Featured Quote

In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Who owes What in Taxes

100% of the population of the United States owes a share of the cost of running the government that benefits them.

Assuming a national population of 310,877,994, with 110,425,577 taxpayers and just above $13.8 trillion in debt, each taxpayer owes $125,255. Yes, we have 200,452,417 (64%) people who either do not work or make so little that they don't qualify to pay any taxes.  This includes children, stay-at-home parents and 15,206,013 officially unemployed (4.8% of total population, not workforce) - a total of 26,186,689 really unemployed (23% of total population who may want to work, but can't find a job they qualify for).

If we stopped spending right now and every taxpayer paid their $125,255.00, we would be out of debt.  However, only 17% make even close to that per year. Only 18,772,348 out of 110,425,577 make over $118,200 per year.  18 1/2  out of 110.  Only the top 5% of income takers (5,521,279) could possibly pay that bill and have some leftover. 5 1/2 out of 110.

Census says we have 242,168,000 citizens that have an income.   Around 72,833 make less than $9,350.00 so don't have to file or pay taxes (that number actually makes less than $10k, so the few who make between $9,350 and $10k do have to file, but most likely don't pay taxes after exemptions - base of $6,200.00).

My question is, who owes what?  Is it fair to say every citizen owes equally despite how much they benefit (or don't) from living in the US?  Is it more fair to say every taxpayer owes according to how much they benefit personally from our economy?  Well, fair or not, you are not going to get blood from a turnip, as the saying goes.  Those who barely make ends meet are not going to be able to come up with 'their share' of the bill - or much of anything.  So, then, how to most ethically share the tax burden?

The progressive tax tables seem good - but there are so many ways that the wealthy can wiggle out of their share.  Nothing will be "fair" until the loopholes are closed - which will also allow full funding of the government.  Spending needs to be greatly reduced, it is true (look for a upcoming post on that topic!).

I may add more to this, but don't know... lol!

Sources :
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np
http://www.usdebtclock.org/
http://www.lcurve.org/
http://www.mybudget360.com/how-much-does-the-average-american-make-breaking-down-the-us-household-income-numbers/
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032010/hhinc/new06_000.htm
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032010/perinc/new11_000.htm ( I combined totals for M & F using Excel )
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch01.html#en_US_2010_publink1000170392
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ar02.html#en_US_2010_publink1000175003
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_publink1000227046