Responsibility takes a holiday

Tax burden should be lowered, not unfairly shifted

  • Follow Editorials

Sales tax-free "holidays" have been a popular feature around the country in recent years, particularly just before school starts.

But when it comes to the federal income tax, every day of the year is a tax-free holiday for growing numbers of Americans.

And that's hardly a good thing.

In fact, it's absolutely ominous.

According to the Tax Policy Center in Washington, nearly half of all American households -- 47 percent -- will pay no federal income tax for 2009. And many will actually come out ahead -- getting "refunds" of taxes they didn't pay -- thanks to tax credits and such.

Much has been made in recent years of the "Bush tax cuts" for wealthier individuals, and certainly there have been benefits for higher-income Americans. But the class warfare waged by Democrats is sorely misguided.

Here are the facts:

- The top 1 percent of wage earners in this country pay more than 40 percent of all federal income taxes.

- The top 5 percent pay over 60 percent of all federal income taxes.

- The top 10 percent pay over 71 percent of all federal income taxes.

Those numbers completely debunk the emotional blackmail coming from the left about who pays the freight in this country.

But it is what it is, as they say. The more troublesome statistic is that we are approaching the day when a majority of this country pays no income taxes.

Think about the ramifications of that.

When a majority of voters receive government services without paying for them, the natural incentive is to seek more of those services -- and not to bother about whether tax rates have to increase to support those services.

That starts a political and mathematical chain reaction that leads toward a financial meltdown. It is simply unsustainable.

Nor is it healthy, even for those who end up on the receiving end.

"We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing," Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, told the Associated Press.

National policies cannot help but be warped if half or more of the people in this country have no skin in the game.

Moreover, you have to ask: Should Americans even want a tax system that requires nothing of so many of us? Where's the pride? Where's the American spirit of self-reliance and selflessness?

Tax time tends to pervert the spirit. Americans are the most generous on Earth when it comes to helping out the less fortunate with their time, talent and treasure. One recent news report brought that home in a very personal way: A nurse headed for volunteer work in Haiti broke her leg in three places, then learned she had breast cancer -- and she still left for Haiti.

Yet, late-night television ads happily trumpet how individuals and couples have managed to drastically reduce or eliminate the federal taxes they owe. Is that really something to celebrate? Didn't those people just shift more of the tax burden onto you?

A lower tax burden for all is a good thing. But shifting the weight too much to one side of the boat will only make it perilously unstable.

We're all in the same boat. Shouldn't everyone who's capable grab an oar?

Comments (101) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 04/14/10 - 10:55 pm
0
0
Until people wake up and stop

Until people wake up and stop voting for either of the 2 major, corrupt, inept political parties then nothing will change.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 04/14/10 - 11:29 pm
0
0
Amen, baron.

Amen, baron.

corgimom
30809
Points
corgimom 04/14/10 - 11:38 pm
0
0
The top 10% are people

The top 10% are people earning over $336,000 per year.

Damn skippy, they should pay a lot of taxes.

Nat the Cat
1
Points
Nat the Cat 04/15/10 - 01:13 am
0
0
The elephant in the room

The elephant in the room here, is that we cannot continue to cater to non-productive freeloaders. There is only one relevant question for these people:

Which political party will give us more? Right now that Party is the Democrats, and that is exactly how the Democrats got elected.....by promising and giving all of the pork that they promised, and then some, with President Obama's Health Care Plan. At least they kept their promise, albeit illegally!
No one asks for a good-paying job anymore. Why should he/she? If the Government is going to provide all of their needs, FREE, why even bother to try to better oneself. In general, there is no such thing as self-pride, nuclear family, or bettering one's life to these people.

Americans, like other Human beings, need the basics in life: food, shelter, and clothing. Add education to that in a civilized, industrialized society. Now add technologically advanced Health Care in a super-civilized, industrialized society. And most of us are willing to work for a living to have these things, and even help the less fortunate. In some Countries, the basic necessities of life are not even attainable. But the situation is becoming ludicrous for hard-working Americans. And you don't even have to be an American to receive all of these things FREE, from Americans!

Please realize that right now in the United States of America, as an illegal immigrant, he/she could marry an American citizen and obtain the best Food in the World with Food Stamps, better than average Housing with new Section 8 Housing, and Designer clothing from good-will or some other charitable organization all FREE. Now add to that a FREE High School Education and FREE Health Care [the best in the World, btw]. I can even go to College FREE with good grades or a Student Loan.
Then I could have 3-4 children and collect welfare benefits as long as I DID NOT have a Job.

Now, is there anything wrong with this picture? The Democrats say no. As the article points out, as long as there are super-rich, and rich taxpayers, [capitolism],we are getting by. But what if the wealth is spread around, and the Government begins [unconstitutionally] taking from the rich and giving to the poor. {Ring a Bell, Comrade?} Then where is all the money going to come from? Scary huh? That is one big reason that my little white cat is praying.

TheFederalist
1
Points
TheFederalist 04/15/10 - 01:38 am
0
0
All that's lacking is the

All that's lacking is the political will to stop spending, and cut entitlement programs that account for a full 3/4 of the entire budget. Ahh...as the poet says...there's the rub! Methinks there is none so brave that would dare suggest that path. Hence, we will most likely battle back and forth, over who's to blame...as our nation sinks slowly into an ocean of red ink. Well, desperate times require desperate measures. Regardless of the circumstance, recovery from this mess will be painful for all, but if we are not careful, another crisis will arise that will provide the perfect storm to further grow our already bloated gargantuan government. Imho, we simply cannot allow that to happen, if we are to salvage any of our remaining freedoms for future generations.

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 04:17 am
0
0
What the ACES DOESN'T include

What the ACES DOESN'T include is the PERCENTAGE of their earnings these people pay, versus what you and I pay. I pay 25% of MY income, yet those you're whining about pay 17% or less. I make less than 25,000 dollars.....yet I should pay MORE of my wages than someone making millions? BULL HOCKEY!

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
Points
Tigger_The_Tiger 04/15/10 - 04:59 am
0
0
ReformedRepub says ALL

ReformedRepub says ALL republicans don't know SQUAT. Well when you make a broad generalization like that (blatant personal attack) your POV has been rendered moot. And YES.....a single mother should pay the same PERCENT of taxes as everyone else in this world. It's called equal protection under the law.

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
Points
Tigger_The_Tiger 04/15/10 - 05:00 am
0
0
A real thief is someone who

A real thief is someone who thinks that because you earn MORE that for some reason, you should be punished for that and pay a higher percent of your income in taxes.

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 05:03 am
0
0
Tigger, if the shoe

Tigger, if the shoe fits...you're a Republican. And NO, she shouldn't! It's typical that you think that someone who earns so little, yet has 4 children to support, should pay as much in taxes, or MORE actually, in percentage of their wages as someone who makes millions. Your assertion proves what you are......

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 04/15/10 - 05:09 am
0
0
The Fair Tax would make every

The Fair Tax would make every person doing business in the country a tax payer and every citizen a beneficiary. Simple for everyone and no problems with the IRS.

reader54
179
Points
reader54 04/15/10 - 05:15 am
0
0
Federalist: What percentage

Federalist: What percentage of the budget does the Pentagon eat? Right now we spend more on defense or offense than we did during the Korean War, Vietnam Conflict or the Reagan Military Build-up. What percentage of the Defense Budget does corruption eat? They are like a band of Gypsies; create a diversion and then steal your wallet.

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 05:16 am
0
0
Tigger, you're actually

Tigger, you're actually saying that someone who earns,say a million a year shouldn't pay the same percentage or a higher percentage of their wages than someone who earns 30k?

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 04/15/10 - 05:29 am
0
0
If you only make about $25k

If you only make about $25k and pay a net of 25% of that to federal taxes - then you deserve the label you assigned to me. I'm sending the bull hockey puck back into your zone.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 04/15/10 - 06:20 am
0
0
If Obama's cabinet would pay

If Obama's cabinet would pay their taxes we might not even have to have this discussion...lol.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/15/10 - 07:03 am
0
0
"cut entitlement programs

"cut entitlement programs that account for a full 3/4 of the entire budget." Since the defense budget and homeland security take approx 20% of the budget, that's a bit hard to believe.

run4yrlif
2
Points
run4yrlif 04/15/10 - 07:24 am
0
0
So the poor should get

So the poor should get poorer, Chronicle? Note that among those not paying taxes are retirees on fixed incomes, people below the poverty line who clean your houses, pick your fruit or collect your garbage, and disabled military vets.

Buncha slackers....

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 04/15/10 - 07:28 am
0
0
A single Mother "not of her

A single Mother "not of her own doing"? Come on, my Mother was single "not of her own doing" and we survived growing up just fine without government assistance because my Mother believed in working if you were physically able to do so. You can use excuses all day but at the end of the day it all boils down to are you a giver or are you a taker?

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 04/15/10 - 07:33 am
0
0
run4yrlif - most (not all)

run4yrlif - most (not all) people below the poverty line made life choices to be where they are today. An example would be my daughter in law's Dad who works a meanial job because it was more important to him to smoke his dope everyday instead of applying himself and supporting his family. Does he cut lawns really really good? Yes but he still just cuts grass and for someone else's company.

carcraft
25142
Points
carcraft 04/15/10 - 07:35 am
0
0
Reformed-perhaps if some of

Reformed-perhaps if some of these folks paided taxes for the services they recieved and then looked over at the free loader selling his food stamps for crack while putting nothing into the system some of the federal give away nonsense would stop.."socialism works well until you run out of other peoples money to spend"! M Thacher

carcraft
25142
Points
carcraft 04/15/10 - 07:43 am
0
0
My wife was a single mom who

My wife was a single mom who worked and raised her children..Her kids did with out while welfare recipients lined the walls where she worked with their kids in designer clothes she could not afford for her kids..some of these people could not even bother to get the correct paper work together to recieve the aid they thought "they were entitled to"!

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
Carcraft...as opposed to the

Carcraft...as opposed to the doctor who lives in his big house and drives his 50kcar who tells me, sorry, I won't treat your disease, you can't pay what I demand? Or any other of the WEALTHY who say....so what! you work 45 hours or more a week, you're a SLACKER! If you make more, your tax percentage SHOULD be higher! The very same Republicans who said medicare would bankrupt the country are now opposing the health reform law, saying THEY'LL CUT YOUR MEDICARE!!!! What hogwash.......

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 08:03 am
0
0
This woman I refer to, DOES

This woman I refer to, DOES work, DOES pay her bills and DOES deserve the Earned Income Tax Credit. Ya don't like it, TOUGH! November is gonna be tough when Republicans find out the majority of Americans can't be fooled............

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
Points
Tigger_The_Tiger 04/15/10 - 08:06 am
0
0
No reformed, I said they

No reformed, I said they should say the same percent. You said they shouldn't say any. How does that not violate equal protection?

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
Points
Tigger_The_Tiger 04/15/10 - 08:08 am
0
0
The wealth envy I see here is

The wealth envy I see here is sickening.

slippery 25
0
Points
slippery 25 04/15/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
One problem with paying taxes

One problem with paying taxes is trust. I do not like the fact I am giving my money to people who have guided us to over 12 trillion in debt.
All Doctors do not live in a big house. We need the Fair Tax program.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 04/15/10 - 08:19 am
0
0
Unfortunately, TTT, it's

Unfortunately, TTT, it's always about wealth envy and government subsidy programs. It's the party base of the left.

constitutionnow
0
Points
constitutionnow 04/15/10 - 08:25 am
0
0
"The American Republic will

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Alexis de Tocqueville

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 04/15/10 - 09:01 am
0
0
This article states "We have

This article states "We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing" Actually that is not 100% accurate. They are contributing their vote as "payment". That group of people almost single handedly put Obama in office.

I thought that the uproar way back when was "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny".

The dems have a new slogan. "Representation without Taxation is an Entitlement". (No charge for that one dems, feel free to use it this November)

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 04/15/10 - 09:08 am
0
0
Reformedrepub, you sound like

Reformedrepub, you sound like a child with your reasoning. I pay taxes and alot of them. My effective tax rate was 36% fed and 6% GA. Why should I be made to pay more. Why don't I just slow down and let some people go and just retire. I already have enough. But I do not because I feel an obligation to my employees and by the way, they do not work by the hour. They are paid by the amount of work they turn out. Some make more than others because they produce more. Some go home early and some stay until dark. Their choice. Also the lady that you speak about needs to find out how she gets so many children. She must not know. Have you ever heard the saying that the rich get richer and the poor get children. Must be true in her case.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Teacher group backs Carter for governor

ATLANTA - One of the largest teachers' groups in Georgia has announced its support for Democrat Jason Carter, as he challenges Republican Gov. Nathan Deal in the fall.
Search Augusta jobs