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GOP math does not work

August 31, 2011
Daily Press


It is true that 47 percent of American households owe no federal income taxes as of 2009. In fact, that number is higher than it was in 2007 at 38 percent, and the GOP have been singing that sad song on cable TV (Fox News) and on talk radio, a la, Limbaugh for months. They say that wealthy people must pay more taxes to make up for those American "slackers."

As usual, the GOP math does not work because the Bush stimulus programs and the later Obama stimulus programs have increased tax credits for poor people to erase their tax liability. A closer look at CBO data shows that about 10 percent of all homes pay no federal taxes.

Poor families and 75 percent of all American households pay taxes toward Medicare and Social Security.

Thus, the average household pays about 3 percent toward income taxes. But that's not the end.

Middle class and poor families pay property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, cigarette taxes, and liquor taxes.

So, if those poor families do not pay the federal income tax, they still pay many other taxes that end up in the federal pocketbook. (Source:

On the other hand,

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon paid no federal income taxes.

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.


So, who are the real "slackers"?

Many people in several states have paid zero federal income taxes because they cannot find decent jobs.

1. Mississippi - 43 percent paid no taxes

2. Louisiana - 40 percent paid no taxes.

3. Arkansas - 38 percent paid no taxes.

4. New Mexico - 38 percent paid no taxes.

5. Alabama - 38 percent paid no taxes.

6. Texas - 37 percent paid no taxes.


Robert Wesolowski

The Villages, Fla.



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