"In 1950, the average family of four
paid 2% of its earnings to federal taxes.
Today it pays 24%."
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Which is a pretty good indication that either: 1) The average family of four today lives at a better level than it did in 1950 (i.e. that there is a progressive tax scheme and on average their income level has increased dramaticly); -or- 2) The rich in this (unnamed) country have succeeded in pushing the responsibility for funding the government onto the backs of the average small & poor family. Of course, this quote does nothing to indicate which of these two alternatives this author believes in... or which is supported by the facts.... or even what country is being refered to, eh? So, without context, it is just words not ideas.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Shows the prevalence and growth of the welfare state. ;-(
     -- Anonymous, Lima, NY     
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    A humanitarian government costs money to operate. As long as it remains relatively free of corruption by the rich and powerful this is a small price for all the benefits government provides.
     -- Dick Trice, Fort Worth     
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    Not one penny of taxes pays for services, as confirmed by Reagan in 1980. The increase in taxes has not improved the standard of living. The purchasing power of the dollar today is only a fraction of what it was worth in 1950. C'mon people, stop defending your servitude. The country is bankrupt and taxes are to pay our tribute to the real holders of power -- the central bankers.
     -- Washington, DC     
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    It is good to have data like this, and the freedom to share it, but without some context, this is a little too ambiguous. Are we talking "real" dollars, or "inflated" dollars? What does it mean in terms of how the money is being spent?
     -- R. Hardy, Green Bay, Wisconsin     
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    It is too bad so few Americans understand basic arithmetic. Two percent tax on your earned income leaves you with 98 cents (per dollar) to spend as you see fit. A 24 percent tax leaves you with 76 cents to spend. Regardless of other influencing variables, which would you rather have in your pocket 98 cents or 76 cents? Or, to put it another way, who would you rather spend your hard-earned money - you or the politicians and bureacrats? As for out government being "humanitarian" - just have a good read of the so-called Patriot Act and its proposed successor. As for government being "relatively free of corruption by the rich and powerful" - who the heck do you think controls the White House and Congress and is constantly ripping off the taxpayers? Dick Cheney's friends excepted, of course!
     -- John-Douglas, Nassau     
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    Humanitarian? Tell that to the innocent Iraqis - they have been slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands by our humanitarian government - which now condones the use of torture against mere suspects. That is, they might, just might, know something or anything about suspected terrorists. And how about our young Americans which have died in an allegedly peaceful Iraq - all to defend the greedy ambitions of the big oil companies. Wake up America and smell the stench of corruption!
     -- G.W.D., Michigan     
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    What an innocuous quote! In 1950 the rate on the first $4,000 of TAXABLE income was 17.4% and the rate on TAXABLE income above $400,000 was 91%. In 2000 the rate was 15% on the first $43,850 and 39.6 on all income above $288,350. First of all we are not taxed on earned income we are taxed on taxable income. The amazing thing here is the dramatic reduction in these later years of the rates for the wealthy and the individula rate is also much lower than in 1950. The low rate started at 17.4 on $4,000 and went up from there, in 2000 we were at 15% all the way up to $43,850. A substantial reduction from the rates of 1950. Thank God for these post modern times so much better that the '50's. Taxes need to be raised back to where they were in 1950.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waff is still using the old saw that liberals have been using for years, raise taxes on the rich. Nuts like Trice and Waff can't get it through their skulls that the wealthy are the ones that start businesses and create jobs for others. Democrats have used this devisive tactic to buy votes for years and can someone please tell me how raising taxes on the wealthy is going to help anyone. Punishing productive people by raising their taxes will only hurt the economy .
     -- jim k, austin     
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    It is very interesting to read the comments from those that would be slaves with a desire to inflict all with their despotism of choice and those who would be individual sovereigns. Theft is theft and under any other name it is still theft. Since the theft has increased in its intensity, the true victims have been able to claim no new or increased benefits.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Thumbs down for the plain truth that our tax rates ever grow higher every decade. With a fiat currency, NO TAXES are required -- inflation will tax every one equally, the rich pay more and the poor pay less. Reston, Trice, and Waffler need to learn that taxation is the way the rich monopolize the economy. Stop being foolish -- the government IS corrupt and IS the game of the rich and powerful. They promise us $500 reduction in our annual taxes and steal 30% of our purchasing power and labors! Ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation have protected these vipers. Get smart!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The average tax payer pays more than that because his figures include many that pay no federal taxes. If you throw them out of the mix it goes up a lot. Soon the people that pay no federal tax will exceed 50%. Then there will be no political will to cut taxes ever. Then it will be beyond hope, if it is not already.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I might also add that this could be used as evidence that increasing taxes do not reduce the debt.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Warren you obviously must have slept through the Clinton thingy. He raised taxes (called largest tax raise in history by the Repubs.) and it was given it's 51st vote by none other than the President Pro Tempore of the Senate aka Al Gore. This tax increase led to substantial surpluses and pay downs of the debt in the latter years of Clintons term. Warren Buffet supports Obama's plan. Again this quote says that the average family paid 2% of their earned income while the rate in 1950 was 17.4% and up on taxable income. In order to get the rate down to 2% on "earned income" sufficient deductions for things like dependents and itemized deductions must be taken. Ya think maybe this quote is intended to be misleading and rabble rousing. The Barak plan will put money into the hands of those that will spend it (probably people like you and I) and into the hands of those who will profit from the spending, thus the economy will grow ala Bill Clinton. Warren ignores that the debt got its present growth burst under Reagan and he ignores Chaney's famous "deficits don't matter" approach to National Accounts. The Republican philosophy of the past 20 out of 28 years which has run our national accounts into the ground is DEAD. They call it "conservative", it ain't is BS. (PS: If 50% pay no federal taxes in your view is that not much better than the 2% average of 1950 and the 24% of today (whenever today was in the quote), the point is that this quote is BS and cutting taxes in the current environment is BS.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, from one of your favorite socialists: "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." (Winston Churchill)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    MISSIONS IMPOSSIBLE: It is impossible to pay taxes with dollar bills that the IRS (Imaginary Revenue Scum) said "are not dollars." It is impossible to pay taxes with credit and the Fed said there system "works only with credit." NO ONE wants us to pay taxes, they want us to PLAY taxes or be punished for real. A check sent to the Imaginary Revenue Scum is no more than an authorization for your bank to reduce your credit and thus regulate your consumption.
     -- Anonymous     
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    Warren your statement that a tax increase never results in defcit reduction is disproven by the facts of the last 16 years. Clinton put through what his opponents called the largest tax increase in history, several years later the deficit was not only ended but surpluses in the range of 200 or 300 billion were being booked and forseen for years in the future, sufficient to pay off the national debt. Then Bush came in and cut the taxes and increased the national debt from 5 trillion ot 10 trillion. People like Greenspan and McCain say that the Bush cuts were wrong and guys like Buffet say the rich should be taxed more. Again your statement is completely wrong. When Obama said "enough is enough" I think he was referring to not only all of the erroneous Bush policies but to misinformation like you present. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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     -- RBESRQ      
    The credit based economy, permitting Usury, Oppression upon those At Liberty, is corruption in the highest degree of a nations own children. " Legalized Plunder " resulting from the perversion of the law. ' If the privileged Classes or Socialist Use the Government for " Legalized Plunder " this will encourage the other socio - economic class to also use " Legal Plunder "and that the correct response to Both the Socialist and Corproatists is to Cease All " Legal Plunder. If government powers extend further into philanthropic endeavors, government becomes so limitless that it can grow endlessly. " Bastiat.
    For politicians to speak of reform, reform of socialism, is the dupe of corruption within the Fed central banking industry watching a people run around in circles, trying to find a door out, that does not exist !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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    Robert, Clinton never ended the deficit or created a surplus. That was nothing more than accounting ploy of anticipated future events. Further, after the dot com bubble burst and other Clinton favored policies began to ripen, Clinton left office in a deep recession. Bushes additional anti-fiscal efforts created another inflationary bubble which burst starting another recession. Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin has promoted his economic vision with now almost half the people are out of work with industry leaving at an unprecedented rate. Ron13 above touches on one of the great reasons why the economic degradation and perilous times are ever threatening.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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