Posted by: maboulette | October 14, 2011


Listening to conservatives, you’d think half the country pays no taxes whatsoever or, at the very least are getting benefits, but not paying their fair share. But this chart, via Brian Beutler at TPM, shows otherwise.

Right now about one-third of the 47 percent are people who are too old to work, full time students, disability beneficiaries, long-term unemployed and other such despicable freeloaders. Because the 47 percent figure comes from using “households that file” as the denominator it includes people who have part time jobs and low paying jobs, Social Security and unemployment beneficiaries. The rest were people whose jobs paid little enough that, on net, they owed no income taxes. These people may have benefited from the stimulus’ Making-Work-Pay tax credit, or saw their incomes drop enough during the recession to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and so on.

In this regard, attacking the 47 percent for gaming the system is an implicit call for taxing Social Security income, taxing disability benefits, further taxing unemployment benefits, and so on.


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