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Home>UPDATE: This tax cut isn't for the middle class, which only pays 2.5% now

UPDATE: This tax cut isn't for the middle class, which only pays 2.5% now

UPDATE: This tax cut isn't for the middle class, which only pays 2.5% now

09/28/2017

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

Republicans falsely advertising big tax cut for rich as help for struggling workers

Donald Trump and the Republican leaders in Washington have rolled out a plan (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/09/27/republicans-roll-out-tax-cut-plans-for-individuals-and-companies-live-blog/) for another big tax cut, but most Americans wonder why they are bothering with taxes when there are so many other more pressing problems.

There may have been a time, a generation ago, when cutting tax rates was the most popular thing a politician could do. But that day is long gone. I guess you might say Americans are tired of tax cuts, there have been so many.

Today, most Americans aren't clamoring for lower taxes, probably because most of us don't pay very much in federal income taxes. Our tax burden has rarely been lower. The latest data show that the 60% of families in the middle of the income distribution -- those between about $32,000 and about $140,000 -- pay an average of just 2.5% of their income in federal income taxes.

Nearly half of Americans owe no federal income tax at all, but they do pay taxes: payroll taxes to fund Social Security and Medicare, tariffs, excise taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, state and local income taxes, and so on. If they have a problem with taxes, it's not with the federal income tax.

A bill that cuts federal income taxes for middle-class families makes absolutely no sense, except as a sad way of camouflaging the real intent of the bill: Giving millions of dollars to the very wealthy, who happen to be the only people who are really benefiting from our uneven economic growth.

The pollsters at Gallup periodically ask people what they think is the most important problem (http://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx) in America. Taxes don't make the top 10 list; only 2% of Americans mention taxes as a big problem.

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