So only 53% of Americans contribute to the country while other 47% take away from the country. No wonder our economy in deep poo... It's almost 1:1 ratio...
Stolen from NanuqoftheNorth because it needs repeating:
On the surface 48% of Americans not paying federal income tax (these individuals still pay other federal taxes, many are paying a larger percentage of their income in federal taxes than the wealthiest Americans) is discouraging for those of us that pay substantial income taxes on an annual basis.
For the record, I would like to see as many Americans as possible pay at least some federal income taxes.
The earned income tax credit, EITC, signed into law by President Gerald Ford (Republican) and enhanced by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, provides families that are gainfully employed but unable to earn enough money, a tax creditto help provide the basics of life for their families.
This program accounts for a substantial number of individuals on the federal income tax roles. EITC was considered a better way to solve the poverty problem by many Republicans and Democrats than continuously raising the minimum wage or providing welfare.
Note: The minimum wage has fallen by 20% (after inflation) since the early 90s. The federal government has instead been subsidizing the real cost of employing workers in the private sector via the EITC.
The other significant group not paying federal income tax is the elderly, an ever growing percentage of our society.
There was a time when a large percentage of the elderly lived in poverty. This now happens less frequently because Republican and Democratic politicians decided that was unacceptable. They changed the tax codes to favor the elderly and minimized their suffering.
After accounting for EITC and retirees, approximately 17 percent of the population remains that doesn't pay federalincome tax in a given year.
Many of these people have payed in previous years or will pay income tax in subsequent years, some may not, but the vast majority of Americans do pay federal taxes and many pay proportionally more of their income in taxes than people like Mitt Romney do.
50% of American corporations (in any given year) do not pay federal taxes either, but you won't hear much about that statistic. I wonder why?
If the primary goal is to get more people to pay income taxes, as they did prior to the mid 1970s, that can be achieved with changes to the tax code, along with changes in the way this country conducts business nationally / internationally.
Just realize, we are where we are today because of bipartisan decisions by those in power decades ago to grow our financial sector and off shore much of our manufacturing base.
Because of these calculated decisions by those in power, some Americans have benefitted handsomely, while many other hard working Americans have not.
That is why 48% of Americans do not pay a federal income tax.