47% Pay No Taxes is a Lie Mar01

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47% Pay No Taxes is a Lie

On Sunday, Crooks and Liars demolished the right-wing talking point dating back to the 2008 McCain campaign that over 40% of Americans pay no taxes. Of course, virtually all workers pay the Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. And the new tax credits signed into law by presidents Bush and Obama, on top of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Ronald Reagan himself proclaimed, “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress,” explain how the tax burden is lightened for many working families.

Yet despite record income inequality, stagnant wages and the inescapable conclusion that tax rates for the wealthy “have fallen more than any other group’s over the last three decades,” the Republican echo chamber has resurrected its claim that tax credits for working Americans constitute “welfare.”

Now, media as diverse as the Daily Show and the New York Times are pushing back against the latest attack in the Republicans’ perpetual class war.

In a segment Tuesday titled, “That’s Tariffic,” Jon Stewart lamented:

“The media attacks the poor and elderly for not paying federal income taxes, but the U.S. government doesn’t see a cent of Exxon’s $35 billion profit.”

And in Tuesday’s New York Times, David Leonhardt urged Americans to “look closer”:

With Tax Day coming on Thursday, 47 percent has become shorthand for the notion that the wealthy face a much higher tax burden than they once did while growing numbers of Americans are effectively on the dole.

Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number.

via Debunking the Right-Wing “47% Pay No Taxes” Talking Point | Crooks and Liars.

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