ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The silly season known as an election year spawns a host of lies, distortions and propaganda around a host of issues. Taxation is one of them.
In honor of tax day (your income taxes are due today), I’ve drawn on the work of organizations such as the Tax Policy Center, the Hamilton Project and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to assemble a short list of facts in the hope that some of the political-inspired tax myths out there might be punctured.
1. Almost all of our tax dollars go to defense, retirement benefits and medical care.
2. Just about everybody pays taxes.
3. Out of 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 30 impose higher taxes than the United States.
4. Federal income tax rates are at historic lows.
5. Corporate tax revenue is at historic lows.
6. A household that earns less than 10 percent from investments and has reported income of $50,000 to $75,000 pays a 14.9 percent tax rate. A household reporting more than $1 million income, if it earns 2/3 of the income from investments, is taxed at a 12 percent rate.
7. Tax cuts passed between 2001 and 2003 (George W. Bush has said he doesn’t like that the cuts passed during this period are known as the Bush tax cuts) resulted in a 2 percent increase in the after-tax income of households earning between $40,000 and $50,000 a year. Households earning more than $1 million saw after-tax income increase 6 percent as a result of the tax cuts.
8. “The current U.S. tax system is less progressive than the tax systems of other industrialized countries, and considerably less progressive today than it was just a few decades ago,” says the Hamilton Project.