In some ways, I guess you could say that we’re half way there.

The best news would be that none of us pay income tax. It should be eliminated.

The really bad news is that half of the people in the United States pay no income tax.

Where is President Obama on this?

Fair is his middle name. He’s all about fairness.

How could it possibly be fair to have one half of the people in the country paying the freight for the other half?

And, of course, this plays right into the hands of big government, socialist leaning politicians who want to “transform” the country.

“This trend should concern everyone who supports America’s republican form of government,” Beach and Tyrrell wrote. “If the citizens’ representatives are elected by an increasing percentage of voters who pay no income tax, how long will it be before these representatives respond more to demands for yet more entitlements and subsidies from non-payers than to the pleas of taxpayers to exercise greater spending prudence?”

How long? How about yesterday?

Obama will run for President by promising the non-payers that he will make the payers pay more so that they can get more free stuff.

Maybe he can get them free one way flights to Greece.

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  1. Franny says:

    I am not sure I understand the problem with this. If you don’t want to pay income taxes then don’t make that much money. If getting government benefits is so great and paying income tax is so terrible then why do so many people aspire to attain wealth?

    I vote mostly conservative, by the way, albeit by default. I do quite well at work and pay plenty of taxes. I do not envy those beneath me on the income scale. I would not change places with them. Do I like taxes? No. Do I think our tax structure sucks? Yes. I also think you have to pick your spots and this isn’t it.

    • bald guy says:

      I agree. Complaining that the poorest Americans don’t pay any taxes is class warfare at its worst.

      But, the GOP is the party that’s most concerned about the plight of the wealthy in America. Cut their taxes and make people below the poverty level pay taxes.

      It’s this kind of thinking that will help Obama win reelection. It appeals to the far right fringe, but it scares moderates and independents away from the GOP and into the Democratic big tent.

      • You mean the tent full of the takers as opposed to the tent full of producers? Explain this to me. If most people are NOT rich, how does a political party that only cares about the “wealthy” ever get anybody elected. It’s absurd on its face. Why would a political party think it can win and stay in power by going against the majority? How has a Republican ever been elected?

        • Suits and Sneakers says:

          I can’t believe I missed this post by you earlier. How does a political party that only cares about the “wealthy” ever get anybody elected? Have you completely missed the Republicans’ interjection of social issues into mainstream politics? They get elected by appealing to folks’ desire to keep their guns and because of religious issues like same-sex marriage and abortion (and now contraception!). People who care about those issues unknowingly vote against their own economic self-interest when they vote Republican. See my comment below about how those most reliant on government assistance vote Republican. I can’t believe you don’t know this John. For such a politically-minded guy like yourself, it’s pretty fundamental.

          • So Republicans DON’T care only about the wealthy. Thanks for proving my point, which was that they couldn’t win an election if that were all they appealed to.

          • Dan says:

            You can’t compare today’s Republicans to those from even 15 years ago. How do they get elected? Massive spending on advertising and PR. Lying. Making promises that cant or simply won’t get kept. Bowing to special interest groups or wealthy individuals in businesses in exchange for gobs of cash to put their attack ads on the air.

            Mitt Romney isn’t a leading candidate because he has good political ideas and experience. It’s because he’s a multi-millionaire who can flood the TV markets with attack ads against his opponents. You know this, John.

          • And Democrats don’t advertise or lie? Pretty sure they cancel each other out in that department. Democrats advertise and they lie. They make up for that by pandering to the weak and the stupid.

          • Dan says:

            I forgot to include the phrase “just like any politician”, including Barack Obama. Hit the button before I was finished.

          • Blasto says:

            I always thought the Republicans pandered to the weak and stupid…and gullible..and religious..and bigots..and the paranoid.. I guess it’s a matter of opinion.

          • I’d say the party that is constantly promising to take stuff away from one person and give it to the eternally jealous was doing most of the pandering.

        • bald guy says:

          The GOP has duped a lot of middle class people into thinking they’re concerned about them. The fact is, the Bush tax cuts disproportionately favor the wealthiest Americans vs. the middle class. The GOP denies that, despite the fact the non-partisan CBO is the one who came up with the data.

          Remember trickle-down economics? The best way to help the middle class is to give lots of money to rich people. Yup, the GOP is still at it!

          • Who’s doing the giving? That’s how warped the minds of liberals have become. Letting someone KEEP more of what they earned and what BELONGS to them is now considered government giving. Talk about moronic.

    • Chris says:

      I wish more conservatives were like you Franny

    • Gary M says:


      You used the correct verb, aspire.
      to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal
      Many people aspire, the problem is not enough get off of the couch and do something about it. It is much easier to collect a check from Uncle Sam and make excuses about your lot in life.
      You can’t get on your feet if you don’t get off your ass.

  2. DavidMcGwire says:

    Just a question out of ignorance. How do people work and not pay income taxes? Aren’t they automatically taken out of your paycheck?

    • franji1 says:

      EIC (Earned Income Credit) not only CREDITs people taxes, their “total income tax owed” easily can go NEGATIVE, i.e. THEY GET A CHECK BACK FOR MORE THAN THEY PUT IN.

      It’s not that they paid $1000 over the past 12 months, but that they end up getting back $4000.

      For most of us, we pay about $500 more than what we owe, but we owed $5K, $10K, $15K. So we gave the government $10,500, and got back $500. Many people pay in $2000 and get back $3000.

    • bald guy says:

      It depends on how much you make and how many dependents you have. For poor people, the working poor, in many cases no money will be withheld, as their projected income tax will be $0, using the standard deduction available.

    • ndhoops says:

      Yes but that money would all be refunded to them and if they qualify for the earned income credit they can even receive more than what was withheld. So to a later post one can in a way pay less than zero.

    • Chris says:

      When you file tax returns at the end of the year a large percentage get everything they paid back at the end of the year….some even get MORE than they paid back if they fall under a certain tax bracket.

  3. Mason says:

    I can tell you that I am sick of subsidizing the lazy slackers. I do believe there is a responsibility of the government to help the most helpless among us – I think almost everyone agrees on that – but this has gotten to the point of insanity. I am getting closer and closer to closing down my business and moving to the edge of the grid. My wife and I talk about it all the time. Live off the land for meat and veggies – screw everyone. I will contribute to myself.

    Here is another example of Obama screwing old people, so he can be ‘fair’ to people that never gave a shit about trying to succeed on their own – just suck off everyone else’s tit.

    pardon the language – this topic is really upsetting me anymore.

  4. ndhoops says:

    Interesting combined with your previous post that the two presidents considered the worst since WWII are also the ones who spent trillions on entitlements and subsidies.

  5. Matt says:

    These are the people who most of the budget are spent on. Cut spending 10% accross the board and make a new AMT of $100 and we can balance the budget.

  6. Haas says:

    No one pay taxes. There—problem solved and it is fair.

  7. Chuck says:

    As the Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff used to say, “What a country” when talking about the USA, so probably do all those freeloaders not paying income tax, receiving almost anything they want for free, and thumbing their noses at what’s left of the hard working people here. What a country, indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Shawn Ritenour says:


    This also explains why it is so easy for leftists to criticize tax cuts as primarily benefiting “the rich.” They are the ones paying the vast majority of the taxes, so of course a tax cut will improve their situation relatively more than for someone who does not pay taxes to begin with. You cannot pay less than zero.

    • bald guy says:

      Actually, if you look at the Bush tax cuts, they disproportionately benefited the richest Americans when compared to the middle class. That from the Congressional Budget Office.

      • Everybody got a tax cut. Except for the people who, you know, didn’t pay taxes.

        • bald guy says:

          That’s like saying when rich people get a 10-course dinner with wine for each course, and the rest of us got bread and water, we all got fed.

          I still don’t understand how you expect people living below the poverty level to pay taxes. You want to soak the poorest Americans while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. You’re a good Republican.

          • You call them tax breaks. I don’t. If it’s “soaking” someone to take 30% of the fruits of their labor –which it is –then it doesn’t matter if you’re making $30 million a year of $30,000. There should be no income tax.

    • a-dawg says:

      Yes you can…..if you make so little, you earn an income tax credit and the government will pay you money.

  9. VinceL says:

    This reminds of a story the other day in the NYTimes about how the out of wedlock birth rate is skyrocketing among most racial and ethnic groups.Girl gets knocked up,the dad is an irresponsible slacker and guess who come to the rescue.Big Daddy government.And guess what party those single women will vote for?Oh,how the Democrats rejoice when people become dependent on the state. Their playbook has been “we will take care of you by taking someone else’s earnings.Just keep us in power.”

  10. Suits and Sneakers says:

    Let’s see here. Of the 50% of people who don’t pay income tax (not to say they don’t pay FICA or other taxes by the way, you’re only talking about income taxes), you have poor people, social security recipients with no other form of income, and then people who through deductions are able to end up with no taxable income (and who oh by the way have FICA withheld from their paychecks). Keep in mind the median income is around $45,000 a year (i.e., 50% of people make extremely modest livings), so if you have dependents and/or take advantage of other deductions and you make let’s say, $40,000 a year, it’s pretty easy to end up paying no income tax.

    So my question is this – these aforementioned people are really the problem? Poor, old, and lower middle class people who pay no income tax?

    Also, tell me this, you must be getting pretty close to getting that first Social Security check, right? Are you going to send it back? You should donate every socal security check you get to charity if you hate government “handouts” so much.

    I really wish you would just stick to sports. Actually, you’re not good at that either, just retire.

    • The only fair tax is a consumption tax. And you can bet your ass I’ll be collecting my SS check and I’ll be using medicare, too. That money was confiscated from me. I had no choice. Would you take this deal: I get every dollar that I and my employer were FORCED to pay into SS snd medicare refunded WITH INTEREST. Write the check and I’ll fend for myself.

      • bald guy says:

        The money you paid into Social Security went to the Greatest Generation. I’ve worked for 40 years, paying Social Security to help out my parents’ generation. I’m glad to do it.

        That’s not MY money. That’s money that I paid in, so that the Greatest Generation would have security in their old age. I’m not so selfish as to think that money should come back to me with interest.

        I expect only that younger workers will, like I did, pay into the system, so Social Security will be there for me, when I retire.

        It’s sad to see so much of the “God forbid we be forced do anything for anyone else” attitude. Forget the poor. Forget the sick. Forget the elderly. I’m taking care of myself, and I don’t want the government to take a penny from me to help those in need.

        The hatred of the weakest members of our society is just a terrible thing to see. No wonder our generation is often called the “ME” generation. I want mine. Screw you.

        We’re not on the Serengeti, where the weakest members of the herd are left behind to be devoured. We’re better than that.

        We’re the United States of America. We’re a civilized society. We don’t leave our weak and elderly behind, treating them as if they’re a drag on the rest of us.

        • We also have a constitution. The parents of the greatest generation were lied to in the 1930s when SS was implemented. I was responding to someone who said that, since I’m opposed to government funded healthcare and retirement, I would be a hypocrite to accept a check. My response what that I was FORCED to pay into it and I will damn well be there to collect. I also said that, in lieu of the benefits, I would be more than happy with a refund of all the money I was forded to pay. With interest of course. How about making SS optional? That would seem appropriate in a free country. If you think the government should operate as a charity, designate money to be taken out of your pay every week.

          • Suits and Sneakers says:

            “The parents of the greatest generation were lied to in the 1930s when SS was implemented.” Please explain.

          • From the great Dr. Walter E Williams professor of economics George Mason University:

            Here’s what the 1936 government pamphlet on Social Security said: “After the first 3 years – that is to say, beginning in 1940 – you will pay, and your employer will pay, 1.5 cents for each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. … Beginning in 1943, you will pay 2 cents, and so will your employer, for every dollar you earn for the next 3 years. … And finally, beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year.” Here’s Congress’ lying promise: “That is the most you will ever pay.”

            Another lie in the Social Security pamphlet is: “Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States government will set up a Social Security account for you. … The checks will come to you as a right.” Therefore, Americans were sold on the belief that Social Security is like a retirement account and money placed in it is our property. The fact of the matter is you have no property right whatsoever to your Social Security “contributions.”

            You say, “Williams, you’re wrong! We have a right to Social Security payments.” In a U.S. Supreme Court case, Helvering v. Davis (1937), the court held that Social Security is not an insurance program, saying, “The proceeds of both (employee and employer) taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes generally, and are not earmarked in any way.” In a later Supreme Court case, Flemming v. Nestor (1960), the court said, “To engraft upon the Social Security system a concept of ‘accrued property rights’ would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands.”

            Belatedly, the Social Security Administration is trying to clean up its history of deception. Its website says, “Entitlement to Social Security benefits is not (a) contractual right,” adding, “There has been a temptation throughout the program’s history for some people to suppose that their FICA payroll taxes entitle them to a benefit in a legal, contractual sense. … Congress clearly had no such limitation in mind when crafting the law.” That’s the SSA’s dishonesty. After all, it was the people in that administration who said, in their 1936 pamphlet, that “the checks will come to you as a right.”

          • bald guy says:

            You said you wanted every dollar you and your employer paid into Social Security paid back to you with interest. You don’t seem to understand. That money is gone or going to pay to the Greatest Generation and other retirees.

            You’ll get money from Social Security from the money that younger and future workers pay into it.

            So, you will not get back your money. However, if you live long enough, you might well take out more than you put in.

            You do [point out the fact that we’re forced to pay into Social Security. That’s mandated….and Constitutional! Just like mandated health care. Social Security is the precedence.

          • It’s actually not constitutional. Once again…I was responding to someone telling me that I’m a hypocrite if I accept a SS check. My response was that the money was confiscated from me and I’ll be there to collect my pathetic payoff. I’d be perfectly willing to forfeit my pitiful payoff for a full refund with interest. Seems fair to me.

          • franji1 says:

            Could you imagine if you put 6% and your employer put in 6% into an IRA (that’s 12% folks!) from age 22 thru 62, how much money you would have? Let’s just say $1M would be BAD money management.

            I’d say offer EVERYONE under 30 that option – would not cost the employee or the employer any additional money.

            Compound Interest – the most powerful force in the universe – Albert Einsten (yes, the man that understood the power of nuclear energy).

          • Never happen. That would require politicians giving up control. And the democrats would demagogue it to death by phony concerns about the “poor.” It’s concern for the “poor” that keeps us all in the Social Security Ponzi scheme.

          • Dan says:

            If it was a true Ponzi scheme my 86 years old grandfather wouldn’t have been collecting an actual check for the last 20 years. And he wouldn’t have got a statement every year with his real account value either. He would have never got his money. Is the system broken? Yes. But one of the stupidest things Rick Perry said is the whole Ponzi scheme thing.

          • The Ponzi scheme allows my 94 year old mother to collect her check, too. It’s only been in effect for 70 years. It’s on its way to doing what all Ponzi schemes do, falling in on itself. Ask Bernie Madoff.

            The term was derived from the scheme created during the 1920s by Charles Ponzi, a poor but enterprising Italian immigrant. Here’s how it works. You persuade some people to give you their money to invest. After a while, you pay them a nice return, but the return doesn’t come from investments. What you pay them with comes from the money of other people whom you’ve persuaded to “invest” in your scheme. The scheme works so long as you can persuade greater and greater numbers of people to “invest” so that you can pay off earlier “investors.” After a while, Ponzi couldn’t find enough new investors, and his scheme collapsed. He was convicted of fraud and sent to prison.

            The very first Social Security check went to Ida May Fuller in 1940. She paid just $24.75 in Social Security taxes but collected a total of $22,888.92 in benefits, getting back all she put into Social Security in a month. According to a Congressional Research Service report titled “Social Security Reform” (October 2002), by Geoffrey Kollmann and Dawn Nuschler, workers who retired in 1980 at age 65 got back all they put into Social Security, plus interest, in 2.8 years. Workers who retired at age 65 in 2002 will have to wait a total of 16.9 years to break even. For those retiring in 2020, it will take 20.9 years. Workers entering the labor force today won’t live long enough to get back even half of what they will put into Social Security. Social Security faces Ponzi’s problem, not enough new “investors.” In 1940, there were 160 workers paying into Social Security per retiree; today there are only 2.9 and falling.

            (Walter E Williams ..former head of economics dept. George Mason University)

        • Mike V says:

          The Greatest Generation also gave us the Baby Boomers. Sort of makes me question the Greatest Generation title. I believe the Greatest Generation hasn’t been born yet or at least not at retirement age.

          • The Greatest Generation was the greatest generation. The Baby Boomer generation (mine) is not great.

          • Mike V says:

            The best generation we ever had in this country was willing to fight a war to preserve the United States and end a moral injustice in slavery. They fought in the Civil War. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than any other war in US history. Those guys fought under even worse conditions than a 20th Century person could possibly imagine.

            After the war, they didn’t create an expansion of suburbs and spoiled children. They created an expansion in the United States successfully stretching it from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. They did it in horse and buggies, not Buicks. They helped rebuild the south after the war in the same manner that the US helped rebuild Europe after WWII.

            They moved the US from an agrarian society to a mighty industrial society. They created railroads that connected the country and boosted the industrial base.

            I would agree that the WWII generation is owed a debt of gratitude for their war efforts that this country can never repay. We owe the Civil War generation the same, if not more. There have been lots of great generations in this country though and they were the first to call themselves the greatest. One day, others will come along and do great things for this country. Our best days are ahead of us.

    • Paul says:

      “So my question is this – these aforementioned people are really the problem? Poor, old, and lower middle class people who pay no income tax?”

      No, the problem is a government that has rigged up a system where people can vote for someone that will continue to provide for them even though they contribute little to the society in which they live.

      Suits and Sneakers, why don’t you stick to reading blogs you like?

      • Suits and Sneakers says:

        Paul, are you saying that the problem is that people vote for Barack Obama and/or other Democrats in hopes that they will keep receiving handouts? This is the same, tired, “welfare-queen” argument that was a pillar of Ronald Reagan’s first presidential campaign. Not only did he chastise the poor and create an evil and inaccurate stereotype, but he constantly talked about “shrinking the government” and cutting government jobs. You know who works for the “government”? Teachers, police officers, firemen, and other people who serve very critical roles. The point is – maybe some people – a very small portion of the population – willfully do nothing in order to take advantage of medicaid, food stamps or other government subsidies. But do you really think most of the people that are on government assistance want it that way? Of course they don’t. When you say “even though they contribute little to the society in which they live” you’re talking about old people too, because a lot of old people are going to vote for a Democrat to make sure social security stays in place. That’s who you have a problem with here. It’s insensitive and selfish – bald guy articulated this very well above.

        Now, moving on, I hope you realize that voters in the most Conservative states in the country receive a larger percentage of their income from government transfers than do voters in the most liberal states in the country. In other words, many of the people who espouse the same views as you are actually extremely dependent on the government. So you tell me what’s worse – politicians who believe in a system that is at least somewhat aimed on generating equality (i.e., we should at least try to help out the poor to some extent) or politicians who decry the government and its role in society and vow to eliminate its function to the very people who are most dependent on it?

        • The federal government needs to be reduced by about 90%.

          • bald guy says:

            Sounds like you used a random number generator. Why not 80%, or 20%, or 95%. I mean, they’re just numbers. There’s no thinking that goes into it. Just pluck a number and throw it out.

        • Paul says:

          “Paul, are you saying that the problem is that people vote for Barack Obama and/or other Democrats in hopes that they will keep receiving handouts?” Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying. You can call it a tired argument if you’d like, that doesn’t make it any less true.

          “You know who works for the “government”? Teachers, police officers, firemen, and other people who serve very critical roles.” Talk about tired argument- that’s right these are the people the left trots out every time someone mentions too much government. Just like the old ‘we’re gonna have to close the National Parks if we don’t get a budget signed’ BS. Not only that, but teachers, police firemen work for the LOCAL government.

          “But do you really think most of the people that are on government assistance want it that way? Of course they don’t.” Show me some evidence, please.

          “When you say “even though they contribute little to the society in which they live” you’re talking about old people too, because a lot of old people are going to vote for a Democrat to make sure social security stays in place.” 1) Old people HAVE ALREADY contributed to society. 2) Voting Democrat does not mean SS stays in place.

          “So you tell me what’s worse – politicians who believe in a system that is at least somewhat aimed on generating equality (i.e., we should at least try to help out the poor to some extent) or politicians who decry the government and its role in society and vow to eliminate its function to the very people who are most dependent on it?” Politicians that aim for equality are Socialists (as I suspect you are) and that is worse by far.

  11. Matt C. says:

    Wow. Its amazing when you think about it. The night Obama was elected people were on TV saying how the president is going to pay for their car, their house, their bills and they don’t have to do anything. Well it has came partially true. The presideint is not paying for nothing. It is the working people and the people whose sweat and inspiration made them “rich” to pay for the people who don’t have to pay. Lets see, what all does it pay for? Cell phones, medical care, housing, food, education, automobiles, and what else? Well here is a few. I used to work on an ambulance and everytime I went into a low income housing area the people had the biggest TVs, the newest video games, the newest DVD players. Smoking 5 dollars a pack cigarettes. The hair and nails were done and looking perfect for the women. The men all dressed in $200 dollar shoes. Its a joke. The system that is supposed to help them get back on their feet is not only enabling them to stay that way but they continue to take more and more money from the taxpayers to pay for more and more everyday. Oh by the way, while the women were looking perfect with their designer jeans, manicured nails, hair salon styles, their kids were running around in filthy clothes needing a bath. And now when it comes to drug testing, judges rule it a violation of their privacy. What about our privacy. Better yet, what about our money staying with us? I only hope that in November this country wakes up and makes the changes that are needed.

    • franji1 says:

      Agreed. I like this idea…

      If you’re on the government dole, you waive your right to vote. Get off the government dole, you get that right back IMMEDIATELY. it’s called CONFLICT OF INTEREST. This way, the people PAYING TAXES get to decide the policies of WHO and HOW MUCH of THEIR money gets DOLEd out.

    • Blasto says:

      Matt c. I agreed with just about everything you said until your last sentence. What I don’t understand is why you think the GOP will address this problem anymore than the dems.

      • Matt C. says:

        Blasto, I am a conservative and I hope that the GOP will change things. I know that the way it is going right now is not good. Maybe by voting all people who are in office out and bringing in new blood and new idea will improve this country. I don’t know. I just know that where we are headed is not good.

    • bald guy says:

      Matt C. – When you say “the president is not paying for nothing,” are you saying he’s paying for some things or for everything? All you’ve really said is he’s paying something….I’m wondering how much you think he’s paying.

      • Matt C. says:

        Bald guy, I meant that the US Taxpayers are the ones paying. But Actually the President is one of us, the taxpayers. He paid $466104 in taxes. But with all of his deductions and after all the figuring his accounts did he overpaid 12334. But being the great leader that he is, he applied it to 2011 taxes. See there he goes. Leading by example to try to get the budget under control. Awesome leadership.

        • Matt C. says:

          But I will also give credit where credit is due. A total of $131075 was give to the Fisher House Foundation. Which is a great cause. 96 percent of their revenue goes towards helping military families.

    • Chris says:

      Most of that is coming from drug money

  12. Mike from Monroeville says:

    Because they pay Social Security Tax, Medicare Tax, State Income Tax, Unemployment Tax, Local Income Tax, Real Estate Taxes, Vehicle License Fees, Sales Tax, Realty Transfer Tax, Gasoline Tax, Turnpike tolls. Did I miss any?

    • And half don’t pay an income tax. What’s your point? You don’t think there’s a problem when politicians can get elected by promising half the people that the other half will provide them with everything that they need. All the taxes you mentioned should disappear, by the way.

    • Forbes St. Clair says:

      Don’t you need a job to pay those taxes? Welfare doesn’t cover that.

    • Matt says:

      If they make enough money to have a car they should pay some token amount of income tax.

    • oksteelerfan says:

      If they’re on welfare they’re not paying SS tax, medicare tax, state income tax, unemployment tax, local income tax, doubtful they own property, so doubtful they’re paying real estate tax, we buy their food so there is no sales tax paid on it.

      A young couple I know has two kids, the husband works and they receive food stamps and the government pays half their rent along with they get wic. They just got their federal refund of 5,000 dollars and state refund of almost 600 dollars. So maybe the government took out SS and Medicare and income tax but they returned it all plus some.
      On the other side of that coin is you have large corporations who have good accountants so they pay no income tax.

      So if the government wants to keep this scam going then they need to make it a flat tax, so that couple pays 5% or whatever they want to make it and that corporation pays the same 5%.

      What would really be fair though is to eliminate income tax and go to a consumption tax. They could even make it where those on welfare or low income gets a card that makes them exempt from paying tax on food and clothing and personal items, then that would end the argument how it would hurt the poor.

      • Mike from Monroeville says:

        Just because you pay no federal income tax doesnt mean you dont pay the taxes I just mentioned. There is a big gap between being on welfare and no paying withholding. Try looking at a tax table once in a while. Here:

        • oksteelerfan says:

          The two examples I gave were welfare recipients and a couple where one spouse works but still get government assistance. So tell me how the people on welfare pay ss, medicare, income and unemployment tax? Tell me how the couple pays any of those taxes when they get every dime back that was withheld from their pay check plus some?
          Tell me how either of them pay real estate taxes if they don’t own real estate?
          I gave you examples of people who don’t pay all the taxes you mentioned and a tax table is not going to show that.
          But here’s the deal, I pay income tax, I pay all the other taxes you mentioned, so why is it fair that I should have to pay all those taxes including income tax and 50% of the country pays no income tax?

  13. franji1 says:

    I liked what Chris Christie, New Jersey’s Republican Governor said last night to CNN’s Piers Morgan

    Warren Buffett should “just write a check and shut up” on his call for higher tax rates on the super-rich.

  14. The Machinist says:

    My grandmother answered phones in a hospital, and my grandfather (who after returning from ww2 where he was awarded five metals) worked at a gas company repairing and installing gas appliances. They has seven kids a house and a car. In todays world thats not possible due to high taxes which are crippling this county. Another reason is nothing is made in this country anymore. Cheap chinese products are also screwing this county thats a fact.

  15. bald guy says:

    Read the book “The Benefit and The Burden” by Bruce Bartlett, who was a senior policy adviser for Reagan. He has many ideas for tax reform….none of which he says the GOP will support.

    Bartlett said that since Reagan raised taxes 11 times, today’s Republicans wouldn’t elect him.

    Reagan raised the taxes for capital gains, as he felt that all income, be it from working or from investments, should be treated more similarly. Again, today’s GOP has gone so far to the right, they’d reject Reagan.

    Taxes are lower now, under Obama, than at any time since the 1950′s. If you want lower income taxes, you’ve gotten it from Obama. And the biggest beneficiaries are the richest people.

    And, before you accuse me of class warfare, you’re the one that complained about poor people who are below the poverty level. They make up over 60% of the people who pay no taxes.

    I’m all for serious tax reform. But complaining about poor people who don’t pay taxes misses the mark completely. It doesn’t begin to address the problem.

    • Reagan raised taxes on the promise that the Dems would cut spending. He trusted them and they reneged.

      • Suits and Sneakers says:

        “Reagan raised taxes on the promise that the Dems would cut spending. He trusted them and they reneged.” Please explain also.

        • Reagan was being accused of soaking the poor and favoring the rich because he wanted massive tax cuts. He also wanted major spending cuts. He agreed to some tax increases for promises from the dems that, for every dollar in tax increases, he would get three dollars in spending deductions. He raised some taxes and the dems never delivered. He called it the worst blunder of his first term. When Reagan took ofice, the poverty rate had been rising from 11.4 percent in 1978 to 14 percent in 1981. It went up to 15.2 during the 1982 recession but it was at 12.8 in 1989. There were FEWER poor people after Reagan’s two terms than there were when he took office. The middle class disappeared in he mid-80s because they moved UP. The percentage of people making between 15 and 50,000 dollars (1990′s dollars) dropped by almost 5 points from 53.9% to 49.2%. The percentage of families making more than $50,000 rose by five points. And there was more charitable giving during the decade of greed (the 80s) than in any time in American history.

        • bald guy says:

          Not true. Reagan raised the capital gains tax because he thought it was the fair thing to do. Read the book, and you’ll understand, from one of Reagan’s senior policy adviser why Reagan did what he did.

          I do find it ironic that you entered into a class warfare argument with your post. For someone who’s complained about class warfare when others point out government handouts for the wealthy, you’re quick to play that card yourself. It’s a little hypocritical.

          But, I guess you think the working poor have it so good, we might as well have them pay income tax, even if they’re living (and working) in poverty.

          So, class warfare is good when it’s directed at the poor, but bad when it’s directed towards the wealthy? You can’t have it both ways.

      • Mike from Monroeville says:

        Weong. Reagan’s own party refused to agree to the spending cuts. Dole, Michel, etc.

        Read David Stockman’s “The Triumph of Politics” He was the budget director.

      • bald guy says:

        You must think Reagan was an idiot. Only an idiot would sign legislation that didn’t include both parts of an agreement. And he raised taxes again, and again, and again. It wasn’t just once. He did it 11 times.

        If there was supposed to be some sort of agreement, why did he keep on pushing for tax increases again, and again, and again???

        Here’s the fact: Reagan raised taxes because he realized the deficit problem. He realized the need to grow revenue.

        Reagan started off with a big tax cut. But just a few weeks after signing that legislation, he asked for 1/3 of it back. By the end of his presidency, about 1/2 of the initial cut had been made up through a serious of tax hikes.

        Here’s a good article about the Reagan tax increses:

        Read it, and you’ll see that it has nothing to do with Democrats.

        • From Ralph Reiland, economics professor at Robert Morris University:

          1. From 1982 to 1989, 19 million net new jobs were created in the United States (more than the number of jobs created in Europe and Japan combined), two-thirds of them high- or middle-paying, resulting in the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years.

          2. The economic growth unleashed by tax cuts increased federal tax revenues in the 1980s by $1.1 trillion.

          3. These additional federal tax revenues contributed to the reduction of the federal deficit from 6.3 percent of GDP in 1983 to 2.9 percent in 1989. (A Congress loaded with pork peddlers blocked greater spending cuts.)

          4. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan both enacted supply-side tax cuts on top income eamers and job creators and produced the two longest economic expansions in American history.

          5. The Reagan tax cuts “trickled down” to produce a 76 percent jump in new business investment in real (adjusted for inflation) dollars in the 1980s and tripled the rate of productivity growth.

          6. Real per capita after-tax income rose by 19 percent in the 1980s, nearly double the rate of the 1970s.

          7. Real family income increased each year from 1983 through 1990 in every income group (from the poorest fifth of households to the richest fifth), while median family income fell by 1.9 percent in 1993.

          8. The real income in the bottom fifth of the income distribution increased by 12 percent in the 1980s, reversing a 17 percent slide between 1979 and 1983.

          9. Eighty-six percent of the tax filers in the poorest fifth of families in 1980 moved out of that bottom quintile by 1988 (16 percent moved all the way to the top fifth of income earners).

          10. Looking at income distribution as an individual matter, not as a group comparison, real median income increased by 5 percent between 1982 and 1988 for those who started in the top fifth of income earners, and increased 77 percent for those who started in the bottom fifth (primarily by moving out of that bottom quintile).

          11. Real family income declined each year from 1979 until 1982, and has declined each year since 1991—the years sandwiched between these two periods of shrinking income, produced a real increase of $4,877 in median family annual real income.

          12. Since 1988, the typical American household has lost $2,344 in real annual income, and the degree of income inequality is now at a post-World War 11 high.

          13. After growing nationwide by 7 million people during the late 1970s, the poverty population declined by 4 million during the 1980s: reversing the downward trend, poverty in the ’90s is rising again with over a million Americans falling into poverty in 1993.

          14. The top income-tax rate was reduced from 70 percent to 28 percent in the ’80s, but the top 5 percent of all earners paid more taxes, increasing their share of all federal income taxes paid from 36 percent in 1980 to 43 percent in 1990.

          15. In the 1980s, the percentage of African-American families earning more than $50,000 in real dollars doubled from 7 to 14 percent, the unemployment rate for black teenagers fell by 21 percent and black employment in professional and managerial jobs expanded by one-third. After declining 10 percent between 1978 and 1982, the real median income of black families increased by 17 percent between 1982 and 1989.

          16. From 1982 to 1987, the number of black-owned businesses increased by 38 percent, triple the overall business growth rate during that period, The number of new Hispanic-owned businesses soared by 81 percent.

          17. The median weekly earnings of female workers grew 8 percent faster than male earnings in the 1980s, and women entrepreneurs ended the decade employing more people than all of the For-tune 500 companies combined. The number of women-owned firms expanded by 57 percent in the ’80s and the sales volume of these firms tripled.

          18. Following the double-digit annual inflation rates of 11.3 percent, 13.5 percent, and 10. 3 percent during the Carter years, the annual inflation rate averaged 3.9 percent in the two Reagan terms.

          ( All information is based on Labor Department and Census Bureau studies. )

  16. a-dawg says:

    I have a friend who makes his living as an artist. Now this is a very hard and challenging career as most well known artists are dead. You don’t usually become popular (ie. make money) until after you die….if ever.

    Well, he has chosen his life and up until recently I have commended him for pursuing his dreams. However, a recent conversation has changed my mind. He makes so little that he just realized last year that he qualifies for food stamps. Ok – whatever…he found a little loop hole. But now he is going off about how he should be getting utility assistance.

    WTF – this guy is a 43 year old able body person. He can work – but he chooses not to and wants hand outs. And me…you…and everyone else that drags their ass out of bed at the crack of dawn pays forth stuff. Needless to say, our conversation went downhill pretty quick.

    • When I was doing a talk show on KDKA, a 28 year old woman called and she said that she had decided to go back to college. She believed that the government should support her while she was going to school and, of course, give her a low interest loan and maybe a grant. When I asked her why she believed that OTHER PEOPLE should have to pay for her decision to go back to college, she told me I was mean.

  17. Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick says:

    John if consumption tax was the only source of government revenue the tax rates would be a lot higher then they currently are and I AM SURE you would whine and complain about paying them.

    Have fun “fending for yourself” if you ever become seriously ill. What are you going to do if you’re retired and you get cancer (not wishing it upon you, just a hypothetical scenario)? Pay for all the radiation treatments, doctor’s visits, surgeries and prescription drugs yourself? The average cost of a 30 day cancer drug prescription was more than $1,600 in 2006 and it’s even higher today. You’re looking at more than $20k per year just in prescriptions!!! Tack on surgeries and chemotherapy and you’re looking at total costs of over $100k per year. No normal American can afford that!!!

    Do you know why your moron friends, Bill Beach and Patrick Tyrrell have found that, “sharp increase of Americans who rely on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance” Hmmm well maybe a contributing factor is because the unemployment rate is over 9%!!!!! Duh.

    Do you know who else has an effective tax rate of 0%? About half of the companies listed in the Fortune 500. Why are you not complaining about them? THEY ARE NOT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE EITHER.

    • I don’t want anybody to pay any income tax so I don’t care about “fairness”. It’s not “fair” for the government to confiscate almost half of what we earn. I said I would fend for myself by taking my large cash refund and BUYING MY OWN FRIGGING INSURANCE. I could buy a low cost, high deductible policy with my newfound money and nobody would ever have to worry about paying for my health care again. As I’ve said here many times, I’m old enough to remember when it was called HOSPITALIZATION. You’re insurance was for the big items –hospital stays, major illnesses etc. Not viagra, birth control or yearly checkups. People paid for what was then known as “doctor bills” out of pocket. And they asked how much those items were going to cost. The prices went through the roof when insurance started paying for everything and nobody asked “how much” anymore.

      • bald guy says:

        Yearly checkups are a good thing, and save money for insurance companies. That’s why a lot of plans cover those at no charge. It’s good business, and good health. Controlling “silent” conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol is a lot cheaper than paying for heart disease, strokes, etc.

        Also, paying for birth control is a lot cheaper than paying for prenatal care and the costs of having a baby.,It would be a stupid thing for insurance companies not to cover birth control. It would cost them millions of dollars.

        The attempt to save money in the short term is very short sighted. You’re being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

        • Quick question: Since insurance companies started those cost saving measures like “free” checkups and since the government got involved in the health insurance business to help us, have insurance and health care costs gone up or down?

      • DavidMcGwire says:

        Could you imagine how expensive car insurance would be if you used it for every tune up, oil change, and tire rotation? Not only that, do you know how expensive those things would be if everyone used their insurance to pay for it?

        If health insurance was like car insurance…it would solve alot of problems.

        • The best example is Lasic eye surgery. Remember when it was $5,000 per eye. Now it’s less than $2,000. It’s not insured. People ask how much it’s going to cost and the doctors know that. It’s called competition. It’s only a matter of time before the Democrats start telling us that every American has a right to good eye sight and insurance companies should be forced to pay for it. The cost would quadruple.

      • Tom Baby Food says:

        Why all the contradictions?!?!?! In your response you say don’t care about “fairness”, however in your very next sentence you say, “It’s not “fair” for the government to confiscate almost half of what we earn.” and in your original post you ask, “How could it possibly be fair to have one half of the people in the country paying the freight for the other half?” So which is it? Do you care or do you not care about “fairness”? You make no sense whatsoever.

        • I don’t care about the “fairness” arguments when it comes to income tax levels because I don’t think it’s “fair” for the government to take half of what we make. I don’t think the income tax is “fair.” So any attempts to make it more “fair” to one group than it is to another is a waste of time.

  18. Erbs and Spices says:

    John, if income taxes are so horrible and unfair, why don’t you run for President and change them?

  19. The Braddock Road Bada$$ says:

    John every time you say or write something it’s like diarrhea coming out of your mouth and hands. Need examples, the article you crapped out about Brian Stow deserving to be in a coma. The same one that you got absolutely destroyed. Deadspin owned you ( as well they should have. SB Nation stated that your article “ranks as one of the worst professionally-written pieces of sportswriting in the history of the medium” You have NO CREDIBILITY with anyone who matters and your opinions are downright offensive.

    P.S. Maybe I’ll put you in a coma for wearing a that black Adidas shirt because you shouldn’t wear black near me, I’m a red Adidas shirt fan.

    • If you can produce the sentence where I said Brian Stow deserved to be in a coma I’ll give you $1,000. If I have no credibility and I’m spewing diarrhea, why are you here?

      • The Braddock Road Bada$$ says:

        “Maybe someone can ask Stow, if he ever comes out of his coma, why he thought it was a good idea to wear Giants’ gear to a Dodgers’ home opener when there was a history of out-of-control drunkenness and arrests at that event going back several years.” That’s blaming the victim to me and everyone else who read that pathetic excuse of an article. If you don’t believe me run an internet search on your name and you will find tons of articles and blogs just shredding you to pieces.

        • Actually, I have plenty of emails to prove that everybody who read the sentence didn’t apply their preconceived interpretation to it. That sentence doesn’t blame him. It questions his judgement. I can’t help it if you don’t know the difference. Anybody who has ever read my columns knows that if I wanted to blame Stow, I would have blamed him. I didn’t and I don’t. I don’t care if I set the world record for being trashed on the internet. Anybody who says I blamed him is wrong. I edited out your gutless personal insults and you won’t be posting here again. Bye, now.

  20. Mike V says:

    To say 50% of Americans don’t pay taxes is not correct. We pay all sorts of taxes when we buy things from cars to booze to food, etc.

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