Who pays no taxes?

Conservatives love to roll out the idea that a large portion of Americans pay no taxes. The current number according to the CBO, is about 46%. What they fail to point out, is that they pay no income taxes. The reasons are quite simple. For the most part, they pay no tax because they have too little income. That conservatives would raise taxes on people who cannot afford it, while lowering them for the wealthiest among us is an indication of the moral bankruptcy of their ideology.

Conservatives love to make life even more difficult for those that have an enormously difficult life, with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to overcome. They would rather that the poor vanish, or crawl away somewhere that they are no longer a bother to the world’s  most ravenous consumers.

How do you raise taxes on people that have nothing to give? As it is, the poorest among us do pay taxes in a variety of ways. Firstly, if they are wage-earners, they pay parole taxes, which go to covering their Social Security when they retire. This amounts to some 7.65% of their income, to which another 7.65% is added by their employers. Their employers are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it because it is mandated. That money comes out of the employees wages, and employers get a tax deduction, which is really a government subsidy. Social Security is thus not an entitlement, it is a right, duly paid for from wages.

Additionally, wage-earners pay for Medicare, which comes directly out of their wages, a combined 2.9% of total wages. This goes to cover their expenses when they retire at age 65. Medicare, therefore is not an entitlement, but a right for which the wage earner pays from every pay check.

In most states, employees also pay state tax, which can amount to up to 6% of earned income in states like California.

Most states also have GST, or sales tax, which is levied on most items other than food, often over 6%. Since the very poor often cannot afford to buy or rent property, they may live in cheap motels, on which they pay hotel taxes. If people use toll roads, they pay tax. Taxes are also levied on airline tickets. Alcohol and liquor attract very heavy taxes, often paid by the very poor.

There is another tax that few care to mention, the labor tax. When wages are depressed, especially for people earning minimum wage, this amounts to a tax on their labor. Employers earn more with cheap labor, and if that saving is passed on to consumers, consumers pay less for products. It probably goes into the employers pockets. All in all, the poor pay vastly more than their fair share in tax. To say that they pay no tax is a typical conservative lie.

Many people just do not need to pay tax – the elderly,who have paid their entire lives and often live on minimum income, children, military personnel serving overseas.

And then we have a large number of extremely wealthy Americans that pay no tax because their income is derived from tax exempt instruments like certain state and municipal bonds. Alternatively they hide their funds offshore, or in blind trusts that manage to pay minimum or no taxes on income. These are the people that should be heavily penalized, not the poor, the infirm, the elderly.

It is typical of conservatives that they pick on those that cannot fight back. It is a mark of their innate cowardice that they always choose the defenseless.

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