Beneath all of the Republican and Tea Party grumbling about taxes, one key fact continues to be ignored. According to the Tax Policy Center, Federal taxes are lower than at any time since 1955. Obama has now reduced taxes by more than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
According to the Orange County Register, “For the past two years, a family of four earning the median income has paid less in federal income taxes than at any time since at least 1955, according to the Tax Policy Center. All federal, state and local taxes combined are a lower percentage of per-capita income than at any time since the 1960s, according to the Tax Foundation. The highest income-tax bracket is its lowest since 1992. At 35 percent, it’s well below the 50 percent mark of much of the 1980s and the 70 percent bracket of the 1970s.”
The problem is that the tax cuts have not promoted economic growth and have caused the federal deficit to explode, “Those lower taxes have helped give the U.S. government the lowest revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product of seven industrialized countries surveyed in 2010 by the Congressional Research Services. (The other countries were Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France.) The U.S. also had the lowest spending as a percentage of the GDP. But with the biggest gap between revenues (31.6 percent of GDP) and expenditures (42.2 percent of GDP), the U.S. also posted the largest deficit as a percentage of GDP – 10.5 percent.”
The answer to America’s revenue shortfall is to raise taxes. The US revenue gap could be closed immediately with a tax increase, but Republicans and tea partiers go insane as soon as the prospect is mentioned even in the most delicate manner. The Tea Party set believes to their core that they are being overtaxed, but reality doesn’t match their perception.
In fact, most Americans have no idea that Barack Obama has lowered taxes. According to a 2010 CBS News/New York Times Poll, only 12% of Americans knew that Obama has lowered taxes. 53% thought that he kept taxes the same, and 24% believed that Obama has raised taxes.
Not surprisingly, only 2% of Tea Party supporters knew that Obama had lowered taxes. 44% of them thought that the President has raised their taxes.
The right believes this because they got the idea from Fox News and talk radio. Four days ago, Fox News.com ran a story claiming that Obama is going to raise taxes. The tax increase boogeyman is a favorite of the right, because it is easy to put out there and it motivates their base every time.
The Republicans’ insistence on defining Obama as a tax and spender combined with the President’s own reluctance to take credit for his accomplishments has resulted in many Americans being misinformed about where their money is actually going.
What many on the right don’t understand is that the people who benefit most from their protests are the super-rich. The AP reports that, “The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.” Meanwhile the average rate for everyone else dropped from 9.9% to 9.3%.
While the Tea Party takes to the streets to keep tax rates low for billionaires, Barack Obama has lowered their taxes to historically low levels.
The bottom line is that beneath all the GOP spin the fact remains. Barack Obama, not Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush is the greatest tax cutter in American history.