Government Spending

The Pandemic Has Most Americans Paying No Federal Income Taxes

A minority of the population picking up the tab would be dangerous if the situation were to last.

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Given my recognition that taxation is theft, or at least a thoroughgoing act of extortion, I'm generally delighted when people escape the clutches of the tax man. But news that the majority of Americans owed no income tax for 2020 and will similarly pay no income taxes for 2021 raises concerns in two counts: first, that tax obligations disappeared for so many because the economy took such a brutal hit during the pandemic; second, that the result is a situation in which a minority of the population foots the bill for the policies of politicians selected by the majority.

"The Tax Policy Center estimates that last year nearly 107 million households, or about 61 percent, owed no income tax or even received tax credits from the government," Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, noted last week. "The spike is likely to be temporary, however. The share of non-payers will decline to about 102 million or 57 percent this year."

In recent pre-pandemic years, the percentage of tax returns with no income tax liability has been closer to 44 percent in Tax Policy Center's figures, though it has trended upward over time.

"The percentage of filers with no income liability has generally increased from where it was nearly 40 years ago," the National Taxpayers Union Foundation reported in 2018. "This trend is indicative of a progressive income tax code under which higher-income earners pay a larger share of taxes while low-income earners are generally shielded from significant income tax liabilities."

As the National Taxpayers Union Foundation points out, those with no income tax liability are generally less prosperous, and it's no surprise that their numbers spiked in 2020 as the economy tanked during a period of pandemic concerns resulting in both voluntary social distancing and, more concerningly, mandatory restrictions on economic activity.

"U.S. states with brief or no lockdown measures (e.g. South Dakota and Nebraska) experienced the smallest degrees of economic damage," Peter C. Earle and Amelia Janaskie concluded for the American Institute for Economic Research. "And predictably, in industries that are most sensitive to lockdown – small firms generally, where most job creation takes place; service industries, which now dominate the US economy; and more broadly any company with jobs that don't readily convert to a work-from-home basis – the result is wanton destruction and loss."

That's essentially what Gleckman found for the Tax Policy Center. He observed that, during the depths of the pandemic, 20 million mostly low-wage workers lost their jobs. In addition, economic stimulus payments flipped some struggling households from net taxpayers to owing no income tax.

No matter how much we might resent taxes, making people too poor to pay them isn't a constructive way to reduce the tax burden. In this regard, then, the news that the proportion of the population paying income taxes should rise going forward is good not because they'll fall back into the tax man's clutches, but because they'll once again be sufficiently prosperous to attract his notice.

The Tax Policy Center forecasts that the percentage of households paying no income taxes will decline to 42 percent in 2022 and hold there through the mid-2020s "assuming the economy continues to rebound and several temporary tax benefits expire as scheduled," as Gleckman puts it. He does acknowledge, though, that those benefits may not expire given significant political pressures to maintain them. Among those pressures is the fact that existing policies mean no households making under roughly $28,000 will pay federal income tax this year, and 43 percent of middle-income households will pay no federal income tax—and there's a constituency for maintaining at least some of that preferential treatment.

That points to the second concern in the surging ranks of those who owe no income taxes. That's a situation in which large numbers of potential voters choose at the ballot box among politicians but won't have to pay the full price of the resulting policies and programs. Were the proportion of non-payers to remain above 50 percent, that would the leave the tab to be picked up by an out-voted minority of the population. The folks paying the bill would find themselves in a very uncomfortable situation—essentially living life as milking cows for the rest of society—if it were to last for any length of time.

"Aside from the revenue impact of not having 58 million Americans pay income taxes, economists worry about the social and political effects of having so many people disconnected from the cost of government—a phenomenon known as fiscal illusion," Will Freeland, William McBride, and Ed Gerrish warned in a 2012 report for the Tax Foundation. "The concern is that when people perceive the cost of government to be cheaper than it really is, they will demand ever more government benefits because they either don't feel the cost directly or believe that others will be paying those costs."

But, as the Tax Policy Center emphasizes, the situation is short-term and the percentage of households paying no income tax should soon drop back to pre-pandemic figures—assuming the economy continues to improve and "temporary" measures do, in fact, prove to be temporary. Additionally, even during the pandemic, most people paid some form of tax in the form of payroll taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and the like. Completely escaping the government's seemingly insatiable appetite for people's wealth is beyond the ability of most of us.

But the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's point that "the percentage of filers with no income liability has generally increased from where it was nearly 40 years ago" is worth remembering going forward even as we return (maybe) to pre-pandemic economic conditions and tax policies. Pandemic distortions aside, the cost of policies and programs implemented by officials elected by all voters is falling on a shrinking share of the population.

Overall, revelations about who is and isn't paying income taxes at the moment, and why, is a reminder that governments have an unparalleled ability to damage economies and impoverish people—especially those who are most vulnerable and have the fewest resources to fall back upon. Nothing, it seems, kills jobs and prosperity like officialdom's efforts to "help" with forceful measures during a crisis.

Those of us resistant to taxation should do our best to ensure that reform and reduction in the government's take should be widely shared across the population. That will help to avoid separating those who enjoy the benefits of government actions from those who pay the bill.

NEXT: Brickbat: Bad Medicine

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  1. Some folks are too special to be bothered with providing for themselves so others are forced to pick up the tab.

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  2. I can finally identify as a minority…..

      1. I’m wondering when we get a nice “thank you” from the majority.

        I’ve got no issue with folks who are really down and out being helped out, but when it went from being a matter of shame to having to “be on relief” to just a normal way of living, something went seriously wrong.

        Has covid finally pushed this into the realm where it’s going to be so broken that even the politicians have to admit they’ve made a mistake and need to actually fix it, rather than just making noise about it? (I’m excluding the Bernies and Lizes who think everyone in the country can and should be supported by Gates and Zuckerberg and maybe one more of the super-rich. That pair will never get it – or at least not admit it.)

        1. I’m wondering when we get a nice “thank fuck you” from the majority.

          Every day. People supported by your taxes feel that you owe them.

          1. So I guess then I can say “thank you Sir! May I have another?!?”

          2. “Every day. People supported by your taxes feel that you owe them.”

            Free food, lodging and money isn’t enough. They also feel entitled to help themselves to your property, your credit cards and to shop(lift) for free.

        2. There is an appreciable number of Gen Xers and Millennials that believe mailing in a ballot (or ballots) every two years is the extent of their labor needed to pay their food, housing, schooling, healthcare, utility and transportation costs. Anything they earn goes to fun time and toys.

          1. And there”s the problem, they consider my father’s reference to voting as “his civic responsibility” as the end of that responsibility. Paying taxes (such as he has his whole life), being solvent and productive (same), having put up with being part of the Korean “police action” (or whatever the euphamism for the war was) (same), etc. etc. etc . is lost on them. Show up to votes, and support Bernie…. ugh.

          2. Except, that doesn’t manifest – only the Boomers have the full ride.

            1. Funny what happens when you actually vote.

            2. Well please show me where that full ride is, because I apparently missed the Boomer Bus to which you refer.

        3. I’ve got no issue with folks who are really down and out being helped out, but when it went from being a matter of shame to having to “be on relief” to just a normal way of living, something went seriously wrong.
          ——
          Many of those people are forcefully prevented from going to work. As long as that’s the case, the Fifth Amendment requires they be paid. Of course the simple solution is to stop making it illegal to go to work.

          1. Complete agreement with that statement.

          2. Considering the National Socialism (i.e. Nazism) it takes to pretend federal has the authority for what it’s been up to is entirely UN-Constitutional I’m not sure where you get off using it to enact/justify MORE Nazism.

            Surely everyone can see how this thinking will warp speed the USA’s Nazi-Regime government. No the Nazi-Criminals should be impeached, on trial for willfully neglecting the peoples law over them.

  3. Were the proportion of non-payers to remain above 50 percent, that would the leave the tab to be picked up by an out-voted minority of the population.

    I know some folks here will be eagerly fapping off to such a prospect, but creating yet another reason for people to feel disconnected from how they’re governed will not end well.

    1. Yes, I think the progressive income tax is likely one of the biggest reasons why spending is so out of control. If half the population have no direct tax burden, how is there any hope that they would ever vote for representation that stands for less spending?

      Of course, shifting the tax burden to future generations is undoubtedly the biggest reason. It turns out that people really like what they perceive as free stuff.

    2. Democracy only lasts until the majority realizes they can vote themselves cash from the common treasury.

      Which seems to have happened sometime last year.

      1. This was essentially the argument put forward by Tytler, and echoed by others, in that “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy”

        I’m not certain Tytler was correct on his cycle of governments, but observationally this does seem to be how it’s playing out.

        1. ^Why the recent propagandized narrative the that USA is a democracy needs to be corrected. The USA is a Constitutional Union of Republican States; always has been.

          It’s funny how so many members of government can pretend into existence Democratic Nazism (def; National Socialism) right after swearing an oath to the USA Constitution and their mindless [WE] mobs follow their lead of their *pretend* government right into a reality.

          1. —into a reality TV show.

            There, I finished it for you.

  4. The fact that wealthier earners pay nearly all personal income taxes, and corporations make up the rest, along with government public debt purchased by governments and hedge funds, we have a situation in which foreign governments, trillion dollar companies and amoral billionaires are the ones who say what happens in our federal government and who gets what.

    So they dole out your social security, medicare, and military thus linking their desire for warfare and welfare to keep you rubes happy while fighting wars for foreign governments.

    Oligarchy is great if your one of them. The rest of you are useful material to them. Oh you get to vote, but your vote doesn’t count and you get senile Joe Biden and his cackling idiot VP.

    1. I think you missed the point of the article. Those who don’t pay a dime also get a say in who runs the government.

      1. I knew something like this was going to happen, it was bound too.

        1. ^Why the USA is **NOT** a democracy.

    2. “Oligarchy is great if your one of them.”

      Not if the majority can vote to tax away your wealth to pay for their freebies.

  5. The pandemic did nothing of the sort. This happened because power-mad tyrants destroyed the economy.

    1. Exactly. Most of those affected directly by the pandemic were too old or too sick to be working at all.

      1. I would REALLY REALLY like to know what percentage of ‘covid deaths’ were employed when they got sick.

        1. The majority were not working. Most of the deaths came from the over 65 crowd.

  6. It just makes sense that the people so aware of our societal obligations to one another pay no taxes.

  7. It would be far better if no one were paying income taxes, but I’ll settle for as few as possible.

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

    —-Karl Marx

    We still need to attack the “to each according to his needs” side of the equation, and we do so every time we oppose spending on entitlement programs. Getting rid of the income tax is what it looks like when we’re attacking the “from each according to his ability” side of the equation.

    The fact that the people on the lower end of the income curve account for a such a small slice of federal spending isn’t a problem. It’s why eliminating the income tax–and the obligation to file–should be done immediately. Oh, and any libertarian who imagines that there are problems associated with people not feeling obligated to pay for the government is missing the big picture.

    We should not feel obligated to pay for the government. Being forced to pay for the government is actually part of the convoluted justification for doing terrible shit to us with the government. There’s an ugly flipside to, “No taxation without representation”. It’s the justification that because you pay taxes, you’re entitled to whatever your representatives can get for you.

    The income tax is the most fundamentally anti-libertarian, anti-capitalist tax there is. The idea that I owe the government money because I earned money is so authoritarian, socialist, and absurd, it should have bene thrown on the ash heap of history along with the Soviet Union. If more Americans are developing a sense of entitlement–to the money they earn–we should all celebrate.

    1. The Constitutional prohibition on a head-tax was well intentioned, but this is where it has led us.

      I suggest fixing that, and then instituting a small poll tax, something on the order of the cost of a movie ticket each time you vote, to be paid in cash (hell, I’m dreaming, in silver, let’s say 1 ounce). With every welfare program handing out goodies like it’s Halloween, coming up with $20 shouldn’t be too onerous. And, small as it is, it makes the cost of participation a bit more real.

      Beyond that, I’d move to a flat income tax with a very large fixed deduction, and flat business tax also with a standard deduction so that honesttogawd small businesses aren’t wiped out by paperwork costs and “fees”.

      OK, time to sober up; that ain’t gonna happen.

      1. I’m in favor of sale taxes because they let consumers decide whether the tax is too high to make the purchase. It forces governments to keep taxes low enough that they maximize their revenue by increasing the volume of sales.

        The other side of this coin, of course, is that we could cut spending rather than replace the income tax. The country and its economy would be better off without half of what the government is spending money on right now.

        1. And with a simple sales tax, we save even more by eliminating the IRS. And my gray hairs come tax season with new regulations in the wind.

          1. The issue is, the sales tax is indeed quite regressive. I don’t want to ruin the less fortunate, but I don’t want them thinking there’s a free ride either.

            And if you start saying “food” is non taxable since it’s required to live, how do you parse between fine aged cheese at $25/# and kraft Mac and cheese @ $1/box? Where do you draw the line? (Personally, I could draw it at “raw materials”, but not prepared, but even that gets messy).

            1. 15% of purchase price (or whatever) is simple enough. Cents on carrots, hundreds on a Lamborghini. No need to make it progressively more complex.

          2. So just how does a Sales Tax equal eliminating the IRS? Does the Sales Tax collect itself? If the vendor doesn’t collect the tax, are there no men with badges and guns who visit him?

        2. I’m in favor of sale taxes because they let consumers decide whether the tax is too high to make the purchase. It forces governments to keep taxes low enough that they maximize their revenue by increasing the volume of sales.

          Speaking from experience from North Carolina, I can tell you that does not happen at all.

          NC’s Sales Tax began back in the 1960s under Governor Terry Sanford as a $.01 tax for Gummint Skoolz. “Terry’s Tax” it was nicknamed. Well, it has since gone up to 2% for Groceries, 4.7% for Clothing:, 8.5% for Prepared Food, 4.75% for Non-Prescription Drugs.

          And Counties and Cities can impose their own Sales Taxes for their own pet projects like sports arenas. Those can be an added 2% or more, making it possible to pay over $.10 on the damn Dollar!

          And for all the vaunted support of “Terry’s Tax” for education, hoardes of kids will still hand a wad of uncounted money to me for their purchases and, sure as the world, they will always forget to calculate the Sales Tax and Mommy or Daddy has to pay the difference, which creates another pathological behavior in itself.

          On top of all this, there is NC Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Estate Tax, Excise Tax, Professional License Fees, Hunting and Fishing License Fees, “User Fees,” etc. ad nauseum…

          You’ll definitely want to reconsider adding a Federal Sales Tax on top of this.

        3. What? And cut military spending?

          Putin will be under my bed in a week!

      2. This proposal, while I’m you mean well, does nothing to eliminate the intrusive, abusive agency called the IRS. Nor does it meaningfully reduce the size of the tax code, despite the “simplicity” of the proposal.

        Step 1. Define “income”.

        Bet it takes thousands of words, if not thousands of pages.

        Something like “All personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents and interest” sounds simple enough.

        If grandma gives Johnny $100 for his birthday, does she have to provide a 1099 with it? It’s income to Johnny… If Uncle Joe gives Susie $20,000 for college, is that income for her? Are life insurance proceeds income to the beneficiary? How about gambling winnings (vs gambling losses?)? Are capital gains “income” or “capital gains” and taxed differently? Are those capital gains net CG or gross CG (how are losses counted)? How about if a bank allows a short sale on a house and writes off the loan difference? Are federally forgiven student loans income? If loans are written of due to bankruptcy, do they represent income? Are inheritances income? If my house burns down, and the insurance company writes me a check to rebuild my house, is that check taxable income?

        Let’s go back to Granny’s gift (recall that “gifts” were not in t the list of things often quoted as being income as above). If you say “gifts are exempt from income taxes”, would there not be a push among employees to seek to get as much of their pay in “gifts”? So you’d need to write a tax code that defines what constitutes a bona fide gift, perhaps setting dollar limits as well.

        Let’s say that forgiven loans are not taxable income, you create an incentive for many different types of transfers of money to be written down as “loans” that are then forgiven/written off. I might ask my employer to “loan” me a year’s salary, then chose to work for a year at minimum wage, at which point the employer writes off my loan and I owe income taxes on my minimum wages.

        This can keep going and going and going. That’s just the income side of the problem. You need thousands of pages to define “income” such that it is all taxed properly.

        The notion of a “flat tax” vs a graduated tax structure is a bunch of nothing anyway. One flat rate of 10% or 15% or 21.2% is not any batter than 7 or 8 different marginal rates applied to different levels of income. It ALL can be expressed in a table that is structured as “If your income is more than X and less than Y, pay $Z plus W times the amount of income over X.” A “flat rate with exemption” tax might only have one line in this table, but even if there were 50 marginal rates, the table has fifty line…you slide you finger down the first column, find your income and do the pay $Z plus W * (income – X) step.

        1. I’ve been saying this for years, but nobody seems to learn it. It’s not the simplification people claim it to be, because they’re not thinking.

          1. This is largely a copy-paste from a WSJ comment chain I made in 2015, so I’ve been saying it for years too and no one listens to me either.

            1. Oh you’re spot on. I’ve had a number of those thoughts over the years.

        2. Sales tax. Received at time of purchase and transmitted periodically to the-stripped-shell-of-what-used-to-be-the-bloated-IRS.

          1. Fine, I’m good with that. Then let’s go with the libertarian solution and strip the Federal government back to national defense, state department so that we can talk before we bomb, and standards of weights and measures and coinage. Then pay for the whole thing with tariffs and lotteries.

            1. Full Libertarian is a mite too impractical, sadly. Too much personal accountability for average Joe.

        3. Very well-explained refutation of the “Flat Tax,” mpercy.

          Are you sure you’re not Mr. Percy Blakeney a.k.a. The Scarlet Pimpernel, come to save us all from the IRS Reign of Terror Guillotine? 🙂

  8. No matter how much we might resent taxes, making people too poor to pay them isn’t a constructive way to reduce the tax burden.

    But printing money for $multi-trillion new spending is?

  9. So basically you’re upset that some people are too poor to really pay taxes and billionaires actually are footing a bit (but still not nearly enough for a society that enabled them to become that wealthy.)

    Sounds about right for a Koch mouthpiece. Next you’ll be arguing that since all those wealthy people pay that we just shouldn’t allow poor people to vote at all.

    1. Next you’ll be arguing that since all those wealthy people pay that we just shouldn’t allow poor people to vote at all.

      You mean only people who pay taxes get to vote on who spends the money? I kinda like that idea. As it is, poor people vote for politicians who promise the most free shit. If only taxpayers were allowed to vote, we might get a more responsible crop of legislators.

      1. I would have a third chamber in legislatures, elected by those who pay taxes, voting how much they paid in taxes. It would include all taxes: income tax for federal (and some states), sales and property taxes for state and local, etc.

        The primary purpose is to be a third chamber which has to approve legislation.

        1. Better yet a Heinleinian legislature where one house passes laws while the other’s sole power is to repeal. As it is government is a one-way ratchet. Need some way to incentivize the removal of bad legislation.

          1. My idea for that is that it takes 2/3 majority in every chamber to pass a bill, but every law can be repealed if a simple majority of any chamber sign a repeal petition; this would always exist for every law, and every legislator can sign it (or remove their signature) at any time. If it ever gets more than half of any chamber signing it, the law is immediately repealed. No need for a special repeal-only chamber (but my idea was inspired by The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress).

            1. I also thought of a repeal chamber whose only authority is to sign repeal petitions; they cannot initiate new bills and have no say in approving new bills. Whenever any repeal legislator leaves office (resigns, retires, impeached, dies), the current legislator with the most proficient repeal record, whether counted by repeal petitions signed or only those which actually repealed laws, becomes a life member of the repeal chamber. I’d even call them the peerage, just for fun.

              The life membership is the trade-off for not having any say in new bills.

            2. Pssst! Heinlein wrote The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

              1. No! I thought it was Heinlein!

          2. Or we could have a civic class mandated before you voted, with one item on the curriculum : define and explain “TANSTAAFL.”

    2. So how much is a fair share for a billionaire to pay? How about someone who makes $75,000 a year?

      More importantly, why does government have the right to decide what someone else owes it?

      1. So how much is a fair share for a billionaire to pay?

        If they’re still rich then they haven’t paid their fair share. If they did then they wouldn’t still be rich.

        1. So your contention here is that the only value a person has is the tax paid?

      2. Why should the government know how much you make? What happened to the 4th Amendment?

        A “fair share” would be everyone paying the same amount.

        Want the government to spend 6 trillion a year?
        200M adults each chip in 30K.

        Want to raise spending by a trillion dollars?
        Okay, get your check ready for another 5K.

        I think support for new spending programs would be somewhat less enthusiastic with a per-capita tax.

        1. Just imagine what it would be like, even with the current system, if people had to actually write the check.

          Like, no withholding from the paycheck. Every month or every year taxpayers had to write the actual check.

          Same as with your idea — congress wants to spend $200 million, it costs everyone a dollar. Pony up. Suddenly “trillions” hurts. A lot. Directly. And this isn’t like a condo board assessment to keep your own roof from leaking, so it better be good if I have to write a check for a few grand.

          1. In my dream world this is exactly what happens.

          2. Spot on. And make the payment be due before an election cycle.

        2. I like your “fair share” but you get into the “head tax” issue (above).

          Not that I object. If the Feds are doing their actual job and sticking to enumerated authorities, the benefits to individuals are mostly on a per person basis (eg. I’m assuming that everyone values their own life to the same extent)

      3. Not a lot of people have $1B in either income or capital gains so this seems like a silly question.

      4. Lying trash like Shitlunches never answer that question. It’s always more than what they’re laying now. Democrats are economically illiterate subhuman garbage. It’s all about their control. Period.

    3. Billionaires don’t foot the tax bill. The middle class does. Too few wealthy to run the government, and the poor don’t have any money, so in the end it’s always the middle class that pays.

      1. the 1%, per capita, technically foots the largest part of the tax bill. They are of course 1% of the country and pay 40% of the bill.

        The middle class puts the largest volume in, but per person its astoundingly in the top 1%

        1. So are we defining middle class up to the top 1%? Based on sensible definitions of middle class, such as middle 50% or excluding the highest and lowest quintile, it is completely false that the middle class pays a particularly high percent of income tax. Including payroll and sales taxes shifts things some, but still not the majority under any reasonable definition of middle class.

          It is a trend I have observed anecdotally, couples making $250K considering themselves middle-class because they are not Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffett. This is of course completely inaccurate. But it is something politicians are all too eager to play up as the smaller number of people you can both demonize and tax more, the better, at least in the short term. Biden seemingly arbitrarily set $400K as the income cap at which you shouldn’t get taxes raised, inherently implying that $400K annual income is starting point of wealthy.

          1. The 400K starting point for victimizing taxpayers wasn’t arbitrary.
            Lots of blue state Dem voters with tech or law jobs make 200K in the big cities. If 2 of them are married they make 400K. The trick is to try to make his supporters think someone else will be paying for all the free stuff.

          2. Depends on where you live. I can imagine that a couple in NYC making 250K feels middle class; both because its so expensive to live there and they’re surrounded by plenty of examples of high end wealth. Whereas if you make 250K in Peoria or Eau Claire you are the 1% in your community.

      2. Unless you define middle class to include the top 1% this is simply false.

      3. Absolutely false. The top income quintile pays on average 87% of all personal income taxes in any given year. The situation you describe is how it is in Europe, not here. Stop taking the leftists at their word. They are lying liars who lie and then lie some more.

    4. People that do not contribute to a system are not enabling people to become wealthy.

      Poor is a state of mind. The current system enables continuation and expansion of this. Broke is not having money.

    5. I’m personally upset that how much government benefits you consume cost is completely decoupled (or rather backwards) from how much taxes you pay. I’m upset that between extremely progressive taxation and massive welfare we are increasingly adhering to Karl Marx’s mantra of from each according to his ability and to each according to his “need”. And it’s predictably causing high inflation, shortages and high lead times of all kinds of goods.
      Think about it, who consumes expensive medicaid, section 8, snap, tanf, etc…? Who consumes public education dollars? Who is collecting unemployment with pandemic enhancement? The CEO who kept working or the busboy who no longer has any incentive to go back to work? Who got all the stimulus check handouts of the last year and a half, the rich or the poor? Are the rich getting the new $300/month per child welfare check (sorry, I mean tax credit)?
      The poor cost the government an absurdly high amount per capita but contribute next to nothing to the tax burden. The rich don’t consume any of those government handouts but pay 100s of thousands if not more in taxes per year and get practically nothing for it.
      If you’re OK with this, just admit you are a communist. Admit that you are ok that the poor getting 10s of thousands of dollars per year in government freebies while paying next to nothing because they are “needy” (which is purely a choice, especially now when there are help wanted signs everywhere). And that you are ok that the rich pay 50%+ of their income in taxes while sending their kids to private schools and receiving next to nothing from the government outside of roads, police and military (which is practically pocket change as a share of the wealth transfer happy modern state and federal budgets).
      I know, actually paying for what you consume, not getting goods and services you can’t afford and expecting people to work to pay their own way is a dated concept in the shameless, dysfunctional, collapsing and increasingly poverty ridden disaster that is 21st century America.

      1. “Government is the great fiction where everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.” -Bastiat

      2. We have a massive problem with wages not keeping up with the standard of living over the last 40 years.

        There hasn’t been any successful attempts to fix this, so we paper over it with tax credits and stuff just to keep society running.

        It’s not ideology at the root of the problem, it’s that wealthy business owners/shareholders benefit from the economic productivity gains being collected and not distributed to the workers.

        The tax code basically is screwing the doctor lawyer types by the uber wealthy owners of stuff/capital gains types, not the poor.

        1. I disagree about increases in productivity over the last half century or so. If anything our productivity has fallen. That is why our true standards of living as well as long term financial outlook is nose diving.
          Yes, technology in automation of manufacturing, supply chains, etc.. as well as CAD/CAM/modeling has increased productivity for sure. Most tech unfortunately (the only somewhat healthy sector of the economy) is geared towards better ways to pass time and petty conveniences that don’t make you significantly more productive nor save you appreciable amounts of time.
          Work ethic is nowhere near what it was a generation or 2 ago. There is a much larger proportion of the population that isn’t working at all and just collecting welfare checks. A much larger proportion in makework jobs that don’t develop or produce anything (laywers, accountants, HR, compliance, etc….). There is considerably more management required these days in most jobs as employees are increasingly incompetent and take no pride in their work. Way way more hindering government regulation. Considerably more time and money wasted on lawsuits and lawsuit avoidance. Many more people wasting 4+ productive years going to college either studying BS unmarketable majors. Wasting years studying something that ends up being nowhere near their eventual career. Even marketable majors such as STEM end up learning mostly impractical theory than gaining practical job skills (I’m a computer science dropout, I would know). Considerably more misdirected capital due to government perverse incentives and centrally planned decisions of winners and losers. etc… It is also the worst time in the US’ history to start a small business and why the economy is increasingly about mega corporations who have enough money to waste on the mountains of red tape businesses now have to deal with.

          1. You’ve got it all square – those Boomers worked harder and deserve more. Telling how you leave out the Boomer entitlements when discussing benefits. Unlimited medicare, unearned spousal benefits, COLA – the math doesn’t lie.

            100% for eliminating the low-end disincentives for work, but don’t let the Boomers off the hook.

            1. Fair enough. The proportion of someone’s years that are spent working is definitely lower than it used to be. One part of it is the modern obsession with college which is 90% useless for improving practical job skills as I’d mentioned. But the fact that people are living longer, yet not working into later years also tips the production/consumption ratio of the society as a whole in the wrong direction.

    6. “(but still not nearly enough for a society that enabled them to become that wealthy.)”

      And this is the heart of why progs always create shitty societies. Jealousy. It’s not enough that the fucking MAJORITY of a country is not putting in money, and the top 1% pays about 40% of the overall bill. These numbers are already astoundingly weighted toward the poor not paying and the rich footing the bill. No, thats not enough. Because billionaires are immoral, because they have more. So the fact that society even let them have that means they have too much.

      Forget the fact that every time (literally every time) we try socialism, the rich get poorer but the poor do even worse. Doesn’t matter. Jealousy is a bitch. They would rather tax the rich more knowing that itll result in a poorer middle class, and more poverty at the bottom, than have everyone do a little better but billionaires having even more. Cut off the nose to spite the face, etc etc.

      Capitalism pulls more people out of poverty than any other system, but allows for the ultra rich. Socialism makes everyone poorer across the board (except of course the top men with the guns, they get extremely wealthy and powerful). We have so much evidence of this its astounding at this point. But its hard to teach children complex concepts.

      Enjoy your govt dependent, poorer, struggling lower and middle classes. Modern day serfs are here, and its exactly what your prog policies have created (by intention)

      1. Democrats just want to create more dead weight – so those who don’t want to live in poverty will have a harder time getting out of it.

    7. High-income earners are not necessarily the same as the wealthy. Also those Scandinavian countries you proggies love so much don’t fund their social programs solely with taxes from the wealthy, but in fact rely on the middle class. They have high consumption taxes (which are regressive), and their progressive income tax isn’t as progressive, in the sense that it hits the vast majority of people in the wallet at really high rates.

    8. Let’s see how democracy works when a minority is paying all the bills…

      Imagine after you got out of school, you and two of your best friends decided to get an apartment together. You were all working at the same place too, at the beginning, all making the same amount of money. So you decided to split everything evenly (rent, groceries, utilities). And you decided that since you were all friends that decisions about the household would be made by a binding vote, majority rule.

      All goes well at first, and all the votes are unanimous.

      But after awhile, you get a better job and soon are making 10% more than your buddies. At the same time, their hours have been cut back and so they aren’t taking in as much as they were before. A vote is held, and 2-1 they decide that you should pay 10% more rent, and they will pay 5% less each. Recognizing that this is a tad unfair to you, they at least vote to give you the better bedroom.

      After awhile, you get a promotion (because you’re a good employee) and are earning twice what your buddies earn. One of your buddies gets fired for not showing up at work on time. Another 2-1 vote is cast deciding that you will have to pay his share of the rent until he gets another job. You’ve already got the nice bedroom, so no concessions come your way. You begin to wonder if that roommate is really serious about getting a job.

      Later, you’ve found an even better job, one that recognizes the value in that extra degree you got (you took night classes and worked during the day). By now, you’re pretty rich compared to your buddies. They’re both out of work now, it’s a tough economy, you know, but they’ve got 99 weeks of unemployment checks. You shudder when they somehow found out how much you make, knowing a 2-1 vote is coming, and sure enough you are now on the hook for all the rent. Your buddies promise to use their UI checks to pay for their own groceries, though.

      99 weeks later, another 2-1 vote forces you to pay all the rent, all the utilities, buy all the groceries, and to provide $250 each month to each roommate.

      It has occurred to you that the only way out of this situation is to quit your job, and thus restore equality, hoping that now with everyone in the same boat your roommates will be impelled to rejoin the workforce. But by yet another 2-1 vote you are forced to return to work.

      When you point out that this is tantamount to slavery, you’re met with dumb stares and open hands waiting for their check.

      1. Of course that will end up backfiring on the freeloaders: a typical apartment lease is for a year. If the guy with the good job simply declines to sign the renewal and moves out, the freeloaders can’t stop him.

        Of course if the freeloaders are “progressive” they’ll try to use violence to prevent that, won’t they?

        1. Well, they’ll vote to not allow him to leave the lease. And yeah, probably with force–like the government.

        2. And this nicely exemplifies why people are quick to find different places to put their wealth, look for loopholes, hide money etc.

          Everyone wants to look out for themselves. The freeloaders want free rent, free food, free everything provided to them. I dont want to have my money stolen. They can vote to take all my money from me, but dont be surprised when I try to: get out of the lease, artificially decrease the income they see (sorry guys my “paycheck” was the same size as yours…but the rest of my pay came in stock options), or gtfo the situation all together.

          The people that bitch about billionaires (and millionaires too really) want them to keep investing, building, and creating, and are fine with them risking their capital for it. But if they have a bad year and lose 1 billion, wanting to write it off in the future (“not paying any taxes”) sorry thats not fair. Its fair that you took the risk, and if you get more capital from that we get taxes from that too, but if you lose anything we dont want you to get compensated. You take all the risk, we get all the benefits.

          It is the thinking of jealous children.

      2. Now you know why I don’t like any kind of “all in together” bullshit arrangements. Being a hermit without headaches works out just fine for me!

    9. So, you’re saying Bezos has not produced any value across his life *except* the tax he’s paid?

      Is that your stance?

    10. “The poor enabled them to be wealthy”

      Gee, no one force poor people to buy Iphones or watch myriads of formulaic Marvel films.

      Did we “enable” immigrants to be wealthy in this country? No no, they did that all by themselves. They owes us literally nothing.

    11. “So basically you’re upset that some people are too poor to really pay taxes and billionaires actually are footing a bit (but still not nearly enough for a society that enabled them to become that wealthy.)…”

      No, we’re upset there are parasitic assholes like you, stupid enough to believe the lies you just posted, and sorry we can’t keep such steaming piles of lefty shit from voting.

    12. lol… “society that enabled them to become that wealthy”
      “You didn’t build that!!!”, Obama theft mentality 101.

      And the [WE] mob identity politics in use?
      The ‘poor’ and ‘wealthy’ sticker.

      Because certainly ‘poor’ and ‘wealthy’ are but breed-ed traits like skin-color and sex; definitely couldn’t be a result of productivity. No-one who is born poor gets wealthy and no one who is born wealthy gets poor.. /s

      You’re preaching lefty identity politics (i.e. excuses to steal) plain as day.

  10. It keeps using the term filers, but a large group of people aren’t even required to file. If you have only social security income or non-tax disability income you are not required to even file. If you make less than the standard deduction, you aren’t required to file. Probably, part of the reason the percent of filers that paid no tax went up is because lots of people that never filed before due to low income filed just to get the stimulus. So if it isn’t 61 or 52 or 43 percent of Americans but it is only that percentage of filers it is likely still less than half of all eligible voters.

  11. “several temporary tax benefits expire as scheduled”

    Republicans made the corporate tax cut permanent but yours was temporary.

    1. made the corporate tax cut permanent

      No. They lowered the tax rate.

    2. Haha, you think corporations pay that tax. That’s rich.

      1. The CBO produced a report “THE INCIDENCE OF THE CORPORATE INCOME TAX” in which it states

        “A corporation may write its check to the Internal Revenue Service for payment of the corporate income tax, but that money must come from somewhere: from reduced returns to investors in the company, lower wages to its workers, or higher prices that consumers pay for the products the company produces…The short-term burden of the corporate tax probably falls on stockholders or investors in general… In the very long term, the burden is likely to be shifted in part to labor, if the corporate tax dampens capital accumulation.”

    3. Corporations do not pay taxes. Owners, workers, and customers pay taxes.

      1. ^THIS… A **Free-Market** Companies Asset to Society (i.e. Productivity) strength doesn’t change with more taxation and that strength of asset just gets taxed onto those who rely on the asset provided.

        Sadly; with the level of Gov-Gun-Forced Nazism going on in this country some/a-lot of companies rely on the ‘asset’ of armed theft instead of the free-market.

        The only way to limit income inequality is to offer competing assets to society (i.e. Work) and it’s also the only way to motivate human progress.

  12. If we cut corporate taxes they’ll pass the savings on to you! 🙂

    1. Tax the corporations, but NOT on their revenue, but on their profits, AFTER dividends have been paid (otherwise it would be a double tax). Too many progressives (and corporation hating conservatives) are financially ignorant and want to gut corporations based on their revenues.

      1. Progressives hate corporations because they are groups of people acting together towards a common goal, but without a government gun at their back. It shatters their world view that people only cooperate when forced.

      2. (and corporation hating conservatives) are financially ignorant and want to gut corporations based on their revenues

        I’m sure there are a few corporation-hating conservatives who want to gut corporations based on their revenues but there’s a bit of chicken-and-egg conflation that would even sweep up many libertarians. Libertarians opposed to corporations conducting war would naturally target big names (because of high revenues) like Blackwater or Raytheon rather than no-name security companies.

        Not saying we should tax based on revenue exactly/necessarily, but revenue is a more accurate metric of what a company is actually doing. A company killing babies that kept payroll equal to revenue isn’t better than one that feeds starving children and has tons of profit and, moreover, the latter shouldn’t be paying more in taxes only for the former to reap the benefits.

      3. Uh, we already tax corporations on profits, not revenue.

        Why do you think so many of you bitch when some large company pays no tax even though they ‘did a billion dollars on sales!!11’?

    2. Double the corporate tax rate and the increase will get passed on to the customers. When the price of oil increases, the price of gas at the pump increases. Because the cost to supply that gallon of gas to you increases. Amazing how that happens.

    3. Look at the studies, the majority of corporate taxes are paid for with lower wages.

    4. …and if that doesn’t sound right.
      You can *earn* your own corporate label just like the corporate you speak of.

  13. I would reather have a flat tax. Morally it should be no more than 10%, because the government should be asking for more than what God asks, but still, make it flat.

    And with a very large standard deduction.

    That’s it. No other writeoffs or credits or anything. Just for some numbers, have everyone pay 15% of their income, from whatever source, on everything over 25,000. The poor pay no taxes. The rich get no extra writeoffs. Storing wealth as an asset is fine, but once you convert it into income it gets taxes.

    And make the 1040 fit on a postcard.

    1. Why not 16%? Or 98.375%?

      1. Setting aside that all taxation is theft, there are a number of simplistic/basal economic models that demonstrate that much above 10% and you start making everyone poorer.

        Of course you can tax over 10%, even protractedly, but it’s a bit of a Pareto’s (80/20) *rule* situation, whereby any benefit to taxing above 10% isn’t/can’t be offset by the costs. Taxing at 98.375% gives the poor more money but, while they live proportionately more wealthy than the less wealthy, everyone lives less well off than if they weren’t paying 98.375%. Many of these models demonstrate this even in the absence of government overhead.

        1. The capricious nature of it leads to abuse. The number will be increased as will the number of those exempt because of unfair.

    2. Step 1. Define “income”.

      Bet it takes thousands of words, if not thousands of pages.

      I posted a longer version of this in another comment here.

    3. That would be a good start, however I personally object to people calling that a flat tax. A flat tax is a head tax or poll tax. The exact same dollar amount for every taxpayer. What most people call a flat tax I call a linear income tax as it scales linearly with income.

      1. ^THIS. Plus; I agree. The only *true* cause and effect model would be a standard bill (maybe land-mass relative) to every citizen for the amount spent by their politicians. Can’t pay the bill; see the local welfare office.

        I don’t think lefty *free* stuff cheerleading would be so popular after getting their $40K/yr bill from the IRS and their theft mentality would come out of under the covers like the sun on a bright warm day 🙂

  14. “That’s a situation in which large numbers of potential voters choose at the ballot box among politicians but won’t have to pay the full price of the resulting policies and programs.”

    Only takes 50.1% and everyone else is a milk cow for life.

    1. Can you get a white Russian if you milk a moscow?

    2. ^Why the U.S. Constitution is so important.

      1. was. Why the Consitution *was* important.

  15. first, that tax obligations disappeared for so many because the economy took such a brutal hit during the pandemic;

    Anyone else remeber when Reason lectured us that we couldn’t shut down the government to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff because it would be too expensive?

    1. What I recall from previous shutdowns is the federal employees get that time off as vacation then, as part of the deal to return to work, they get paid for being off. So no work gets done, which could be a good thing, but we still pay for it. And it has been like that with the COVID shutdowns. Local property and state income taxes were not adjusted down to reflect them sitting at home.

  16. The focus on “income” taxes is a little spurious, since most people pay other federal taxes.

    1. Not really. Most people pay virtually nothing in federal taxes outside of income and income-based FICA taxes.

      Federal gas excise tax, federal excise taxes on tobacco products, and federal excise taxes on alcohol are probably the primary federal taxes that individuals pay (that aren’t income taxes). Fewer people might pa things like excise tax on airline tickets, or on firearms, etc.

      Federal excise tax on cigarettes is $2.11 per pack for large cigarettes ($1.01 for small). A two-pack a day smoker pays $1540, a pack-a-week smoker pays about $110. Among smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day is about 14.5, or about 265 packs per year, so $558 per year. Of course, only about 14% of people in the US smoke regularly.

      Federal gas tax is 18.4 cents pert gallon, so someone using 1000 gallons per year (i.e., driving 25K miles in a car getting 25MPG) will pay $184 in federal gas taxes. The average per capita consumption of gasoline is about 1.15 gallons per day in the US, so about $77.25 per year in federal gas excise taxes.

      Alcohol taxes are harder to work out because the tax varies depending on the type of alcohol be it beer, still wine, sparkling wine, hard cider, or distilled spirits and the alcohol content (proof).
      But it’s something close to about 21 cents per ounce of pure alcoholic content of spirits, 10 cents per ounce of alcohol of beer, and eight cents per ounce of alcohol in wine. Note that this is not per ounce of beer or wine or spirits, but per ounce of alcohol. A 12oz can of 6% ABV beer has about 0.75oz of alcohol, so a tax of about 7.5 cents. A hard-drinking man drinking a case (24 cans) of beer every day would be paying about $657 every year in federal excise taxes, someone enjoying 3 beers each on Friday and Saturday night would pay about $24.

      Average beer consumption per capita in US is about 26 gallons This is about 288 cans per year, so about $22.

      A person buying a $500 Glock would pay $50 in federal excise taxes, but how many handguns guns will an average person buy in a year?

  17. “The Pandemic Has Most Americans Paying No Federal Income Taxes.
    A minority of the population picking up the tab would be dangerous if the situation were to last.”

    Why? The gov’t will just keep printing money. Why do you question the elites running the country? Just shut up and let them do the thinking. They tell you what to do and you listen to them anyways. You even agitate for the acceptance of their policy decisions. This is why Reason wanted Biden to be win the election. So things could go back to the status quo and Reason could resume sitting in the back of the classroom shooting spitballs and being the cowardly contrarians that they are. It’s easy to print bullshit and have the ideas you push for not have any consequences because you have abdicated responsibility and have no skin in the game. Reason’s articles are the equivalent to cheap parlor tricks. Spare everyone your bullshit until you can stop kneecapping people who are living their lives and making decisions from a libertarian perspective.

  18. the Fluhan made people destroy the economy, it did not destroy the economy on its own. culpability exists.

    >>majority of Americans owed no income tax for 2020 and will similarly pay no income taxes for 2021 raises concerns in two counts

    count three: are income taxes necessary?

  19. Remember kids: You can either be the customer, the employee, or the product.

    Customers receive the things they want because they pay for them.

    Employees receive everything they need (and only what they need in order to do what is asked of them.

    The product is built to do what is needed and sold to the customers.

    1. Or a tick on the back of the dog.

  20. Voting should be restricted to net taxpayers. If you’re paid by the government (to not work, or to work for the government) you shouldn’t get a say in how the money is divvied up.

    1. So nobody over 65 can vote?

      1. You think there aren’t any net taxpayers older than 65?

      2. Nobody over 65 pays taxes? Do you think people just go on the dole at 65 and just don’t have investment income or still work?

      3. I guess the ones who were stupid not to save.

    2. “Voting should be restricted to net taxpayers. ”

      Unless these taxpayers are also in charge of counting the votes, your reforms are naive at best.

  21. These moochers you refer to… they still pay Medicare taxes, Social Security, sales taxes, state taxes, property taxes— or no?

    1. Thank you for supporting the elimination of the income tax.

    2. list neglects payroll taxes.

    3. Those taxes don’t even pay for the programs that they are supposed to cover.

      Unless you pay about $20k in federal taxes alone, you are a moocher. But actually, you have to double or triple that given that children, seniors, and many women don’t pay at all.

      1. Don’t confuse ‘am not paying my percentage of the Federal budget’ with mooching.

        I may not pay 20k in taxes, am barely a net taxpayer, but I’m not consuming welfare services and my local taxes cover local services.

        And I do not care that I’m not paying enough in taxes to cover cowboy poetry festivals, invasions of foreign countries, and HUD.

        1. Just be proud that, as a net positive taxpayer, you were able to help Biden provide all that first world military equipment to the Taliban.

        2. I may not pay 20k in taxes, am barely a net taxpayer, but I’m not consuming welfare services and my local taxes cover local services.

          You’re a US voter and tax payer, and as such you are responsible for all the spending, not just the portion you consume.

          In any case, about 60% of federal spending goes to defense, infrastructure, healthcare, and pensions, all of which you are actually benefiting from.

    4. Maybe those who pay taxes should also pay their mortgages, slimy parasitic asshole?

  22. Were the proportion of non-payers to remain above 50 percent, that would the leave the tab to be picked up by an out-voted minority of the population.

    That “out-voted minority” will simply stop working and join the majority of non-taxpayers, or just leave the country altogether.

    I’m considering both options.

  23. What we have here is Representation without Taxation: the worker has become slave to the idle.

    1. I think voting should be restricted people who at least pay $20k in federal income tax.

      1. The comments section might have fewer trolls. Tough to post progressive garbage when you are staffing the french fries station at Burger King. Thank you, drive through.

  24. Biden has to try and keep his pie in the sky promise of not raising taxes on middle class but somehow raising 5 trillion dollars.

    Maybe middle class won’t get taxed but they will surely see purchasing power reduced via inflation – same thing in my mind.

    I hope many voters are catching on. Money just doesn’t grow on trees.

    1. Indeed they do!, not just trees, but cotton plants too. Don’t they make the greenbacks from paper plus recycled cotton?

      1. Most paper is made with a good amount of cotton. “Paper is made from wood” is somewhat misleading.

  25. Supply and demand are a b****.

    Government wants to increase spending in an economy where supply will be more or less constant (or less due to increased taxation)

    The result will be massive inflation – AKA a tax on the middle class.

    1. You guys have been saying this since, what, 1962 or so?

      1. And the dollar is worth far less now than it was in 1962. Almost like inflation may have happened.

        1. Oof, way to slap down that point.

      2. So you’d support returning to the 1962 minimum wage of $1.15?

        1. You do realize that 5 silver quarters from 1962 have a value of over $22 right now, right?

      3. You’d have to be pretty ignorant to claim those who are worried about hyperinflation are just crying wolf.

        1. The boy who cried wolf was knowingly telling a lie.

          Hyperinflation paranoids are simply ignorant. I think the problem is that hyperinflation is the only economic crisis that’s spectacular enough for you to know anything about.

          1. The asshole shitstain admits to his idiocy.
            Fuck off and die; make the world a better place.

          2. Wait till the petrodollar shits the bed, then come here and post, you economic cretin.

      4. It takes $903 today to buy what $100 bought in 1962.

        Fuck off.

    2. What do you mean supply is constant? There’s a global pandemic and consequent shutdown of business across the land. Demand went down overall because of job losses and lockdowns, but up for certain things like masks and toilet paper, causing disruptions in supply.

      So what does a good government do if it wants to maintain status quo in people’s livelihoods? It creates more demand for the same capacity there would have been demand for without the exigent circumstance of the virus.

      Inflation has its downsides, but an economy depressed by natural disaster is worse. And not once has runaway inflation ever happened in United States history (except in the Confederacy–go figure).

      1. ^ This is the crap idiot leftists actually believe.

      2. “…So what does a good government do if it wants to maintain status quo in people’s livelihoods? It creates more demand for the same capacity there would have been demand for without the exigent circumstance of the virus…”

        There are asshole ignoramuses, such as shitstain, who either believe that is true or hope to convince others even more stupid than them to buy that steaming pile of of lefty bullshit.

      3. paraphrased, “The Gov-Gods ‘create’ your demands..”
        Only good Gov-Gods maintain status-quo of the demands in your life.

        Your worshiping of Gov-Gods is pathetic.

        1. Where did I talk about worshipping anything?

          You do know that things are not true just because they are simple enough for you to understand?

  26. That’s a situation in which large numbers of potential voters .

  27. Well I certainly still appear to be paying a ton of federal taxes. But I guess it’s easy to support new taxes when they will only be on other people. Watch as they redefine “rich”.

  28. Why pay taxes when all the government has to do is print money or issue electronic credits? Problems solved!
    (sarc)

  29. Right-wing conservative nonsense from start to finish. The writer touts the states which are the biggest Federal tax receivers as having the best economies. He praises states which are some of the world’s worst performers on Covid and have overwhelmed their own health care systems and cemeteries. He ignores gas taxes, taxes on Internet access and state/local taxes. This article is a right wing joke.

    1. EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!! ™

      Haha. What a doosh.

    2. Funny how you still tout this lie in the face of every new massively expensive ‘subsidy’ program going to ‘infrastructure’ in lefty land.

  30. First of all, the opening percentages don’t mesh. 107m is 61% of 175.4m; 102m is 57% of 187m. Where did the 12 million come from? Population growth? More people paying? Author does not clarify.
    Secondly, the author refers to taxes as extortion and theft. But the supposed victims have elected, and reelected, the representatives who determine those taxes.
    The government and “officialdom” do not come from Mars, but from the vox populi: In 1913, three-fourths of states (actually more – 38 of 48) ratified the 16th Amendment instituting the Income Tax.

  31. I retired early purposely so not to pay anymore taxes. So tired of my money being wasted on the many causes I do not support. I live off social security and a Roth IRA which my gains are not taxable. FUCK THE GOVERNMENT!

  32. Who’s that in the picture?

  33. The spike is likely to be temporary, however

    Ha ha ha I wouldn’t count on it. It was bad enough for this country when the Obama administration temporarily extended unemployment out to two years. And now the chimps have learned you can get money in the mail without even being let go from a job in the first place.

    Oh yeah, they’ve also learned that rent is free, and so will be that PhD in Recreation and Leisure Studies. Along with their healthcare, of course.

    The people of this country have been given a massive green light to just fuck off, no need to work, it’s all going to be provided by mommy and daddy the government. Which should lead to predictable elections going forward, as by design.

    At some point, the bill’s going to come due, even if impossible to pay. I’m expecting horrible increases in taxes for those of us that actually have worked hard to get somewhere financially in our lives, and those who have saved/invested for retirement. Plan accordingly for the new normal.

    1. HTML screw up, the first line is quoted from the article, the rest of the rant is me

    2. ^WELL SAID….

  34. Let’s start a new conspiracy story. Instead of a Chinese lab, or maybe under contract with the DNC (or perhaps the DNC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CCP), US progressives released COVID as part of a multi-decade plan. After taking over education, they created two generations of feeble Americans who are witless and gutless, and inclined towards submission and dependency. The pandemic was the the missing piece to push people into panic, and thus ready to make the ultimate submissions.

  35. This whole story is based on the fiction that taxes pay for government spending. Creating money out of thin air pays for government spending.

    1. And those same people wonder why their “thin air” money won’t even pay for a livable standard anymore.

      Of course Tony explained this quite well; The belief that all “livable standard” resources actually are created by Gov-Gods.

  36. “low-income earners are generally shielded from significant income tax liabilities.”

    Only if they have dependents. Low-income workers with no dependents and who can’t benefit from itemizing deductions get slammed with taxes. A lot of people read things like “half of households pay no income tax!” and wrongly assume that it is the bottom half in household income that pay no tax. That is false. Most of the non-payers are middle class households with dependents and itemized deductions.

  37. Inflation is a tax, Tuccille, you disingenuous fuck. People sure as fuck are being taxed by having their wealth destroyed and they see it by having to pay more for shit.

  38. The slight increase in the number of people not paying taxes is a minor concern compared to the historic fact that the top half of earners pay nearly ALL taxes while those in the bottom half pay nothing.
    A quick Google generates many sites documenting that the top 50% pay 96 – 98% of our taxes. How fair is that?
    https://www.ntu.org/foundation/tax-page/who-pays-income-taxes

    1. Totally unfair that so few people have so much money.

      1. Shitstain pitches the politics of envy, since shitstain has never added anything of value in his entire life and wonders why that matters.
        Shitstain.
        Is.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.

      2. The people who “have the money”, the billionaires etc., don’t pay income tax. You love those wealthy pricks, Tony.

        It’s older professionals who end up bearing the tax burden.

        1. Taxes are supposed to be a burden. I agree that the distribution of this burden is totally unjust. Let’s team up and elect people willing to shut up about bullshit that doesn’t matter like your freedumb to cough on people and focus on fixing this ridiculous tax code.

      3. Try Commie-China if you think the USA is ‘unfair’. Their few people with so much money makes ours seem like a joke.

        Perhaps you took but 5-seconds away from your Gov-God worship and decided to be an asset to society instead of a compulsive whiner you too might “have so much money”.

      4. Yeah, we should all sit around and fuck off.

    2. “those in the bottom half pay nothing.”

      That is false. About half of taxpayers pay nothing, but that does NOT mean the bottom half of income earners pay nothing. Most of the non-payers are middle-class households with dependents and itemizable deductions. Low-income workers without dependents get slammed with income taxes.

  39. With a multi-trillion-dollar deficit, talk of who’s paying for stuff is all a bit silly.

    We might as well consider the objects instead of the shadows, since we’re not actually “paying for” government right now.

    Taxes don’t pay for government. Government spends money it prints, and government sets tax policy, and these things are only related, occasionally, rhetorically. If there’s a bill that requires something to be paid for, it includes the pay-fors, and for the most part this is performative.

    In a country with fiat money that happens to be the globe’s reserve currency, taxes exist for two reasons, neither of which is “paying for government.” They exist to motivate use of the dollar as a currency, and to incentivize behavior.

    The income tax exists as a corrective to all the other taxes out there that tend to fall heavily on the not-rich. It exists to make rich people’s incomes smaller. It exists to correct any tendency in the market to over-compensate certain people for bad reasons.

    If you insist on a moral calculation, and you clearly do, it’s not going to be about how unfair it is that some starving family doesn’t have to pay taxes and Jeff Bezos does.

    Wait a minute, Jeff Bezos doesn’t pay taxes. Well, let’s pretend he does. Say Jeff Bezos pays taxes. He could pay 99.99% of his worth in taxes and still be better off than the starving family. You need to proportion your moral judgments to how human lives are affected, not some numerical equivalence. That’s just plain fallacy. I realize libertarian economics relies on that fallacy totally.

    1. Shitstain might hope for someone to respond to that steaming pile of lefty shit in specifics, but given that shitstain is a fucking lefty ignoramus, there is no reason for anyone with even a room-temperature IQ to do so.
      Shitstain’s ‘comments’ (read “BULLSHIT) requires you to believe that value is created by assholes such as shitstain simply making the claim that X has value rather than offering a good to the market and discovering what the value of that good.
      Shitstain is a fucking lefty ignoramus and:
      Is.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    2. Wait a minute, Jeff Bezos doesn’t pay taxes. Well, let’s pretend he does. Say Jeff Bezos pays taxes. He could pay 99.99% of his worth in taxes and still be better off than the starving family.

      True. But half a million Amazon employees would be a lot worse off as a result, as would millions of retirees whose stock portfolios you just destroyed.

      See, it’s the fact that Bezos isn’t spending his wealth and instead keeping it invested in productive activities that makes Americans better off.

      1. So economies are run by extortion by special geniuses. Sounds rather precarious to me.

        1. Where’s your Amazon Tony? I’ve been looking for a better ‘asset’ than Amazon anyways….

          Oh I know; Instead of *creating* and *earning* we’ll all just conquer and consume what exists until there’s nothing left to consume anymore because no-one is motivated to create anything instead they’ll all be motivated to complain their way into legal-theft.

      2. Also, he just put himself in a big penis and shot himself almost into space.

        Productive activities indeed.

        1. It’s easier to justify *stealing* when you can bully them into filth first huh?

          1. Note to foreign readers: Tony hired this sockpuppet to make asinine retorts. The knee-jerks are so lame as to make even Tony seem brilliant by contrast.

      3. Let’s examine this idea that the wealthy are more productive than others and thus deserve their wealth.

        Now, I’m no socialist. People that do jobs that require more training, more talent, harder and/or more dangerous work deserve more compensation. And people that put their money at risk to build a business deserve a return on that investment. I’m just wondering if the degree to which some people earn greater rewards than others is truly proportional to the extra value of what they do.

        According to Federal Reserve analysis, in 2019, the median individual net worth was about $120,000 in the U.S. Jeff Bezos was estimated to be worth $198 billion that year. (Before his divorce.) If his wealth was truly earned in proportion to his talent, hard work, and value to society, then that implies that he was over 1 million times smarter, worked that much harder, and provided that much more value to society than the typical middle class American. Does that seem right to you?

        It isn’t that what he has accomplished is worth so much, but maybe we should think about what would be if it hadn’t been Jeff Bezos and Amazon. What would be in their place if he hadn’t had the opportunity to build that company. It is like the concept of WAR in baseball statistics. “Wins above replacement” is meant to compare what a particular player contributes to his team to what the average MLB player at his position does. How much more value to society did Jeff Bezos bring compared to what the average American could have done in his place?

        We often discount the role luck plays in economic success. We like to think that we have more control over our destiny than that, but luck matters a great deal in where we end up. Are we lucky enough to have parents that can afford to provide for us well? That were educated themselves and can help us become well educated? Send us to college? It is great to have talent and be hard working so that we can take advantage of opportunities that arise, but it still is a matter of luck when and whether opportunity comes knocking. Some might counter that “Those that work hard create their own opportunities.” That is a fine thing to say, but it is easy to say. It doesn’t mean that life actually works that way.

        Progressive taxation is needed to even out the role that luck plays in success and to tamp down the excesses of capitalism, as well as to pay for government. It is a fact that it is a lot easier to make money through investment if you have more money to begin with. A person that starts with $1 million dollars is much more likely to build even more wealth with that, than someone that starts out from scratch, regardless of talent. Hell, a person can probably put that $1 million into some stock index fund and be a passive investor and earn around the median income in this country with no effort or talent at all.

        1. Ironically, Amazon covered the lack of Ebay years ago.

          and provided that much more value to society than the typical middle class American. Does that seem right to you?

          Considering that everyone *willingly* started to shop on Amazon instead of Ebay would indicate YES..

          1. Even if Jeff Bezos was the bestest human to ever lived and invented the bestest company ever, there is still a limit to the amount of earth’s resources he is entitled to consume for himself.

            1. People *willingly* gave him those resources. No-one is forced to buy Amazon. As far as your theory that earth’s resources will be swallowed up by the black-hole of Jeff Bezo’s just remember E=mc^2.

              But like most left leaning. You know all that; your ‘talking’ is nothing but endless cliche excuses to be an Indian trader or a flat out armed robber. There is no fairness in lefty land; it’s all about [WE] mobs/gang rules! Hand over your lunch money Bezo’s the [WE] gang is here!

  40. I get paid more than $160 to $170 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $16k from this without having online working skills.

    This is what I do….www.jobcash9.com

  41. Given my recognition that taxation is theft, or at least a thoroughgoing act of extortion, I’m generally delighted when people escape the clutches of the tax man.

    This is why I am not a libertarian of any sort. At least, not if being libertarian means believing bullshit like “taxation is theft”. Any libertarian that has another way of paying for government that is not “theft” that would be more fair (for whatever definition of “fair” you choose to use) and at least as effective (both at generating the needed revenue and avoiding the free rider problem), I’m all ears. Unless, of course, they don’t think there should be government at all, in which case they aren’t libertarian. That is the definition of an anarchist.

    If Tuccille is making that statement in jest, as a parody of those that do believe that, then he should make that clear. Otherwise, I’m going to take him at his word and assume that he’s part of that moron crew. I normally try and avoid being that harsh, but saying that really bugs me because it so obviously a sign of someone that is not putting rational thought into the issue of how to best fund government, is just going with a gut hatred of having to pay taxes themselves, and isn’t taking any care with what they say. Or, if I really want to be cynical, it is a sign of someone trying to spread anti-tax propaganda to benefit the wealthy donors that support his job.

    If you want lower taxes, then tell us what government services you would sacrifice to make that happen. Don’t tell us what programs that benefit other people that you’d like to see cut, because that isn’t a sacrifice. Tell us what you’d be willing to cut that you directly and indirectly benefit from. Then I’ll believe that you want lower taxes because you believe that it is actually better for society rather than your own bank account.

    The second thing that has me shaking my head about Tuccille’s article is that he mentions only the federal income tax without saying a single word about payroll taxes, which are not progressive. The Medicare/Medicaid tax (1.45% from each the employee and employer) is a flat tax that is not capped, but the Social Security tax (6.2% each) is capped ($142,000 for 2021). And it only affects wages and salary, not other forms of income, such as interest, rents, trust fund disbursements, capital gains or other investment income.

    And that is just on the federal side. Most states have a progressive income tax, but they are generally not as progressive as the federal income tax is. And state and local governments also rely on a sales tax (with only a few states not having that) and property taxes, along with other taxes and fees that tend to be at least somewhat regressive. Why don’t Tuccille and the right-leaning tax policy think tanks use analysis of the total tax burden of all levels of government? Probably because it would undercut their argument to reduce all taxes if they did.

    I just wonder why people on the right that aren’t wealthy buy into all of these arguments that basically call on the wealthy to be taxed less. “Trickle down” theory has been around for most of my lifetime, and it hasn’t really worked, has it? My state, Florida, has among the lowest tax burdens in the country, but it’s four major metropolitan areas rank near the bottom of the top 50 metros in terms of median hourly wages. Orlando is the bottom of that list.

    The Florida GOP that has been in total control of the state government for over 20 years loves tourism dollars and the low-wage jobs that come along with that. But that isn’t providing the kind of job growth that makes people’s lives better. It puts a lot of money in already wealthy pockets, though. If Florida still had a low cost of living, this might not be so bad, but it doesn’t. Housing especially has gone up a lot in recent years around here, such that many parts of the country with more higher wage jobs are cheaper places to live. And if you think it is just a matter of there being more people working in fast food and at the amusement parks, you’d be wrong. White collar workers in Florida earn less than their counterparts in other metro areas because that dependence on low wage jobs drags down everything else.

    Be libertarian, be conservative. Advocate for smaller government and lower taxes. That is all fine. But also be skeptical of the arguments of people funded by billionaires telling you that we need to tax the rich less.

    1. “This is why I am not a libertarian of any sort. At least, not if being libertarian means believing bullshit like “taxation is theft”.”

      So you admit to being a fucking ignoramus?
      THX
      Fuck off and die.

    2. Libertarianism doesn’t exist to make sense. It exists to convince morons to vote for tax breaks for the Koch brother.

      Like that’s literally all there is.

      1. It’s hard for individual freedom to make sense in a Tony Land of Gov-God worship.

        1. Individual freedom for the Koch brother and very few other people is what you mean. But you don’t mean individual freedom literally, of course, you mean it as a slogan to support a bunch of kleptocratic policies.

          1. Trumps Campaign — “To De-Regulate” (i.e. CUT policy).
            Next pathetic attempt at painting the libertarian wagon blue?

    3. If taxes are the price of a civilized society, then why are they collected at the end of a gun?

      And why don’t you mail in extra above what the IRS says you owe…it would fit with your principles, no?

      1. You are free to leave the taxing jurisdiction you live in and find an ungoverned place that will deliver the freedom you crave.

        Which untaxed jurisdictions do you find particularly appealing?

        1. Free to leave the Nazi-Regime …. because …. the Nazi-Regime *thinks* they have entirely taken over the USA?

          Either USA patriots will fight another war to protect the USA and it’s foundation of Individual Liberty and Justice .. or .. the Nazi-Regime will eat itself as every Socialist and Communist nation has for centuries.

          Because Gov-Gun-Forces *DOES NOT* create wealth.

    4. Yes, “taxation is theft” and not ‘just’ theft but armed theft by Gov-Gun-Forces. There are *VERY FEW* legitimate reasons important enough to make armed theft legal. Having a strong national defense being one of them and the few other one’s granted in the U.S. Constitution.

      This armed theft in general is only a liable use of force as a counter-force (defensive) required to maintain Individual Liberty and Justice from other forces trying to take that away… The power of the [WE] mob was created to insure that *ALL* citizens enjoy Liberty and Justice.

      There’s a real problem when the ‘armed theft’ [WE] mob power starts acting aggressively against their own citizens because Jack has a penis, Mary has a vagina, Joe’s skin color is…, The weather…, Bezo’s created a desired product, Dan got an A on his homework. Yes; The excuses are baffling-ly stupid and are all but just pathetic excuses to control the [WE] mob power to steal machine. National Socialist (def; Nazism) policy that is UN-Constitutional opened this door that turned the [WE] mob power to steal into a gang-land battle of Power-Mad criminals with pathetic excuses.

      1. Your incoherent rant says nothing and addresses nothing that I wrote.

        1. It pretty much addresses your entire post.

          – Unless, of course, they don’t think there should be government at all, in which case they aren’t libertarian. That is the definition of an anarchist.
          – At least, not if being libertarian means believing bullshit like “taxation is theft”.
          – If you want lower taxes, then tell us what government services you would sacrifice to make that happen.

          1. You provided no alternative to taxes for funding government.

            You provided no specifics on government services that benefit you that you’d be willing to cut. (Saying that national defense is one of “*VERY FEW*” reasons to have taxes is not being specific. Nice of you to be willing to pay for the military and not much of anything else, I guess.)

            You just want to rant about government being just like Nazis or something else completely over the top. You are not interested in rational discussion. Why do you read stuff published by an organization that calls itself “Reason”?

  42. Since the day the LP organized, its members have been taxed to extort pelf, boodle and payola to Nixon-fund Republican and Democratic soft machine election campaigns–never our own. And now, after 50 years, Tuccille tells me this is dangerous?

  43. While most are not currently paying federal income taxes, EVERYONE will pay the “inflation tax,” as our massive deficit spending greatly expands our money supply. But few will connect the cause of inflation with the huge deficit spending that’s becoming the norm in today’s America.

    “Something for nothing” has universal appeal — especially when coupled with economic illiteracy. We live in dangerous times — and I’m not talking about COVID.

    1. How bad Inflation REALLY IS —
      Used Cars are going UP in price even while being used.
      Even electronics are going UP; the ‘was’ fastest depreciation item.

      Summary; there isn’t a single resource left that isn’t inflating by USD-Value faster than it’s own user life this year. To me that *IS* hyper-inflation.

      Inflation has always been horrific though; just flat scary this year.

      The 1960s JD4010 tractor sold ‘brand new’ off the dealers floor for $5500. Today, after being used for 60-years having thousands of hours of wear on them they sell *used* for $10,000 or better. They are not “collectors” items or antiques. The 2021 comparable tractor sells today for $155,000. Same goes for land and housing and education and, and, and…. They have robbed the USD blind.

  44. Perhaps as a Canadian I am misunderstanding how American taxes work but here in Canada, Federal taxes are taken off every paycheck, certainly for every salaried employee. So I think this story is a little misleading, it seems people are just not paying any more taxes come tax time but they are paying every time they receive a paycheck so the statement that people are not paying taxes is incorrect. And that they don’t have to pay additional taxes at tax time is a good thing not a bad thing.

    1. Taxes are deducted from paychecks, but then much or all of that is refunded to taxpayers when they file their annual returns. Only the Social Security/Medicare tax is deducted for keeps.

      1. Correction —
        A little bit of the massive ways ‘tax’ collects is deducted from paychecks. For those working part-time or not at all — “much or all of that is refunded to taxpayers” or subsidized as *free* money via EIC. For almost anyone working a full-time job tax is about 1/3rd total earned (i.e. 33% enslaved) for just the “little bit” of the massive ways ‘tax’ gets collected.

        So as well established by ‘the people’ talking. The harder you work the MORE enslaved you are. And anyone has to wonder why “made in the USA” seems like a sticker of yester-years.

    2. Any employee can adjust their withholding to reflect how much they will owe the IRS for the year. So the astute employee can get his “tax” payments converted into payroll payments — as long as he still puts aside enough to pay the taxes owed.

      One can legally do this by adjusting the “exemptions” on the W-2 withholding form. Just be sure you still have enough withheld to pay the taxes — or there will be tax penalties.

  45. Thanks a lot for such an info

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