How high are taxes?

Apr. 18 - From WIN Radio (Workers Independent News) Listen to the actual radio story. Click on Labor Report: April 18, 2011
 

By Doug Cunningham

Despite the outcry from conservatives about taxes, tax collections are in fact at historic lows and tax rates for the rich have been declining for years. Doug Cunningham has more.


General Electric corporation famously paid zero taxes this year. Nothing. Nada. Zip. In 2009 Exxon Mobil paid no federal taxes. The Republican budget plan gives away even more tax breaks to corporations and the rich and there’s a steady drumbeat from conservatives that taxes are too high.

 

Here’s some tax truth. As a percentage of GDP, tax collections in America are actually at historic lows. That’s according to the tax policy center Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

 

And according to the White House Office Of Management and Budget corporate income taxes total one percent of Gross Domestic Product this year – 60 percent lower than 40 years ago. SIXTY PERCENT lower.

 

And wealth is taxed at a lower percentage than your labor. Middle class workers pay about 25 percent while stock dividends and capital gains are taxed at just 15 percent. If we simply returned to the tax rates of 1979, budget deficits would disappear. And if we levied just a half percent tax on Wall Street’s financial transactions it would generate $170 billion a year in federal revenue.

 

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