Look at the Whole Tax Rate

Ezra Klein does things with charts that, were I still into hip hop, I’d call dope.

Total Tax Bill by Income

“That’s really what the American tax system looks like: Not 47 percent paying nothing, but everybody paying something, and most Americans paying between 25 percent and 30 percent of their income — which is, by the way, a lot more the 13.9 percent Mitt Romney paid in 2011.

“When politicians try to convince you that half of Americans aren’t really paying taxes, it’s usually because the real data undermines their preferred policies. For instance, you wouldn’t look at these numbers and think tax cuts for the rich need to be a huge priority. And that’s one reason people who want more tax cuts for the rich don’t like to show you these numbers.”

Click on the link to see break downs by federal and state/local taxes as well, showing that the lowest income brackets pay a great deal more in payroll taxes than in federal. And since payroll taxes have an income cap, higher income earners pay proportionally much less. That’s why we need to look at the whole tax bill to understand what’s really going on.

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