Not that it would make any difference to fact-averse Republicans, but the Congressional Budget Office (yes, that is really a non-partisan organization, even though the news it reports for some reason often seems to vindicate the Democratic Party) just drove a stake through the heart of the Tea Party, all of its fervid corporate backers, and even its erstwhile opportunistic hangers-on:
Americans paid the lowest tax rates in 30 years to the federal government in 2009, due in part to tax cuts sought by President Obama to combat the Great Recession, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.The article notes that while part of the drop in tax rates was due to decreased income for some (and even the most rabid Tea Partiers would have to do backwards somersaults to attribute this to Obama as of 2009), the predominant reasons for the drop were the tax credits such as the "Making Work Pay' program which the Democrats passed during their majority as part of the fiscal stimulus.
The tax burden — which includes all forms of federal levies, including income, payroll and corporate taxes — lightened for households across the board, thanks in part to Obama’s signature “Making Work Pay” tax credit and other tax cuts passed as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package, the CBO said.The Making Work Pay provision credited working Americans $400.00 (married couples $800.00) and was one of the cornerstones of President Obama's economic recovery plan.
While the wisdom of some of these cuts will be debated or derided for years to come (and rightly so) the net effect of them was such that
at the very moment anti-tax protesters were emerging as the most powerful force in American politics, handing Republicans landslide control of the U.S. House, the data show that people were sending the smallest portion of their income to the federal government since 1979.In light of such data, one might well wonder if some motivation other than taxes was driving the Tea Party in their zeal. Because if there was no other motivation, the only possible conclusion would be that the Tea Party was comprised largely of illiterate fools.
The Wall Street Journal, understandably horrified, frantically points out
But the average tax rate for the top 1%—those with average incomes of about $1.2 million—rose to 28.9% from 28.1% a year earlier...However even the Wall Street Journal admits that this mind-boggling .8% "increase" is due to lessened capital gains. Because when the Bush Economy, you know...tanked, it took the stock market along with it. So selling your million dollar portfolio during that time frame may not have been a wise move.
The article notes that this reduction in the tax burden has largely continued throughout the entire tenure of President Obama's Presidency:
Although detailed data are available only through 2009, the CBO said more recent estimates suggest that effective tax rates remained at historically low levels in 2010 and 2011.In sum, the data thus far show that taxes have been lower under Obama than under Bush, Clinton, Bush I and Reagan.
“However much Republicans try to perpetuate false claims, the facts speak for themselves: Tax rates have never been lower than under President Obama,” said Rep. Sander M. Levin (Mich.), the senior Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.You can donate to President Obama's re-election campaign here.