# How Does This Math Work?

CNS News posted an article today detailing which Americans pay our taxes under the current tax code. Please follow the link to article and read all of the statistics. It is amazing that America has prospered at all under this warped tax code.

The article reports:

Of the 150,493,263 filers who submitted individual income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2015 tax year, only 99,040,729 paid any income tax at all.

Together, those Americans paid a record \$1,457,891,441,000 in total income taxes — for an average of \$14,720 per taxpayer.

The other 51,452,534 — or about 34.2 percent of all filers — did not pay a penny. Their average income tax payment was \$0.

This is a fundamental divide in the American tax system. On one side are those who do pay taxes; on the other, those who don’t.

It gets worse:

So who paid the taxes the federal government needed to send that \$89,614,669,000 to those 30,417,609 who paid no income tax?

One major contributor was a group the IRS calls “married persons filing jointly.”

In 2015, according to Table 1.2 in the IRS report, 54,294,820 belonged to this group — with 41,551,043 joining the side that did pay taxes, and 12,743,777 joining the side that did not.

Thus, while 34.2 percent of all filers paid no income taxes, only 23.5 percent of married couples filing jointly paid no income taxes.

The 41,551,043 married couples filing jointly who did pay income taxes accounted for only 27.6 percent of all 150,493,263 filers. But they made up about 42 percent of the 99,040,729 filers who did pay income taxes.

More tellingly, of the record \$1,457,891,441,000 in total income taxes the IRS collected for tax year 2015, married couples filing jointly paid \$1,040,684,097,000 of it — or about 71.4 percent.

So, married couples filing jointly constituted only 42 percent of filers who actually paid income taxes, but they paid 71.4 percent of the income taxes.

Obviously, this is a tax system that drastically needs to be overhauled. Hopefully the tax bill passed today represents that overhaul.

# Some Facts About The Republican Tax Plan

The first fact to remember about the Republican tax plan is that what is eventually passed by Congress will be different than what was introduced today. How different we don’t know, but it will be different.

The Daily Signal posted an article today highlighting some of the proposed plan. The plan would simplify taxes, lower income tax rates, and positively impact business taxes.

The article reports:

The tax reform package would simplify and lower the current tax rate structure, from seven different rates ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 percent, to four rates: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent.

Most low- to middle-income earners would face lower marginal tax rates, which would help encourage more work and also put more money back into taxpayers’ pockets to spend more productively than the federal government.

Unfortunately, the plan maintains the top marginal rate of 39.6 percent (which reaches 43.4 percent when factoring in the Obamacare surtax).

While only 1 of every 150 taxpayers actually pays the top rate, more than 1 of every \$5 of taxable income is subject to that tax rate. That means a lot of economic activity is affected by the top rate, and lowering it would have a significant and positive impact on investment, productivity, incomes, and job growth in the U.S.

Maintaining a high top rate for wealthy Americans may make the plan more politically palatable, more appealing to average Americans, and help reduce the alleged “costs” of the tax reform plan. In reality, though, it would not result in nearly as much revenue as static estimates project, and it would limit the plan’s ability to maximize job growth and boost incomes for everyday Americans.

One aspect of the tax plan that is going to meet with a lot of resistance is the change to state and local tax deductions.

The article explains:

The proposed tax plan would partially eliminate state and local tax deductions by getting rid of the deduction for income or sales taxes, and by capping the deduction for property taxes at \$10,000.

State and local tax deductions provide no economic benefit. In fact, they are outright detrimental to the economy.

By allowing those who itemize their taxes to deduct property taxes as well as income or sales taxes they pay to state and local governments, these deductions shift the burden of high-tax states onto low-tax states, and spread a portion of high-income earners’ taxes onto lower- and middle-earners’ tax bills.

For example, just seven states (California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut) receive more than 50 percent of the value of the state and local tax deductions.

And on net, the average millionaire receives 102 times as much benefit from the state and local tax deductions as a typical household that makes between \$75,000 and \$100,000.

Eliminating the sales and income tax deductions would be a huge benefit to at least 85 percent of Americans.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It explains how each part of the tax plan would impact families in all income brackets. What we are hearing in the mainstream media is not necessarily accurate.

# Was Obamacare About Healthcare Or Taxes ?

Reuters reported on Monday that the Internal Revenue Service has released new rules concerning dividends and capital gains as part of the 2010 healthcare law. The obvious questions here is, “What do dividends and capital gains have to do with healthcare?” Evidently more than we knew.

The article reports:

The tax affects only individuals with more than \$200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than \$250,000 of MAGI.

The tax applies to a broad range of investment securities ranging from stocks and bonds to commodity securities and specialized derivatives.

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals.

Please keep in mind that the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) was originally enacted to impact only the wealthy. As of 2011, a single person who made \$48,450 was impacted by that tax. I really don’t consider \$48,450 wealthy. How long will it be before the new healthcare taxes begin to impact the middle class?

The article further points out:

The IRS plans to release a new form for taxpayers to fill out for this tax when filing 2013 returns.

Oh joy.

# As You Hear The Debate On Raising Taxes…

As we approach the fiscal cliff put into place by Congress and the President, we will hear a lot about the need to increase taxes to balance the budget. We will also hear that the ‘rich’ are not paying their fair share.

First of all, this is how the tax code currently works (2009 numbers) according to the National Taxpayers Union:

Who Pays Income Taxes and How Much?

Tax Year 2009

 Percentiles Ranked by AGI AGI Threshold on Percentiles Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid Top 1% \$343,927 36.73 Top 5% \$154,643 58.66 Top 10% \$112,124 70.47 Top 25% \$66,193 87.30 Top 50% \$32,396 97.75 Bottom 50% <\$32,396 2.25 Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income Source: Internal Revenue Service Secondly, watch the first minute of this video taken from the 2008 Democrat Presidential Primary debate:

Ask yourself, “What is this debate really about, and why is President Obama so determined to ‘tax the rich’ when it has been proven that doing so will not increase revenue to reduce the deficit?”

# What In The World Are We Thinking ?

Bill Clinton’s relationship with the truth has not changed since the 1990’s. Breitbart.com posted a video of Bill Clinton on CNN yesterday explaining that the American people are easily confused by plans of lower taxes and lower spending. In the video he cited a few facts that were simply not true. See the numbers below taken from the National Taxpayers Union to see who actually pays income taxes in America.

# Tax Year 2009

Percentiles Ranked by AGI AGI Threshold on Percentiles Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
Top 1% \$343,927 36.73
Top 5% \$154,643 58.66
Top 10% \$112,124 70.47
Top 25% \$66,193 87.3
Top 50% \$32,396 97.75
Bottom 50% <\$32,396 2.25
Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Lower taxes and smaller government allow the private sector to grow. There is nothing confusing about that, and the American people are not confused. We are reaching the point where more people are taking money out of government that are putting money in. At that point the system totally breaks down and America as we have known it disappears. This election may be our last chance to prevent that.