On that tax bur­den

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

We see a con­stant flow of let­ters from our lib­eral Demo­crat friends clam­ber­ing for “the rich” to pay more of “their share” and for cor­po­ra­tions to be taxed heav­ier de­spite the fact we have one of the high­est cor­po­rate in­come tax rates in the free world. Now, with the na­tional health-care de­bate rag­ing, we are hear­ing all kinds of hor­ror sto­ries about who may be unin­sured in the com­ing years.

From the Pew Re­search Cen­ter we learn that in 2014, house­holds with in­comes of $250,000 (up­per mid­dle class to uber-rich) or more ac­counted for 2.7 per­cent of the tax re­turns filed. They paid about 51.6 per­cent of the $1.4 tril­lion in fed­eral in­come tax col­lected that year. Their av­er­age tax rate was 25.7 per­cent.

House­holds with in­comes be­low $50,000 ac­counted for 62.3 per­cent of the re­turns. They paid about 5.7 per­cent of the to­tal amount of fed­eral in­come tax col­lected. Their av­er­age tax rate was 4.3 per­cent.

Those be­tween $50,000 and $250,000 ac­counted for the re­main­ing 35 per­cent of the re­turns and 42.7 per­cent of col­lected taxes at an av­er­age rate of 15 per­cent. There­fore, we read­ily see that “the rich” al­ready pay over half the in­come taxes col­lected at the high­est rate, while the “work­ing poor” pay only 3 per­cent and the mid­dle class pay­ing about what one would ex­pect.

Now, cor­po­ra­tions. They do not and have never paid any taxes. Sure, they file their fed­eral and state forms, and write checks for bil­lions of dol­lars to the Trea­sury, but just who do you think ac­tu­ally pays all that money? You and I, in all the goods and ser­vices we buy.

Who does not pay? All of your friends and neigh­bors that work cash jobs—tens of mil­lions of them—and al­most a third of our pop­u­la­tion that are on some type of gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance sup­ported with our tax dol­lars. So, neigh­bor, just how do you pro­pose we pay for all of this free and “af­ford­able” health care?

JOE T. TUCKER

Cabot

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