Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Random Act of Journalism

"A random act of journalism."  That's a line I borrowed from Rush Limbaugh.  It's a term he uses whenever one of the major media outlets reports any news story that doesn't support the official narrative (i.e., conservatives don't like the poor/gay/old/minorities, the rich don't pay their fair share, government has a duty to provide, etc.), much less exposes the lies of the establishment left.

This particular "random act of journalism" comes to us via CNBC and has caused a bit of a stir.  Headline: "The Rich Don't Pay the Most Taxes, They Pay ALL the Taxes".

Really?  How can this be?  Everyone knows that the rich aren't paying their fair share and that it's the lower and middle classes who are getting the short end of the stick.  However, according to the latest CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report that's just not true.  Buried in a chart on page 13 (Table 3) detailing the breakdown of Federal Income Taxes by quintile, the top 40% of taxpayers pay 106% of all federal income taxes, while the bottom 40% pay -9%. 

The top taxpayers actually overpay so that the bottom feeders can take advantage of generous transfer payments like the child tax credit and the EITC, which pay a "refund' to taxpayers that don't even owe taxes.  In fact, when it comes to federal taxes, the top bracket paid 69% of the total last year. The bottom bracket paid 0.4%.  These numbers aren't from  some radical, right-wing think tank.  They're from the 2010 IRS and Census Bureau figures.

Compounding their offense, consider the following information quoted directly from the article on  "For most income groups, average federal tax rates in 2010 were near the lowest rates for the 1979-2010 period.  The exception was households in the top 1 percent, whose average federal tax rate in 2010 was significantly above its low in the mid-1980s.  It does not look to be getting better. The CBO said that since 2010, new taxes have been added which will raise rates for everyone, with the biggest increase hitting the 1-percenters. They could end up with their highest federal tax rate since 1997 this year."

So much for the "rich" not paying their fair share.

Of course, this did not sit well with the rest of the mainstream financial media.  The liberal-leaning Business Insider ran a rebuttal on Yahoo Finance denouncing the CBO's study.  Their story, "No, the Rich Do Not Pay All the Taxes." repeated the claim that "the poor pay taxes, too."  They even go so far as to claim the report on the CBO's study is "completely false".  Really?  Who are they accusing of lying, the government, the CBO, or CNBC?

Taken from the article on Yahoo Finance: ".... people with low incomes who don't pay federal personal income tax do pay lots of those other taxes: payroll tax, state income tax, sales tax, property tax, excise taxes, and more."  Everyone else pays those taxes, too.  And if you aren't paying any net federal income tax, odds are you aren't paying any net state income tax, either, and are, in fact, receiving the individual state's version of the federal transfer payments.  Their argument is completely irrelevant.

Then they go on to make the truly incredible claim that "Workers bear the burden of employer-paid payroll taxes and part of the burden of corporate income taxes."  Seriously?  The definition of "employer-paid payroll taxes" is that the employee isn't paying them.  I can't even imagine how they came up with the idea that employees bear part of the burden of corporate taxes.  The entire article reads as a giant "Not uh!", the kind you'd expect from a couple of little kids.  Kinda pathetic, really.

What was left out of both articles is any mention of the largest form of transfer payments the poor receive.  For example, in my home state of Vermont the median wage is approximately $35,000/yr and the total welfare and low income assistance programs can total up to appx. $34,000 per household!  If we were to extrapolate that out nationally and factor those monies into the equation of who bears the true burden of taxation, we might even find that Mitt Romney's controversial 47% figure wasn't all that far off, after all.

None of these self-professed "low income advocates" want to acknowledge that the source of the funding for all those social-justice programs IS the taxpayer.  They've told the lie of  "Federal funding" so often they've begun to believe that Washington somehow has access to a cornucopia of cash that is capable of funding forever increasing largesse to be handed out at their discretion.

There is some small reason to hope that may be beginning to change.  If a liberal outlet like CNBC can publish a report that goes against the progressive narrative, declines to demagogue the evil rich, and actually dares to report the truth of how much they really pay, it's at least a small light in the darkness.


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