By: Larry Walker, Jr.
Tax Fallacy II, 95% B.S.
According to the Tax Policy Center, there were 151 million tax units in 2009 (excluding dependents of other tax units). Out of those 151 million tax units, 65.6 million, or 43.4% had zero or negative tax liabilities here. This confirms that only 56.6% of those who file income tax returns actually pay income taxes. But that's not the end of the story.
According to the IRS Statistics of Income Report here, at the end of 2008, there were 9.2 million tax units who filed tax returns with additional taxes due. At the end of 2008, although $28.4 billion had been collected, the balance still owed by these 9.2 million tax units was $94.4 billion.
Also according to the same IRS Statistics of Income Report here, at the end of 2008, there were 3.4 million tax units who had open delinquency investigation cases. The net amount of taxes owed by these taxpayers was $24.9 billion. Although $3.8 billion was collected when such returns were filed, the difference of $21.1 billion was still outstanding.
So far we have one report which reveals that there are a total of 151 million tax units within the United States. We also have proof that only 85.4 million (56.6%) of these pay income taxes, while 65.6 million (43.4%) pay none. Next we have statistics from the IRS which tell us that out of the 85.4 million who pay income taxes, 12.6 million (9.2 + 3.4) actually haven't paid, and in fact, they still owe $115.5 billion ($94.4 + $21.1). Are you with me so far?
So out of the 85.4 million who pay income taxes, 12.6 million actually haven't paid what they owe. This means that only 72.8 million out of a total of 151 million tax units actually file their tax returns on time, and pay their share of income taxes. Thus, in real terms, only 72.8 million out of 151 million tax units, or 48.2% pay income taxes, while 51.8% do not.
This makes moot the following quote: "I gave 95% of working families a tax cut."
Although I admit the rhetoric sounds good, when one considers the national debt which is heading towards $19 trillion, one has to wonder whether this is even such a good idea. When one considers an unemployment rate of 10% to 19%, depending on who you believe, one has to wonder what that segment of society thinks about the "95% Fallacy". Shall we subtract the unemployed from those who pay taxes and add them to those who don't, or just leave well enough alone?
However you want to look at it, there is no way on earth that 95% of working families received a tax cut. In reality, roughly 51.8% don't pay any taxes to cut. And between 10% to 19% received a cut alright, but it wasn't a tax cut. What it works out to, in reality, is more akin to an additional tax burden on the ever shrinking 48.2% who actually do pay income taxes. I'm still waiting for the proof behind those grandiose words. Prove it!
And now we have news that 100,000 federal civilian employees owe just about $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes. When you tack on retirees and military personnel, the number jumps to 276,000 who owe more than $3 billion. Oh for crying out loud, fire them all starting at the top. Where was it that the buck stops again?