Federal Taxes at Historic Lows

Washington Post: “One of the great ironies of the rise of the tea party movement was that it coincided with the lowest total tax burdens seen in at least 30 years… Overall the trend is downward. The average filer saw her effective tax rate drop from 22 percent in 1979 to 18.1 percent in 2010. Rates on the bottom 20 percent of tax filers went from 7.5 percent to 1.5 percent, while the top 20 percent of earners saw a more modest decrease, from 27.1 to 24.0 percent over the same period.”

effective  tax rates

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  • Governor Squid

    One of the great ironies of the Tea Party movement is that people think the reply to a criticism of “You’re maxing out all your credit cards and leaving the bills to your children” is “But my income has never been lower!”

    • PopTheLid

      You think the TeaParty movement is for unfettered borrowing and spending?

      • moderatesunite

        any person, group or movement that is for constantly cutting taxes, but whose members show no willingness to cut future defense or medicare spending is by definition for unfettered borrowing, spending is largely a matter of your point of view, but measured as percentage of GDP that has been steady for decades, and has been going down for 5 years

        • PopTheLid

          That’s quite a narrow definition that you only include medicare and defense under…..I suppose those are the only areas you see spending that could be curtailed. Just defense and medicare, not medicaid, pork, welfare, foodstamps, illegal tax refunds and on and on…..

          • moderatesunite

            Those 2 combined with medicaid are well over 50% of the federal budget, if your not willing to consider changes to those programs then your not at all serious about cutting the budget.

            “Pork”, at least as the term is typically used has never been more than 1% of the federal budget, and even the definition is problematic, because the definition is often “not in my state”, or “not in my district.” Thus one persons vital infrastructure project is another’s pork.

            Welfare, and food stamps have been cut back already over the past couple decades, sometimes with major reforms. doubtless there are probably some efficiencies somewhere to be gained, but in general no there is not any money there that would significantly effect the federal budget and most changes promoted would cause significant hardship for the most vulnerable, including increasing the number of children below the poverty line, and decreasing the number of children receiving adequate nutrition.

            In the tax code there are far more significant gains to be made without changing rates, but relatively little of it is in the form of anything “illegal.” The scandal is in the tax expenditures freeing various interest groups from paying what others are. In other words the problem is whats legal, not whats illegal.

            Meanwhile our infrastructure is falling apart across the US, and our spending on science and R &D has gone from 7% of the budget to barely 4% over the last 30 years. If we really want to reestablish economic growth, then we need to put some money back in these areas before the rest of the world passes us by.

  • jguy1957

    Why are you just reporting the tax rates and not the amount of spending without money to cover it. Also fee increases, regulation, and the latest of the tax return grab by the Federal Government over past government Social Security over payments to family members. There are many ways the Federal Government is taking our money and making life worse for the future and it is not just in one statistic.

    • Wynstone

      Note these are “effective” tax rates. That indicates what was actually paid after various adjustments including the ones you mention.

  • Nov-cubed

    Congratulations! Your income has fallen so much you’re are in a lower tax bracket.

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