Posting this again because I just turned on the TV to hear Neil Cavuto blathering on about everyone needing “skin in the game.” This is probably the dumbest, most disingenuous conservative meme I’ve seen in the past few years and it keeps showing up day after day.
“The truth is that the talking point that half of all Americans pay no taxes is a misrepresentation. Here is the full quote from the Tax Policy Center,
The fraction of tax units paying no income tax varies widely by filing status and type of unit. About 47 percent of single filers will owe no tax, compared with 38 percent of joint filers and 72 percent of heads of household. More than half of elderly tax units and tax units with children will pay no income tax this year.
The 47% statistic is not all Americans pay no taxes, but single filers who will pay no federal income taxes. According to the Center On Budget and Policy Priorities the real reason why 47%-51% of Americans paid no federal income taxes in 2009 is,
The 51 percent figure is an anomaly that reflects the unique circumstances of 2009, when the recession greatly swelled the number of Americans with low incomes and when temporary tax cuts created by the 2009 Recovery Act — including the “Making Work Pay” tax credit and an exclusion from tax of the first $2,400 in unemployment benefits — were in effect. Together, these developments removed millions of Americans from the federal income tax rolls. Both of these temporary tax measures have since expired.
The combination of the recession and the Obama stimulus cut taxes to low and middle income Americans led to fewer Americans owing federal income tax in 2009.
The Tax Policy Center has tried to correct Fox News and the right wing media’s misuse of their research. In April 2010, Howard Glickman of the TPC wrote,
Let me explain—repeat actually—what this means: About half of taxpayers paid no federal income tax last year. It does not mean they paid no tax at all. Many shelled out Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. In fact, only 14 percent of Americans didn’t pay either income or payroll taxes. Some paid property taxes and, it is fair to say, just about all of them paid sales taxes of one kind or another. So to say they pay no taxes is flat wrong.
However, this class warfare-like rhetoric plays to a perception that the income tax is a chump tax: Only hard-working folks like us pay it. The welfare queens don’t. The super-rich don’t. It is a powerful emotional argument. It is also flat wrong.
The actual number of Americans who don’t pay any taxes isn’t half, but 14%. This group of non-taxpayers of any kind is largely composed of the elderly and disabled. The people who don’t pay taxes do so because they can’t work.
The myth that the wealthy are carrying the tax burden for America is used to justify tax cuts for the rich. Conservatives use the inaccurate statistic hand in hand with their, “wealthy are the job creators argument.” One statistic that was intended to demonstrate the loss of income due to the recession, along with the impact of the Obama tax cuts has been distorted and misused to justify a policy of not asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
The truth is that 86% of Americans pay taxes. In one recession strapped year (2009), less than half of single filer taxpayers paid federal income taxes.
Millions of Americans are not being told the truth that almost 90% of us pay taxes, and that much of the reason why there were fewer people paying federal income taxes in 2009 was that Barack Obama signed the largest tax cut in US history.
Since the truth undercuts the conservative’s reverse Robin Hood steal from the poor to give to the rich policy, they are going to do their best to keep the facts buried under a mountain of misinformation.
Anytime anyone tells you that half of Americans paid no taxes, do your country a favor and straighten them out. We have the facts. It’s time to tear down this talking point.”
1. Ron Paul does not value equal rights for minorities. Ron Paul has sponsored legislation that would repeal affirmative action, keep the IRS from investigating private schools who may have used race as a factor in denying entrance, thus losing their tax exempt status, would limit the scope of Brown versus Board of Education, and would deny citizenship for those born in the US if their parents are not citizens. Here are links to these bills: H.R.3863, H.R.5909, H.J.RES.46, andH.J.RES.42.
2. Ron Paul would deny women control of their bodies and reproductive rights.Ron Paul makes it very clear that one of his aims is to repeal Roe v. Wade. He has also co sponsored 4 separate bills to “To provide that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception.” This, of course, goes against current medical and scientific information as well as our existing laws and precedents. Please see these links: H.R.2597 and H.R.392
3. Ron Paul would be disastrous for the working class. He supports abolishing the Federal minimum wage, has twice introduced legislation to repeal OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Act and would deal devastating blows to Social Security including repealing the act that makes it mandatory for employees of nonprofits, to make “coverage completely optional for both present and future workers”, and would “freeze benefit levels”. He has also twice sponsored legislation seeking to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act and the Copeland Act which among other things provide that contractors for the federal government must provide the prevailing wage and prohibits corporate “kick backs.” Here are the related legislative links: H.R.2030, H.R.4604, H.R.736, and H.R.2720
4. Ron Paul’s tax plan is unfair to lower earners and would greatly benefit those with the highest incomes.He has repeatedly submitted amendments to the tax code that would get rid of the estate and gift taxes, tax all earners at 10%, disallow income tax credits to individuals who are not corporations, repeal the elderly tax credit, child care credit, earned income credit, and other common credits for working class citizens. Please see this link for more information: H.R.05484 Summary
5. Ron Paul’s policies would cause irreparable damage to our already strained environment.Among other travesties he supports off shore drilling, building more oil refineries, mining on federal lands, no taxes on the production of fuel, and would stop conservation efforts that could be a “Federal obstacle” to building and maintaining refineries. He has also sought to amend the Clean Air Act, repeal the Soil and Water Conservation Act of 1977, and to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to “restrict the jurisdiction of the United States over the discharge of dredged or fill material to discharges into waters”. To see for yourself the possible extent of the damage to the environment that would happen under a Paul administration please follow these links: H.R.2504,H.R.7079, H.R.7245, H.R.2415, H.R.393, H.R.4639, H.R.5293, and H.R.6936
6. A Ron Paul administration would continue to proliferate the negative image of the US among other nations. Ron Paul supports withdrawing the US from the UN, when that has not happened he has fought to at least have the US withdrawn from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. He has introduced legislation to keep the US from giving any funds to the UN. He also submitted that the US funds should not be used in any UN peacekeeping mission or any UN program at all. He has sponsored a bill calling for us to “terminate all participation by the United States in the United Nations, and to remove all privileges, exemptions, and immunities of the United Nations.”Ron Paul twice supported stopping the destruction of intercontinental ballistic missile silos in the United States. He also would continue with Bush’s plan of ignoring international laws by maintaining an insistence that the International Criminal Court does not apply to the US, despite President Clinton’s signature on the original treaty. The International Criminal Court is used for, among other things, prosecution of war crimes. Please see the following links: H.R.3891,H.AMDT.191, H.AMDT.190, H.R.3769, H.R.1665, H.CON.RES.23, and H.R.1154
7. Ron Paul discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and would not provide equal rights and protections to glbt citizens. This is an issue that Paul sort of dances around. He has been praised for stating that the federal government should not regulate who a person marries. This has been construed by some to mean that he is somewhat open to the idea of same sex marriage, he is not. Paul was an original co sponsor of the Marriage Protection Act in the House in 2004. Among other things this discriminatory piece of legislation placed a prohibition on the recognition of a same sex marriage across state borders. He said in 2004 that if he was in the Texas legislature he would not allow judges to come up with “new definitions” of marriage. Paul is a very religious conservative and though he is careful with his words his record shows that he is not a supporter of same sex marriage. In 1980 he introduced a particularly bigoted bill entitled “A bill to strengthen the American family and promote the virtues of family life.” or H.R.7955 A direct quote from the legislation “Prohibits the expenditure of Federal funds to any organization which presents male or female homosexuality as an acceptable alternative life style or which suggest that it can be an acceptable life style.” shows that he is unequivocally opposed to lifestyles other than heterosexual.
8. Ron Paul has an unnatural obsession with guns. One of Paul’s loudest gripes is that the second amendment of the constitution is being eroded. In fact, he believes that September 11 would not have happened if that wasn’t true. He advocates for there to be no restrictions on personal ownership of semi-automatic weaponry or large capacity ammunition feeding devices, would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act (because we all know our schools are just missing more guns), wants guns to be allowed in our National Parks, and repeal the Gun Control Act of 1968. Now, I’m pretty damn certain that when the Constitution was written our founding fathers never intended for people to be walking around the streets with AK47′s and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.” (That just sounds scary.) Throughout the years our Constitution has been amended and is indeed a living document needing changes to stay relevant in our society. Paul has no problem changing the Constitution when it fits his needs, such as no longer allowing those born in the US to be citizens if their parents are not. On the gun issue though he is no holds barred. I know he’s from Texas but really, common sense tells us that the amendments he is seeking to repeal have their place. In fact, the gun control act was put into place after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Please view the following links: H.R.2424, H.R.1897, H.R.1096,H.R.407, H.R.1147, and H.R.3892.
9. Ron Paul would butcher our already sad educational system. The fact is that Ron Paul wants to privatize everything and that includes education. Where we run into problems is that it has been shown (think our current health care system) that this doesn’t work so well in practice. Ron Paul has introduced legislation that would keep the Federal Government “from planning, developing, implementing, or administering any national teacher test or method of certification and from withholding funds from States or local educational agencies that fail to adopt a specific method of teacher certification.” In a separate piece of legislation he seeks to “prohibit the payment of Federal Education assistance in States which require the licensing or certification of private schools or private school teachers.” So basically the federal government can’t regulate teaching credentials and if states opt to require them for private schools they get no aid. That sounds like a marvelous idea teachers with no certification teaching in private schools that are allowed to discriminate on the basis of race. He is certainly moving forward with these proposals!Remember his “bill to strengthen the American family and promote the virtues of family life.” or H.R.7955? Guess what? He basically advocates for segregation in schools once again. It “Forbids any court of the United States from requiring the attendance at a particular school of any student because of race, color, creed, or sex.” Without thinking about this statement it doesn’t sound bad at all. But remember, when desegregating schools that this is done by having children go to different schools, often after a court decision as in Brown Vs. Board of Education. If this were a bill that passed, schools would no longer be compelled to comply and the schools would go back to segregation based on their locations. Ron Paul is really starting to look like a pretty bigoted guy don’t you think?
10. Ron Paul is opposed to the separation of church and state. This reason is probably behind every other thing that I disagree with in regards to Paul’s positions. Ron Paul is among those who believes that there is a war on religion, he stated “Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view.” (( Koyaanisqatsi Blog: Wrong Paul Why I Do Not Want Ron Paul to be My President )) Though he talks a good talk, at times, Ron Paul can’t get away from his far right, conservative views. He would support “alternative views” to evolution taught in public schools (i.e. Intelligent Design.) We’ve already taken a look at his “bill to strengthen the American family and promote the virtues of family life.” or H.R.7955Besides hating the gays he takes a very religious stance on many other things. He is attempting to force his beliefs on the rest of America, exactly what he would do as president.
- Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), in an interview on MSNBC, on why as a small business owner he can’t afford a tax increase. (via wtfwhiteprivilege)
How depressing, only having ~8x more money than the average US salary AFTER feeding your family. Poor Rep. Fleming :(