Monday, April 16, 2012

Buffet Rule - Taxes - #3813 - Who is Paying Up? - Wall Street Journal (2) 'Buffet Rule' is Producing Capitol Gains - Vote on Monday - Washington Times

Do you pay your fair share in taxes? Even as President Barack Obama pitches the "Buffett rule" to ensure that millionaires pay at least a 30% tax rate, some commentators are decrying the fact that about half of U.S. taxpayers don't pay any federal income tax. But our tax system is more complex than any sound bite or simplistic headline can illustrate. Some multimillionaires do pay a lower effective income-tax rate than some middle-income taxpayers; receiving a chunk of your income via long-term capital gains rather than a paycheck is just one reason that happens. But the top 20% of income earners paid 70% of federal taxes in 2007, according to the most recent data available from the Congressional Budget Office. That group also pulled in 60% of total pretax income, according to the CBO. Meanwhile, 46% of taxpayers don't pay any federal income tax, but they often pay a hefty portion of their income to levies at the federal, state and local level. Those include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare; state and local sales taxes on groceries, clothing and other purchases; and federal and state excise taxes on things such as gas, cigarettes, alcohol and airline tickets. The payroll tax for Medicare is paid by all workers, but the Social Security tax isn't levied on income over $110,100 (in 2012). So people with bigger six-figure salaries pay a lower portion of their income to Social Security taxes than those earning less.  Read more........

'Buffet Rule' is Producing Capitol Gains - Vote on Monday - Washington Times - The Senate careens toward a vote Monday on the “Buffett rule” tax in a showdown that will do a lot more to arm both political parties for November’s elections than it will for making a dent in the federal deficit.  President Obama has made passage of the tax his chief priority and has tried to tap into concerns over a growing income gap.  His own party isn’t united on the proposed tax, which stands little chance of gaining the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate.  “Just because Republicans oppose this does not mean it’s not the right thing to do and not the right thing to push for,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday as he made the rounds of the political talk shows to try to drum up last-minute support.  The GOP has rebutted by arguing that the tax is a distraction that will punish small businesses and won’t create jobs, though they fear an even more bruising fight later this year when the George W. Bush-era tax cuts are due to expire.  Read more........

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