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Half of Americans pay no income tax?
Tax day has come and gone, and 69 million households didn't end up owing the federal government a single penny. Should those who paid be angry?
 
Roughly 45% of American households wound up owing no federal income tax in 2010.
Roughly 45% of American households wound up owing no federal income tax in 2010.
Corbis

Roughly 45 percent of U.S. households — 69 million of them — didn't owe any federal income tax for 2010, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank. That's at least in part because of tax breaks that help with college tuition, and incentivize home ownership and having children. Most of those who paid no income tax made less than $50,000. Still, thanks to all the exemptions and credits written into the complex U.S. tax code, nearly 5 million households that didn't pay taxes had incomes between $50,000 and more than $1 million. Is it fair that so many Americans paid nothing on tax day?

This is outrageous — and socialist: It's bad enough that nearly half of Americans pay no income taxes, says Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. The truly shocking thing is that millions of Americans who pay nothing "get a refund anyway." There's a name for that kind of involuntary wealth redistribution — "socialism."
"Half of all Americans pay no income tax and may get a tax refund anyway"

Relax. The poor pay the government plenty: Just because some people pay no federal income tax, says Jeanne Sahadi at CNN, doesn't mean they're getting off "scot-free." People who owe nothing to the IRS "still pay other taxes such as state and local income taxes, as well as property and sales taxes." And about half of those who paid no income tax shelled out more in payroll taxes — for Medicare and Social Security — than they ended getting back in refunds.
"Forty-five percent don't owe U.S. income tax"

This is not the tax inequity to get mad about: Tax rates are falling for the rich, too, says Laura Flanders at The Nation. In fact, since the Reagan years, "inequality's only gotten bigger." So what's wrong with "taking from each according to their means, to help the whole"? If you want to get angry at someone for paying no taxes, write a nasty letter to GE. The nation's biggest corporation got a $3.2 billion refund. Isn't that more unfair than giving a break to families that are living paycheck to paycheck?
"Demonizing taxes, heightening inequality"

 

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