Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950

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5/11/2010 5:08 AM


Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.
Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending,counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future," he says.

Individual tax rates vary widely based on how much a taxpayer earns, where the person lives and other factors. On average, though, the tax rate paid by all Americans — rich and poor, combined — has fallen 26% since the recession began in 2007. That means a $3,400 annual tax savings for a household paying the average national rate and earning the average national household income of $102,000.

This tax drop has boosted consumer spending and the economy, which grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the first quarter. It also has contributed to the federal debt growing to $8.4 trillion.

Taxes paid have fallen much faster than income in this recession. Personal income fell 2% last year. Taxes paid dropped 23%. The BEA classifies Social Security taxes as insurance payments and excludes them from the tax calculation.

Why the tax bite has eased:

• Stimulus law. One-third of last year's $862 billion economic stimulus went for tax cuts. Biggest reduction: The Making Work Pay tax credit reduced income taxes $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.

• Progressive tax rates. Presidents Clinton and Bush pushed through a series of tax changes — credits, lower rates, higher exemptions — that slashed income taxes for poor and middle-class families. A drop in income now can trigger big tax breaks and sharply lower rates, sometimes falling to zero.

• Sales tax. Consumers cut spending sharply in this downturn, thereby paying less in sales taxes.

A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were "too high" and 45% thought they were "about right." Those saying taxes are "too high" remain near a 50-year low.

The lower tax burden should last at least through 2010, says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "Virtually all the stimulus tax cuts expire at the end of the year," he says. "So the key decision is whether to extend them into 2011."

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm
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This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR



[LINK TO IMAGE]
"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

5/11/2010 5:30 AM

the storm is coming,

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5/11/2010 5:30 AM

Woo hooo!!! Everything is just fine!

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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Usually you pay double for that kind of action, Cotton.

5/11/2010 5:39 AM

My taxes for 08 went up 450.00 bucks, for 09 they went down 23 dollars...

The 50's must have been sweet!

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Yeah,I mix my gas. It's cheaper in the long run!

5/11/2010 5:58 AM

That little article looks great, but my taxes went up, not down.

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Jim Martin

5/11/2010 6:01 AM

So, we should be thanking Bush and Clinton for lower tax rates, and Obama for making less money? Isn't that what the story says?

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The message posted above is most likely my opinion and shouldn't be taken as fact....

5/11/2010 6:06 AM

huck wrote:

So, we should be thanking Bush and Clinton for lower tax rates, and Obama for making less money? Isn't that what the story says?

Really?

I guess if you're blaming Obama for the recession that began before he was elected, OK

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This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR



[LINK TO IMAGE]
"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

5/11/2010 6:10 AM

About that property tax, my business real estate went up in appraised value last year $107,000.00. Don't think that lowered my tax paid.

About that 1/3 of the 862 billion stimulus going for tax cuts? That was money I paid in taxes right?

About those progressive tax rates? So, if I choose to be a slacker and make less money I'll pay less taxes? I can see that being the future of a great nation.


About those sales taxes? People spent less so they paid less in taxes? Brilliant. That helps the economy tremendously.



In Dave's defense on this one, I did notice he just posted it up and didn't comment on it.

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5/11/2010 6:25 AM

I understand that we have huge deficits right now, and the most likely way to pay that debt down is to raise taxes. I understand that, but what I don't want is for someone to blow smoke up my ass and tell me that taxes are going down.

It doesn’t take a math mathematician to realize that not only did my property tax go up, but I paid much more state and federal tax than I did last year.

It’s reality and there is no way to spin that.

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Jim Martin

5/11/2010 6:33 AM

Same here. I paid more in property and income tax this year, though I did pay less in sales tax because I couldn't afford to buy as much.

The taxes people are upset about aren't this year's though--it's a few years from now.

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5/11/2010 7:15 AM

You added a stupid argument though....this article is mostly stating the obvious...although the numbers look artificially low.







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5/11/2010 7:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 10:44 PM

You might "study" the data from many different sources...but you still come to idiot conclusions.



BTW. Links to internet articles is not "research."

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5/11/2010 8:26 AM

Research for a freshmen college class is much different than actual research you will do as a senior.

If you already graduated I'd guess you got the degree online...

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flarider wrote: I don't know shit
and I am damn glad for that

5/11/2010 8:40 AM

Ya know, a guy who talks about how big his tool is, or how much he knows, or who he knows, usually...oh, never mind.

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Usually you pay double for that kind of action, Cotton.

5/11/2010 8:45 AM

You remember when I called you the biggest blowhard on this board?

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"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."

* Maj. Gen. James Mattis

5/11/2010 8:53 AM

In your mind...I have no doubt you are correct 100% of the time.

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5/11/2010 10:50 AM

The difference between you and I is that you are obsessed with trying to prove how smart you are on an internet chat forum...I am not.

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5/11/2010 11:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2010 11:19 AM

YAWN

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5/11/2010 12:04 PM

There's nothing to see here, people.

Move along.

See your Original Talking Points from the New York Times:

Tea Party = Retards

Bush caused all the Bad Things in the World

Obama will save us.

Yes we Can.

9.9 is not the same as 10(%)


Get your Kool Aide at the door on the way out...that is all.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

5/11/2010 1:01 PM

Do they withhold taxes on unemployment checks??

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5/11/2010 1:20 PM

He is going to have to do something with all the money they have spent.

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5/11/2010 1:50 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 10:45 PM

Part of the stimulus was your first $2500 in unemployment is tax-free (federal)

You still pay state & local income tax all of it (unless your state exempts it)

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“If I remember how this worked, you’d put a side on, and then you’d go and have something to eat, and then you’d put another side on.” … Mick Jagger

5/11/2010 2:53 PM

About that unemployment and taxes being less. I've never had a lay off here at my business and never had an unemployment claim against me that ever had any merit. So how come my rate went up recently? Just keep putting that burden on the ones who don't create the burden. Gotta love it. Less taxes...LOL

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5/11/2010 3:22 PM

The Un-Employment Tax Rate...they're taking the money to pay all the Un-Employed from those of us that are still providing Jobs.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

5/11/2010 4:03 PM

I tend to think that this is closer to the truth.

Actual tax rates

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