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Today, Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) spread some more right wingnut spin via Twitter:

Rep. Vicky Hartzler ‏ @RepHartzler

Heritage report: Nearly half (49.5%) of all Americans don’t pay any federal income taxes. It’s time to get people working. 8:05 AM – 23 Feb 12

Yep, spin.

April 13, 2010, 8:51 pm

Who Doesn’t Pay Taxes?


….You can see this by looking at the Congressional Budget Office data on tax rates by income group. It shows that the total net federal tax rate for the poorest fifth of households – that is, those most likely to pay no federal taxes – was still positive. In 2006, the last year for which there is data, this rate was 4.3 percent. The average income-tax rate for this group was indeed below zero: -6.6 percent. But the combined rate of payroll, investment and excise taxes was 10.9 percent, leading to a net positive rate of 4.3 percent.

A positive federal tax rate for these poorest 20 percent of households suggests that fewer than half of them pay no federal taxes. That’s where the estimate in my column – that at most about 10 percent of all households pay no net federal taxes – comes from.

Let’s talk about regressive taxes:

Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer.


Published: April 13, 2010

….The different kinds of federal taxes are really just accounting categories. At the end of the day, the government has to cover the cost of all its operations with revenue from all its taxes. We can’t wish our deficit away by saying that it’s mostly a Medicare and Social Security deficit.

If anything, the government numbers I’m using here exaggerate how much of the tax burden falls on the wealthy. These numbers fail to account for the income that is hidden from tax collectors – a practice, research shows, that is more common among affluent families. “Because higher-income people are understating their income,” Joel Slemrod, a tax scholar at the University of Michigan, says, “We’ve been overstating their average tax rates.”

State and local taxes, meanwhile, may actually be regressive. That is, middle-class and poor families may face higher tax rates than the wealthy. As Kim Rueben of the Tax Policy Center notes, state and local income taxes and property taxes are less progressive than federal taxes, while sales taxes end up being regressive. The typical family pays a lot of state and local taxes, too – almost half as much as in federal taxes….

[emphasis added]

Representative Hartzler (r) needs to get better talking points from the puppet masters.