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(NPR)   So how much do we really pay in taxes? Even the left's heavyweight can't spin this one   (npr.org) divider line 712
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35753 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Sep 2010 at 12:44 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-09-09 10:13:17 AM  
ZombieLambChop: 24.1 %???

That's not bad at all. Seems perfectly reasonable to me... I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes.. in fact, I think it's the patriotic thing to do. Paying taxes is what allowed us to win the Revolutionary War. Had to pay all those hard working/hard fighting patriots something! Without taxes, it couldn't be done.

What's truly pathetic, however, is how much of our tax money is wasted... by both Democrats & Republicans. That, and people who think that they shouldn't have to pay taxes. That cheeses me off something fierce, too.


That's why people gripe about taxes. Its all about how the money gets spent and what we get for it.
 
2010-09-09 10:13:31 AM  
GAT_00: No, that's right. Deductions are absolutely out of control. The actual top rate is 36%, but if you make more than $250,000 and you're paying more than about 20% or so, you have a bad accountant. The only people who end up paying close to their effective rates are the lower middle class.

But the rich pay too much! Tax cuts fix everything!


BS. Please, enlighten us as to what mysterious "accountant" strategy can get around the AMT.
 
2010-09-09 10:14:58 AM  
crazytrpr: ZombieLambChop: 24.1 %???

That's not bad at all. Seems perfectly reasonable to me... I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes.. in fact, I think it's the patriotic thing to do. Paying taxes is what allowed us to win the Revolutionary War. Had to pay all those hard working/hard fighting patriots something! Without taxes, it couldn't be done.

What's truly pathetic, however, is how much of our tax money is wasted... by both Democrats & Republicans. That, and people who think that they shouldn't have to pay taxes. That cheeses me off something fierce, too.

That's why people gripe about taxes. Its all about how the money gets spent and what we get for it.


A large part of that gripe is having to pay for services that other people use, but the taxpayer doesn't. I believe scientists call that "selfishness."
 
2010-09-09 10:16:06 AM  
barrygoldwater: "Let me clear: anyone who is rich is a piece of crap. Now excuse me while I take my private jet to New York and use both of my limos to fark up traffic for the unwashed so that my wife and I can see a broadway play..."

*sigh*

First, there's plenty of trouble with Obama's policies without condemning his travel requirements. The fact of the matter is that any sitting President causes traffic issues wherever he or she (but let's face it--he) goes. Even your beloved Dubya did it. So did Clinton, Bush the First, Reagan, Carter, et al. Whenever a person with heavy security goes to a crowded place--and that's NYC all over--it's going to cause tie-ups. So enough with the whinging about that.

Second, given that Obama just announced that he's pushing for sweeping investment tax cuts for all businesses, not just the small ones, prove to me that Obama hates the rich, as you claim. Give me pics, stats, citeable quotes, or other tangible evidence.
 
2010-09-09 10:18:00 AM  

Always NAY SAYING!

I pay much more than those poor sober slobs. I for one love what my money gets me.

YEAH!
MILITARY RAINBOWS!
WHY ARE THEY MEAN?!?!


i444.photobucket.com
 
2010-09-09 10:20:54 AM  
MikeBoomshadow: Give me pics, stats, citeable quotes, or other tangible evidence.

Other than Rev. Wright?
 
2010-09-09 10:22:03 AM  
griffer: MikeBoomshadow: Give me pics, stats, citeable quotes, or other tangible evidence.

Other than Rev. Wright?


The subject at hand was Obama, not Jeremiah.
 
2010-09-09 10:26:18 AM  
coco ebert: Texian: biatching about the second lowest tax rate (new window) in the 1st World and the one of the lowest marginal tax rates in the U.S. in 80+ years?

Go piss up a rope, you deluded, entitled misanthropes. To live in a civilization that provides you with enough comfort to sit around on your ass biatching about tax rates means someone has to actually pay taxes.

So much this. I really wish more Americans would live abroad for a while, travel even, and see how much people pay in other countries. Better yet, they can see what nice things higher tax rates can get you me.



/FTFY because thats what you meant to say, because if I wanted those nice things Id buy them myself.
 
2010-09-09 10:27:10 AM  
nekom: SusanIvanova: a mortgage, probably on a rather expensive house relative to their income levels.

It would have to be an awfully expensive mortgage if that were the big factor there. Unless I'm wrong, you can only write off the interest, so you'd have to pay $10,000 (is that still the standard deduction for joint filing?) in interest alone in order for it to be worth itemizing, unless you had lots of other things to make it worthwhile.


If you are in your first few years of a mortgage, 90% of it goes into interest. If you are paying, say 20k a year (about right for a 500k home with 20% down), and most of that is interest, its a nice refund thats going to come your way.
 
2010-09-09 10:27:59 AM  
skipjack: "liberal"

You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


My stupid question wasn't answered...because no one said how much of my income they were entitled to.


It's a loaded, irrelevant, and as you admit, stupid question.

How much of your money could you earn without a government managing the country's infrastructure?

Without national defense, some other government would take over. Example: The Philippines.

Without roads, you wouldn't be able to get to your job. Example: Zimbabwe.

Without regulation, you would have unsafe food, water, and consumer items. Example: China.

Without quality health care...hm. Example: Anyone without medical insurance in the US.

Without education...well, the U.S. is headed toward that example, too.

The question you should be asking follows:
How much of what you earn is your lifestyle worth to you?
 
2010-09-09 10:28:18 AM  
MikeBoomshadow: First, there's plenty of trouble with Obama's policies without condemning his travel requirements

Well, he could just fly around on his magic carpet but you know the teabaggers would totally misinterpret that.
 
2010-09-09 10:29:11 AM  
Serious Black: OECD says only Japan, Turkey, and Mexico take in less taxes than we do. Switzerland is within a percent of us according to them though. I think it's particularly sad that every single one of the countries I named either already has universal health care or has a plan to get universal health care by 2011. We are truly behind the curve.

And Japan has been buckling under the weight of their seniors for a decade now. I'm not sure that's the model we want to emulate.
 
2010-09-09 10:30:41 AM  
pudding7: I was expecting some scary chart to show 60% or something.

24.1% That's it? Wow, that's awesome. The heavyweights on the left should be shouting this from the rooftops.


That is what as known in the headline community as a "bait and switch."

After doing all of the math, Harlan Milkove seems more tired than anything else. "It's not fun. I wouldn't recommend it," he says. "You wasted an evening, and it just ticks you off."

This guy is ACTUALLY ticked off that he spends only 24% on taxes?

Really?

And he's an Engineer, which I am assuming means he went through college, which means he has a few brain cells in his head. And he's ticked off by this news? Really?
 
2010-09-09 10:31:25 AM  
coco ebert:

So much this. I really wish more Americans would live abroad for a while, travel even, and see how much people pay in other countries. Better yet, they can see what nice things higher tax rates can get you.


I have lived in Europe. You don't get much at all for that higher rate. If you think US system is full of waste and graft, well, the EU puts us to shame.
 
2010-09-09 10:32:07 AM  
papabusche 2010-09-09 09:50:51 AM
i love the "waiting in line at the DMV" example for how the government runs.
that cracks me up.

I think rush taught me that one circa 1990.




The truth's a biatch, isn't it?
Don't like that one? Try watching a city road crew at work. Or try the unemployment office. Or try to get something done with your local zoning commision.. Or a hundred other inept government run services.
By the way, most of your money goes to the military, not roads and services.
 
2010-09-09 10:33:18 AM  
NemoD: Class warfare would be awesome, seeing as there are 100x more poor pleb wannabes ...

Class warfare usually doesn't lead to anything good for anyone.

Just as the French, or the Russians, or the...
 
2010-09-09 10:33:57 AM  
NuclearWinter: barrygoldwater: "Let me clear: anyone who is rich is a piece of crap. Now excuse me while I take my private jet to New York and use both of my limos to fark up traffic for the unwashed so that my wife and I can see a broadway play..."

Since when do the 'unwashed' care about traffic in NYC? I thought they all took the bus (dedicated bus lanes) or the subway.


Ew. The bus? The only people who take the bus are the elderly and the disabled. Anyone even remotely ambulatory takes the train.
 
2010-09-09 10:35:01 AM  
They are completely ignoring the tax built in to everything they buy.

When you buy a hamburger, you aren't just paying the price and the 6% sales tax on it. There is the tax on cost of producing that hamburger from the grain fields to the feed lot to the beef processor. All of those companies get taxed along the way, all of their employees pay income tax, and all of these costs are carried on to the consumer.

Companies don't pay tax, they people who buy their products do.
 
2010-09-09 10:35:17 AM  
griffer: MikeBoomshadow: Give me pics, stats, citeable quotes, or other tangible evidence.

Other than Rev. Wright?


Okay, so let me see if I can parse this.

First, I assume you're talking about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was Obama's pastor for a couple of decades until he condemned America for what he felt were past mistakes, including violence and "confusing God with government." Obama first condemned the specific statements the press had seized on and then denounced the man himself.

And you believe that Rev. Wright's...existence, I guess...is somehow concrete evidence that Obama believes the rich are crap? Never mind that Wright and Obama themselves are not actually destitute, but you suck at providing evidence.
 
2010-09-09 10:35:38 AM  
"Taxes anger me because they take MY MONEY out of MY pocket and give it to someone else who is less deserving of my money. Usually someone poorer, browner and less educated than me."

/sad but ugly truth
//fear and mis-perceptions, how do they work?
///our taxes are really, really low comparatively, just don't tax bankers, wall street and bonuse? kthnxbai!
 
2010-09-09 10:36:34 AM  
SusanIvanova: Their household income is thus about $7000/0.054 = $130,000.

For a couple of engineers in their mid-20s, that's respectable, if not awesome.


These people are in a household that makes more than 85% of the rest of American households.

And they pay 24% in taxes.

And we wonder why there is a gigantic deficit.
 
2010-09-09 10:36:39 AM  
El Chode: Enigmamf: El Chode: No, it's not. I take it you don't live in the North East? If your combined income is $130k you're extraordinarily average. Though at least now the homes aren't as inflated, your $130k is not going nearly as far as you'd like to imagine.

Median Household Income in New York City, 2008: $55k.

NYC does not equal Connecticut. And if you don't see why that would be skewed so low, you're an idiot


Not only is demographic information available for Connecticut, but it's even available specifically for the exact place where these folks live! And even better, Wikipedia makes it really easy to find:

The median income for a household in the town was $53,494, and the median income for a family was $64,364.

You can dance around those numbers all you want, eliminate retired folk, whatever. 130k is still above average.
 
2010-09-09 10:36:44 AM  
MikeBoomshadow: you suck at providing evidence.

;)

BBUT! HE AHTES RICH WHITE PEOPLE! HE HAS TOOO!
 
2010-09-09 10:38:54 AM  
GORDON: They are completely ignoring the tax built in to everything they buy.

When you buy a hamburger, you aren't just paying the price and the 6% sales tax on it. There is the tax on cost of producing that hamburger from the grain fields to the feed lot to the beef processor. All of those companies get taxed along the way, all of their employees pay income tax, and all of these costs are carried on to the consumer.

Companies don't pay tax, they people who buy their products do.


THAT would be interesting to see added up.
 
2010-09-09 10:38:56 AM  
Beer It's What's For Dinner: El Chode: Enigmamf: El Chode: No, it's not. I take it you don't live in the North East? If your combined income is $130k you're extraordinarily average. Though at least now the homes aren't as inflated, your $130k is not going nearly as far as you'd like to imagine.

Median Household Income in New York City, 2008: $55k.

NYC does not equal Connecticut. And if you don't see why that would be skewed so low, you're an idiot

Not only is demographic information available for Connecticut, but it's even available specifically for the exact place where these folks live! And even better, Wikipedia makes it really easy to find:

The median income for a household in the town was $53,494, and the median income for a family was $64,364.

You can dance around those numbers all you want, eliminate retired folk, whatever. 130k is still above average.


Yes.

And I would argue that there are outliers in your data.

Or that our perceptions are skewed. We in the middle class tend to compare ourselves up, not honestly.

150k doesn't feel rich.

But it is.

It's just doesn't FEEL that way.
 
2010-09-09 10:42:30 AM  
Farking pussies. 24.1% for ALL taxes? At 130k they would be paying 29% in just Federal income tax up in Canada on everything over 127k (26% on the 81-127k, 22% on the 40-81k).
Link (new window)
Of course we do get the publicly funded health care, and all that that implies.
Not saying I wouldn't mind only paying 24.1% taxes, but not at the cost that would come with it.
 
2010-09-09 10:42:46 AM  
LasersHurt: A large part of that gripe is having to pay for services that other people use, but the taxpayer doesn't. I believe scientists call that "selfishness."

If people weren't selfish, we'd all still be serfs.
 
2010-09-09 10:44:47 AM  
Mr.BobDobalita: I for one, have no problem paying taxes. On the flip side I have a MASSIVE PROBLEM with OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENTAL SPENDING

Everybody does, but nobody seems to be able to point out where this OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENTAL SPENDING is.

Sure, they can point out tiny little pieces of the problem, a wasteful military plane project here, and bridge to nowhere there, and that's all fine and dandy, but compared to the total federal expenditures, all those problems people like to point at put together don't amount to much.

So yeah, there are expenditures in our governmental system that are dubious at best. But for the most part, the government does a better job at keeping costs in line than we give them credit for.
 
2010-09-09 10:46:25 AM  
texastag: Fairies eh?

Sounds good!

Unfortunately your government issued fairy will most likely look like...

Unless we raise taxes now!


I will gladly pay an extra 10% in taxes for fairy #1.
 
2010-09-09 10:48:50 AM  
This is only 1 quarter from every dollar. What's everyone so upset about? It's not like it was really your money to being with.
 
2010-09-09 10:50:12 AM  
muck4doo:
A producer is one who makes money for either his/herself or their employer and gets compensated for it. They may be in service which is where this country is sadly going, or they may actually produce real goods, which is where we are falling away. Producers make income.


Drug dealers, gangsters, prostitutes/pimps are therefore PRODUCERS. They are already in a black market without income taxes thus they are PERFECT examples of money-worshipping culture. We should just drop our hypocritical Puritan pretense.
 
2010-09-09 10:50:52 AM  
Jormungandr: Farking pussies. 24.1% for ALL taxes? At 130k they would be paying 29% in just Federal income tax up in Canada on everything over 127k (26% on the 81-127k, 22% on the 40-81k).
Link (new window)
Of course we do get the publicly funded health care, and all that that implies.
Not saying I wouldn't mind only paying 24.1% taxes, but not at the cost that would come with it.


Exchange rates, dummy.

You're argument is invalid.

Converted to US dollars, you pay less taxes in we do, dummy.

Stupid frosted land of mapley happiness.

/pssst graduated taxes, blended rates....
 
2010-09-09 10:51:28 AM  
GanjSmokr: t's not like it was really your money to being with.

Commie troll is REDiculous.
 
2010-09-09 10:52:01 AM  
This text is now purple: LasersHurt: A large part of that gripe is having to pay for services that other people use, but the taxpayer doesn't. I believe scientists call that "selfishness."

If people weren't selfish, we'd all still be serfs.


I don't believe that at all.
 
2010-09-09 10:53:58 AM  
Jormungandr: Farking pussies. 24.1% for ALL taxes? At 130k they would be paying 29% in just Federal income tax up in Canada on everything over 127k (26% on the 81-127k, 22% on the 40-81k).
Link (new window)
Of course we do get the publicly funded health care, and all that that implies.
Not saying I wouldn't mind only paying 24.1% taxes, but not at the cost that would come with it.


24.1% plus cost of a good health care plan would work out to be less than 29%.

Its that whole "gov't programs: Give you less, for more." thing.
 
2010-09-09 10:53:59 AM  
griffer: Or that our perceptions are skewed. We in the middle class tend to compare ourselves up, not honestly.

150k doesn't feel rich.

But it is.

It's just doesn't FEEL that way.


Yep. My friend's ex-wife used to biatch all the time about how they didn't make that much, when their household income was ~$150k, which at the time was 90th or 95th percentile in the country. And with no kids. I mean sure, you're not buying a yacht or chartering jets or anything. But they were taking ski vacations, went to Hawaii for a honeymoon for two weeks, had a new car every few years, etc. In other words living pretty darn comfortably.
 
2010-09-09 10:58:20 AM  
Jormungandr: Farking pussies. 24.1% for ALL taxes? At 130k they would be paying 29% in just Federal income tax up in Canada ....

Pssst...hey, canuck, that's a 16.81% BLENDED rate. Seriously.
 
2010-09-09 10:59:52 AM  
GanjSmokr: This is only 1 quarter from every dollar. What's everyone so upset about? It's not like it was really your money to being with.

Yeah. What IS everyone so upset about?
 
2010-09-09 11:00:28 AM  
deanayer: The top 1% pay 40% of all income taxes and the top 10% pay 70% of all taxes so these folks are just slightly into the tax paying range.

Don't know if anyone called you out on this, but if we had a flat percentage tax on everyone the richest 1% would still be paying for 40% of the total tax amount.

/This could have something to do with them making 40% of the wages or something like that.
 
2010-09-09 11:01:34 AM  
Voiceofreason01: //unless all you do is go to work, come home and drink beer.

Standard deduction FTW.

/Plus student loan interest.
 
2010-09-09 11:16:17 AM  
Forced Perspective: Joining the course saying that the numbers in TFA are incredibly low; NPR must have hunted for a couple with a lot of deductions. CSB: Off $160,000, my total tax liability last year between federal/state (NY)/city (NYC) was just south of $52,000, or about 32%-- and that's after I did every feasible tax dodging strategy, including maximum contributions to 401(k). Not counting 401(k) money (which is logical, since it will be taxed when I take it out a few decades for now), my tax rate was more like 36%. Adding in a sales tax of nearly 9%, the property tax that gets passed along to me in the rent, various sin taxes, and the like I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that half of my money went to the government last year. It's surely at least 40-45%.

24% - $38,509 Federal
6.85% - $10,960 NY State
3.57% - $5,718.80 NYC Local

Total tax burden of $55,187.80 for Federal, State, and Local income tax. 34.5%. That's assuming that all 160K is taxable. Since you're saying you reduced your taxable income with the maximum 401K contributions (which would be about 16K in deductions from taxable income, and that's only ONE 'tax dodging strategy'), you apparently fail at doing your own taxes. You should hire an accountant.
 
2010-09-09 11:17:57 AM  
griffer: "Taxes anger me because they take MY MONEY out of MY pocket and give it to someone else who is less deserving of my money. Usually someone poorer, browner and less educated than me."

/sad but ugly truth
//fear and mis-perceptions, how do they work?
///our taxes are really, really low comparatively, just don't tax bankers, wall street and bonuse? kthnxbai!




Actually most of the tax money goes to rich white people in the form of government contracts, salaries, and pensions.
 
2010-09-09 11:20:22 AM  
jigger: Actually most of the tax money goes to rich white people in the form of government contracts, salaries, and pensions.

now government employees are Monopoly Men?
Wow, the hoi polloi are worse off than I thought.
 
2010-09-09 11:23:37 AM  
skullkrusher: jigger: Actually most of the tax money goes to rich white people in the form of government contracts, salaries, and pensions.

now government employees are Monopoly Men?
Wow, the hoi polloi are worse off than I thought.



No, but a whole hell of a lot of them make bank.
 
2010-09-09 11:24:38 AM  
LemSkroob: Jormungandr: Farking pussies. 24.1% for ALL taxes? At 130k they would be paying 29% in just Federal income tax up in Canada on everything over 127k (26% on the 81-127k, 22% on the 40-81k).
Link (new window)
Of course we do get the publicly funded health care, and all that that implies.
Not saying I wouldn't mind only paying 24.1% taxes, but not at the cost that would come with it.

24.1% plus cost of a good health care plan would work out to be less than 29%.

Its that whole "gov't programs: Give you less, for more." thing.



Are you saying that you could get a good health care plan for $6k? For a family of 3?
 
2010-09-09 11:27:06 AM  
jigger: skullkrusher: jigger: Actually most of the tax money goes to rich white people in the form of government contracts, salaries, and pensions.

now government employees are Monopoly Men?
Wow, the hoi polloi are worse off than I thought.


No, but a whole hell of a lot of them make bank.


yeah I don't think I'd be lumping them in with the "rich, white people".
 
2010-09-09 11:30:46 AM  
skullkrusher: jigger: skullkrusher: jigger: Actually most of the tax money goes to rich white people in the form of government contracts, salaries, and pensions.

now government employees are Monopoly Men?
Wow, the hoi polloi are worse off than I thought.


No, but a whole hell of a lot of them make bank.

yeah I don't think I'd be lumping them in with the "rich, white people".



The rich white people is where most of the money goes, not who most of the government contractors/employees are.
 
2010-09-09 11:33:09 AM  
Come to Kansas City - education is abysmal. I think one of our suburbs was a on "boil water" order a few weeks ago. The streets are crumbling, Unions control the work force for inane wages (i.e at the Ford plant a guy that bolts on a flimsy car door gets close to $70 hr in total compensation) Our police force is dwindling and under staffed. I could go on and on. We pay not only Federal Taxes, State taxes, County property tax AND an additional 1% of our income to the City. Oh by the way - more than half the population in our beloved city don't pay ANY of these taxes. Its not what we pay but what we are getting for it and whom is putting in their fare share. MAYBE - just maybe if EVERYONE paid taxes we wouldn't be in the mess we are in.
 
2010-09-09 11:34:48 AM  
jigger: griffer: "Taxes anger me because they take MY MONEY out of MY pocket and give it to someone else who is less deserving of my money. Usually someone poorer, browner and less educated than me."

/sad but ugly truth
//fear and mis-perceptions, how do they work?
///our taxes are really, really low comparatively, just don't tax bankers, wall street and bonuse? kthnxbai!



Actually most of the tax money goes to rich white people in the form of government contracts, salaries, and pensions.


LIAR!

/Halli Burton is a crack whore in the projects I KNOW SHE IS!
 
2010-09-09 11:37:18 AM  
NewportBarGuy: Enough to ensure that we have a style of life where the roads work, crime isn't out of control, and I can drink the water out of my tap?

Well, we need a new water treatment plant. Anyone spare $43 million?


The problem is that only about half of the people submitting tax returns actually paid anything.
 
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