Unsustainable! 51% of Americans pay no federal income taxes!

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I just discovered it’s even worse than I had thought.
I had thought that the percentage of Americans who still pay the federal income tax is 51%.
WRONG! That number is from 2009.
Here’s an updated number:

49%, less than half, of all Americans pay federal income taxes!

Even that number is dated because it’s from May 2011, more than a year ago, which means the real number is even worse today.

According to Derek Thompson, writing for The Atlantic on May 4, 2011:
“Half of American tax payers owe no federal income tax, and most of those filers actually net tax benefits from federal income taxes, according to analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation in a letter to the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee.
[…] there are Americans — millions of them — who really do pay practically zero overall taxes. About 15 million American households, or 10% of all taxpayers, receive more cash from the IRS than they contribute in federal income taxes and payroll taxes. That’s thanks to “refundable credits,” tax credits that can bring your tax bill into negative territory. To some, these 15 million are low-income Americans benefiting from smart and targeted welfare run through the tax code. To others, they are unacceptable free riders, citizens with a vote but no stake in federal government.
The richest 20% of the country pays more than half of income taxes for two simple reasons: America’s wealthiest 20% earns half the nation’s income and their income is taxed at a higher rate. The Wall Street Journal brings the visuals:”

~Click image to enlarge~

The richest 20% of Americans pay more than half of this country’s total income taxes.
The richest 10% of Americans’ share of taxes is 1.35 times their income, which is the largest share among the West and Japan.
And yet, the POS in the White House says it’s still not enough. The POS says “Tax more! Tax Eat the rich! Tax the middle class! Tax Obamacare! Class warfare!”
Did you know that economists tell us most of Obamacare’s 21 new taxes will fall on the middle class?
We’re DOPES!!!!
See also my post of July 13, “Does Congress have the power to tax, including Obamacare tax?”.

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0 responses to “Unsustainable! 51% of Americans pay no federal income taxes!

  1. Eyes Wide Open

    The Democrats in Congress want to tie spending cuts with tax increases. Even our fearless leader understands increasing the capital gains tax results in less revenue but he still wants to do it.

  2. I so want to make a copy of this and mail it to a neighbor of mine…. These are numbers very similar to what I heard when I took finance and personal financial management at the conservative college that I went to. I believe that every person coming put of a college or university today should be required to take some sort of financial management class!!!!! So many people just do not get it when you tell tell them that when they get all of their income taxes back in a refund check they are in essence NOT PAYING INCOME TAXES!!!! It’s not rocket science people.

  3. You will also find there are some 15 million Latin families claiming dependents on their tax forms that have never lived with them in the United States, with IRS estimated payouts in the billions of dollars and the administration is holding a blind eye and telling the IRS the same. It was very big news by one local news reporter then no one ever heard another word about it.

  4. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this amazing post! Truly, this is unconscienable and unfair. And the king continues to foment a class warfare wanting the rich to pay more taxes, when their tax burden is already incredibly huge! He is a real piece of work!

  5. One of the tax programs that is destroying our nation is the “Earned Income Credit”. Correct me of I am wrong, but I know how this works. Here’s a good example: I know this person, and what she getst from the government. Granted this person makes very little. She has two kids, and she pays into the taxes via her paycheck every two weeks. It’s not a whole lot, but she pays. However, at the end of the year, at least two years in a row; she has recieved $6,000 as a tax return. This is NOT a return. She didn’t pay that amount in taxes, not by a long shot. What she is getting is money that came from those of us who actually do pay income tax, part or most of which the government doesn’t return to us. There are tens of thousands getting thousands of your tax dollars under this program.
    Don’t get me wrong, I know this mom is a hard worker. I don’t begrudge her a cent. She’s a family member and I have spent thousands helping out myself over the years. And I believe that I could help a lot more, if I didn’t have to also support everyone else’s family in the United States as well. But this program cannot be sustained! It’s bleeding everyone dry.
    At least this person is not on welfare, food stamps , WIC .
    With the president’s gutting of welfare reform; it’s only going to get worse. Those who are NOT working, are going to get it all, with no accountability.

  6. edward oleander

    Let’s not forget that the richest of the rich, and I’m talking the top 10% of the 1%, pay almost no federal taxes either, and on just about the same amount of income as the lowest quintile all together… The “Corporate persons” known as Ford Motor Co, and ExxonMobile being prime examples. Just those TWO “people” pay $30+ billion in taxes each year… to FOREIGN governments. NONE goes to our government.
    If we want to end the loopholes enjoyed by the lower 50%, we have to do the same at the top end of the scale.

    • Dems don’t want to end the loopholes (nor Repubs for that matter), or they would have revised tax codes by now. Problem is, Dems rely on votes of those that pay no taxes, and those of us that pay taxes want every break we can get. And the bickering between both parties will never cause a compromise.
      Considering we work six months out of the year to pay for all our taxes, I suggest we start with slashing government spending. Gotta start somewhere and that might be an easier route (especially since we are beyond broke).

      • edward oleander

        I found out just last year that if you add up all federal NON-income taxes, and add in local and state taxes, the bottom 20% of earners actually pay 19% of the overall tax burden. They aren’t freeloaders; the majority are working. Because they’re so many more people in that bottom quintile, the amount they pay in payroll, excise and sales taxes pretty much evens the score. The same report said the top 20% paid 21% of the overall burden.
        That “top 20%” should really say the “top 19.9%” because the very top earners escape nearly all taxes (i.e. avoiding sales and excise taxes by use of company vehicles, and expensing entertainment and travel as “business related”).
        Here’s a more current study that explains why the 51% is misleading:


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