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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lucky Duckies

Who pays taxes? According to the current Speaker of the House, only the rich. This is what he said on the floor of the house the other day:
"well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two, you don't pay any taxes. So you probably if you don't pay any taxes, you are not going to get a big tax cut. Now, if you earn $1 million a year, you are going to pay about $400,000 of taxes. Maybe you'll get a $40,000 tax cut ..."

Is the man living in a parallel universe, where the rich are tormented by taxes, and the middle and lower classes are lucky duckies?

On my planet, Earth, working families pay federal income taxes, state and local income taxes, Social Security taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, gasoline taxes and most of the other taxes that rich people pay. Many don't own stocks, so they won't get any benefit from the capital gains tax cuts, and most won't have to worry about the estate tax, as it is highly unlikely that they will manage to sock away two million dollars to pass along to their heirs. Many, in fact, are one lost job or one serious medical illness away from bankruptcy. (Oooops, my mistake, the working classes can no longer declare bankruptcy. Debts, like diamonds, are now forever....)

According to Think Progress:
While someone with a $40,000 salary and a family of four paid little or no federal income taxes last year, Hastert ignores various other taxes paid by all Americans — payroll taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes, etc.

Consider payroll taxes, which go to paying for Social Security and Medicare. Assuming their entire $40,000 in salary came from wages, this family paid $3,060 (7.65 percent of $40,000) in federal payroll taxes last year. (Note: The employer also contributes this amount, but most economists “believe that the portion of the payroll tax paid by the employer is borne by the worker.”)

Hastert, who earns a hefty $212,010 a year salary, doesn’t seem to understand that families across America are facing higher health care costs, mortgage payments, and gas prices. And yes, they also have to pay their taxes.
Ignorance or stupidity? I report, you decide.


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