Thanks to Occupy Wall Street the inequalities in our tax system have been at the forefront of our politics. The Republicans are contending that the “job creators” should not have to pay more in taxes and that in fact, if you take into account the state and local taxes, they pay anywhere from 40 to 60% of all tax revenue. The Institution of Taxation and Economic Policy have come out with a state by state breakdown (find your state here) showing who actually pays the most in taxes. They breakdown what the bottom 20%, mid 60%, and the top 20% pay. Not surprisingly every state confirms what the Democrats have been telling us, thanks to the Bush tax cuts, our nation’s rich pay the least.
Ten states—Washington, Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania,
Nevada, and Alabama—are particularly regressive. These “Terrible Ten” states ask poor families—those in the bottom 20% of the income scale—to pay almost six times as much of their earnings in taxes as do the wealthy. Middle-income families in these states pay up to three-and-a-half times as high a share of their income as the wealthiest families. “Virtually every state has a regressive tax system,” noted Gardner. “But these ten states stand out for the extraordinary degree to which they have shifted the cost of funding public investments to their very poorest residents.”
The state with the worst disparity is Mississippi. Their study shows that in the category of Sales and Excise Taxes the bottom 20% whose income is less than $16,000/year pay 8.5% of their income while people earning $39,000 to $70,000 pay 5.6%. The wealthiest in Mississippi earning over $319,000 a year pay JUST 1.2%. When calculating total taxes paid the bottom 20% pay 10.8%, people earning $39,000 to $70,000 pay 9.6%, and the top 1% pay just 6.3%.
There is class warfare going on, but just in case you were unclear who was waging that war, it is the very wealthy and their Republican figureheads. Cutting entitlement programs like Pell Grants, Medicare, and Social Security, which obviously helps the middle and lower class in our society, while simultaneously cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations does not work….FACT! We have numbers on our side. We have history on our side. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is outright lying.