Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Paul Krugman: Most of Us Do Pay Taxes

Krugman is trying to make a slightly different point, but he makes clear that the government does grab money from most of us when we have income:
 ...the fact is that the vast majority of Americans do pay income taxes at some point in their life. Thanks to the child tax credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, a fair number of working families with young children pay no income tax; thanks to the exemption on Social Security, many older Americans pay no income tax. But in middle age, close to 80 percent of the population pays income taxes, and even more, of course, pay federal taxes of some kind. 
So the notion that almost half of our citizens are grifters isn’t just vile; it’s also based on a complete misunderstanding of tax realities.
Bottom Line: If you have income, the government isn't letting most people get away without paying tribute.


  1. Didn't the 47% number come from the Census Bureau statistic of how many *households* pay income taxes? (Not how many people)

    And that was a couple of years ago, probably over 50% now.

    And, just because a senior citizen couple pays, say, $50 a year in taxes on their Social Security checks, I would round that off to zero.

    Or, better yet, deduct Social Security checks and all payments from the government from the baseline, and see who gives the government more than zero NET.

  2. That graph says it doesn't count dependents, so it excludes stay-at-home wives (and husbands).

    Also, I've heard alarming statistics about how many 20-somethings are living at home. Aren't most of these claimed as dependents as well?

  3. you also have to deduct every public employee, not sure if that is taken off already or not?