Sometimes the media makes you think – and sometimes it makes you very, very angry. I saw this in my news feed today and I was astonished that it wasn’t from that one news network I already know to be filled with right-wing lunatics.
The top tax rate for capital gains and dividends is 15%.
The most recent information [on taxes paid by the richest 400 Americans], for 2008, shows that the 400 wealthiest Americans paid $19.5 billion in income taxes. That seems like a lot, but their average (effective) tax rate was 18.11 percent, down from as much as 29.93 percent in 1995. (source)
Social Security tax is no longer collected once a person makes more than $106,800, so the share of such taxes declines quickly for wealthier groups… Thus, the top one percent pay an effective rate of 1.6 percent on social insurance taxes, compared to an effective rate of about 9 percent for most other income groups. (same source)
On AVERAGE though, the top 1% of Americans paid 31% while middle-class Americans paid around 15%.
BUT, from the video, notice that 1470 tax returns were filed by households making over $1,000,000, and (the announcer calmly reads), “of those, just 1% Paid No Federal Tax.”
WHAT? That’s 15 people earning over $1,000,000 in the last year PAYING NOTHING.
Olemacher notes that this means millionaires paying less taxes than average Americans “is the exception.” Yes, but.
It’s still absurd, right? It’s still wrong, right? It’s still something we should fix, right? I mean, “the data” also shows that serial killers “are the exception.” That doesn’t mean we ignore them. But apparently with millionaires paying ZERO federal taxes, oh, it’s just one or two, or 15, so don’t be so uppity about it, right?
Then comes the real kicker.
Let’s talk about those other 46 million Americans (leaving out the 15 millionaires) who pay no taxes.
Cue footage of black people. Make it black and white. Get lots of women and babies. Overweight women especially. Ohh, look, we have some of kids carrying cardboard boxes over train tracks. Perfect.
That’s who doesn’t pay tax in America? Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. (sorry, but it bears saying)
This is the most horrible racist stereotype-based Bullshit reporting I’ve seen in recent memory (I don’t watch TV news, this is probably why).
Someone should be fired over that. Such blatant race-bating. Not only does it suggest that black people are somehow the problem in the American tax system, but it makes poor white people invisible, poor Asians invisible, poor Hispanics invisible, and poor Native Americans invisible.
IN FACT – most poor people, most of those 46 million Americans, aren’t black. So why not show footage of poor white kids in Arizona, poor Native American elders in Montana, poor Hispanics and Asians in California?