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Are taxes really the lowest they've been in 50 years?

manifold

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I've heard this stated as a matter of fact a few times now over the past couple of months, most recently by Bill Maher, a man with obviously questionable objectivity.

Is there any truth to this claim?

What is the basis for it?

If it is indeed true, then why the heck would Republicans insist that any tax increases at all are a non-starter?
 

DiamondDave

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It is a bogus claim... they forget the amount of deductions, things that were not deemed income, etc... not to mention they forget about all the increased areas that the fed taxes things now...

You have a great # of people, with all the levels and forms of taxation, that are paying well in excess of 50% of their income in some form of taxation... how much is enough?? jeez
 

Truthmatters

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the right will just lie about.

Facts mean nothing to them
 

Oddball

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Where are sales, property, FICA and various other excises (i.e. fuel taxes), along with fees and costs of compliance, compared to 50 years ago?

Why is it that no matter what the subject of the given proposal coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania, the program always seems to be "raise taxes"?

022509-obama-cartoon.jpg
 

Warrior102

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There are so many new fees, tarriffs, licences to pay, mandated expenses, sur-charges, and taxes added all the time....
I like the tax levels we had in 1932...the year BEFORE the Federal witholding Income tax was instituted!
 

Oddball

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So far, nobody has "stepped up" to answer my point.

There are now a myriad of taxes, fees and costs of compliance that didn't exist 50 years ago....Even though the one federal income rate is lower, there are numerous other avenues used to bore into the wallets of today's taxpayers.
 
OP
manifold

manifold

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So far, nobody has "stepped up" to answer my point.

There are now a myriad of taxes, fees and costs of compliance that didn't exist 50 years ago....Even though the one federal income rate is lower, there are numerous other avenues used to bore into the wallets of today's taxpayers.

Can you quantify any of that?
 

Warrior102

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So far, nobody has "stepped up" to answer my point.

There are now a myriad of taxes, fees and costs of compliance that didn't exist 50 years ago....Even though the one federal income rate is lower, there are numerous other avenues used to bore into the wallets of today's taxpayers.

Can you quantify any of that?

Obviously USA Today can't

They just run a piece based on information "THEY" choose.
 
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manifold

manifold

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So far, nobody has "stepped up" to answer my point.

There are now a myriad of taxes, fees and costs of compliance that didn't exist 50 years ago....Even though the one federal income rate is lower, there are numerous other avenues used to bore into the wallets of today's taxpayers.

Can you quantify any of that?

Obviously USA Today can't

They just run a piece based on information "THEY" choose.

I think OddDude's point is at least somewhat valid, but I'm not ready to simply conclude that the overall tax burden is the same or greater without a quantifiable apples to apples comparison.
 

Warrior102

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Can you quantify any of that?

Obviously USA Today can't

They just run a piece based on information "THEY" choose.

I think OddDude's point is at least somewhat valid, but I'm not ready to simply conclude that the overall tax burden is the same or greater without a quantifiable apples to apples comparison.

How can you compare the various surcharges and taxes today with non-existent one's in the 1950s?
 

DiamondDave

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This is a blog writeup.... but it has been explained in here well.. and you can look up the facts behind what was deemed tax rates and actual tax payments with pure statistics... but....

Almost Classical: The 90% Tax Rate Myth

So, let's get more complicated. When there was a 94% top rate in 1944-45, there were so many deductions and exclusions that the taxable income was not comparable to someone's entire income. First, the top rate started at $200,000, which today is equal to $2,413,059.90 — so the maximum EMTR would apply only to incomes of $2.5 million. But, that's still taxable income, not earned income.

In 1944, you could deduct business meals, all business travel, all forms of interest payments, and much more. You could even deduct spousal travel expenses on a business trip! (Why travel alone?) Companies could also "loan" or "provide" almost anything to an employee, from an apartment to standard benefits. It was possible to shelter tens of thousands of dollars from taxable income. Three-martini lunches and expense accounts were important realities, skewing tax calculations.

As a result of deductions and exclusions, even the theoretical maximum Real Rate of taxation at 60% in 1944 overstates taxation dramatically. The reality? On earned income, the richest U.S. taxpayers paid close to 40 percent of their earned incomes in taxes in 1944. We simply didn't count much of the compensation as taxable income.
 

Screaming Eagle

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No. It's a lie and an accounting trick. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been in 50 years. That is true. What doesn't follow are any of the conclusions that they reach from that. They then say that taxes must be too low, but they didn't lower them. We must raise taxes to get back to the historical norm is what they say.

The real issue here is a mathematical one. GDP is basically the combination of private sector economic activity and government spending. The private economy has declined a great deal in the last few years, but government spending has increased to offset that so our GDP has remained relatively flat. The amount of our GDP that is comprised of tax paying activity has been reduced, therefore it follows that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP would be lower.

How do you fix that if the percentage is so important to you? There are 3 ways that I know of offhand.

1. Increase taxes. This will raise more revenue, at least in the short term, but could also further reduce private sector economic activity and not lead to much revenue increase if not a loss thereof.
2. Increase private sector economic activity. There isn't a switch for this in Washington, but it is true that if it increased then the revenue to GDP ratio would be higher.
3. Decrease government spending. By reducing the GDP from its artificially inflated highs the revenue to GDP ratio would increase.

These are mathematical facts and not political positions.
 

Warrior102

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No. It's a lie and an accounting trick. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been in 50 years. That is true. What doesn't follow are any of the conclusions that they reach from that. They then say that taxes must be too low, but they didn't lower them. We must raise taxes to get back to the historical norm is what they say.

The real issue here is a mathematical one. GDP is basically the combination of private sector economic activity and government spending. The private economy has declined a great deal in the last few years, but government spending has increased to offset that so our GDP has remained relatively flat. The amount of our GDP that is comprised of tax paying activity has been reduced, therefore it follows that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP would be lower.

How do you fix that if the percentage is so important to you? There are 3 ways that I know of offhand.

1. Increase taxes. This will raise more revenue, at least in the short term, but could also further reduce private sector economic activity and not lead to much revenue increase if not a loss thereof.
2. Increase private sector economic activity. There isn't a switch for this in Washington, but it is true that if it increased then the revenue to GDP ratio would be higher.
3. Decrease government spending. By reducing the GDP from its artificially inflated highs the revenue to GDP ratio would increase.

These are mathematical facts and not political positions.

You expect public-school educated dopes like NYCarboner and Plasmapuss to understand this??

LOL
 

Screaming Eagle

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To expound on #3, if you decrease government spending then taxes will increase, so if you want to increase taxes, decrease spending.

This is using their own language against them.
 

Screaming Eagle

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No. It's a lie and an accounting trick. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been in 50 years. That is true. What doesn't follow are any of the conclusions that they reach from that. They then say that taxes must be too low, but they didn't lower them. We must raise taxes to get back to the historical norm is what they say.

The real issue here is a mathematical one. GDP is basically the combination of private sector economic activity and government spending. The private economy has declined a great deal in the last few years, but government spending has increased to offset that so our GDP has remained relatively flat. The amount of our GDP that is comprised of tax paying activity has been reduced, therefore it follows that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP would be lower.

How do you fix that if the percentage is so important to you? There are 3 ways that I know of offhand.

1. Increase taxes. This will raise more revenue, at least in the short term, but could also further reduce private sector economic activity and not lead to much revenue increase if not a loss thereof.
2. Increase private sector economic activity. There isn't a switch for this in Washington, but it is true that if it increased then the revenue to GDP ratio would be higher.
3. Decrease government spending. By reducing the GDP from its artificially inflated highs the revenue to GDP ratio would increase.

These are mathematical facts and not political positions.

You expect public-school educated dopes like NYCarboner and Plasmapuss to understand this??

LOL

I never expect anyone to understand the simple truth when it comes to politics. :lol:

This is a simple concept and everyone needs to be able to figure these kinds of things out on their own or they will always be no more than useful idiots for whatever side they listen to.
 

Oddball

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Can you quantify any of that?

Obviously USA Today can't

They just run a piece based on information "THEY" choose.

I think OddDude's point is at least somewhat valid, but I'm not ready to simply conclude that the overall tax burden is the same or greater without a quantifiable apples to apples comparison.
With pleasure.

What are taxes on things like beer, wine and liquor today, as compared to then?...How about tobacco taxes?

What's the FICA rate compared to then?...Medicare tax?

How about the fuel tax rate and other "fees", like the crap tacked onto airline tickets?

What of the costs of complying with bureaucratic behemoths like FDA, OSHA, ADA, EPA, BATF, and the rest of the federal Alphabet Soup Mafia, which didn't even exist 50 years ago? (OK...Maybe the FDA did, but you get my point)...Do y'all think that the costs of compliance come at no expense to the end consumer?

Anyone?

Beuller?
 
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