[I]t is not that they are not paying their taxes. It is that the country’s tax structure lets them off the hook. Indeed, you can draw a straight line between the Bush tax cuts and the growing number of households exempted from income tax. … Additionally, the Bush tax cuts lowered income taxes in every bracket, making it easier for a household’s liability to get fully offset by deductions and credits. And on top of all that, the stimulus bill introduced a host of further tax cuts. That covers about half of the households that don’t pay any federal income taxes. The other half of households are just too poor to pay them.
Pareene pulls his hair out:
The poorest Americans — people who make an average of $12,500 a year — pay, on average, 16 percent of their paltry income in taxes. That is less than every other demographic, but the point of a progressive tax system is that 16 percent of a poor person’s income is a hell of a lot more meaningful to that person than 30 percent of a millionaire’s. It’s a simple concept, and one that most Americans agree with. And that simplicity and popularity is why the conservative movement has spent 100 years attempting to muddy the debate with misinformation.
Or, as Steve Warmhoff told Benjy Sarlin:
If the Republicans are suggesting that it’s bad that some people are not paying federal income taxes, can they please clarify that they are in fact proposing a tax increase?