed with the IRS in 2010, 58 million – or 41 percent – of those filers were non-payers.
Last year, almost 1,800 people, renounced their U.S. citizenship or handing in their Green Cards. That’s a record number since the Internal Revenue Service began publishing a list of those who renounced in 1998. It’s also almost eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.
But not everyone’s motivations are as lofty as Superman’s. Many say they parted ways with America for tax reasons.
The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they’re living abroad.
As procrastinators rush to file their 2011 tax returns by the Tuesday deadline, a new poll shows more than two-thirds of Americans believe the revenue system benefits the wealthy while being unfair to average workers.
As this IRS table clearly shows, people making $200,000 and up most definitely pay a higher federal income tax rate than those making less: