If you don’t watch Fox News or read the right-wing blogosphere, you probably aren’t aware that only 53 percent pay the Federal Income Tax (FIT). While that number is technically true, it’s incredibly misleading.
Yes, 47 percent of Americans didn’t pay any FIT in 2009. However, 70 percent of those who paid no FIT actually paid payroll taxes. About 17 percent of the 47 were seniors whose incomes were social security payments. And 13 percent of the “infamous” 47 percent were either students, the jobless or very low-income earners. Who here wants to start taxing things like social security and unemployment benefits? Anyone?
So, despite the insistence of those who think the 47 percent are just a bunch of socialist, pinko commie, freeloaders, or something, the vast majority of Americans DO pay taxes that fund local, state and the federal government.