One of the many Republican lies is that President Obama has raised your taxes. Other than for a miniscule sliver of top-salaried Americans, the opposite is true — President Obama has lowered a number of taxes, and today, Tax Day, most Americans enjoy some of the lowest federal income taxes of their lifetimes.
Indeed, last January, to the consternation of many progressives and others who know arithmetic, President Obama helped make George W. Bush‘s budget-busting tax cuts permanent for 99 percent of American taxpayers. As a result, federal taxes are the lowest they’ve been in approximately 60 years. Our top federal tax rate is 39.6 percent, and it only kicks in as to income over $400,000 (for individuals; $450,000 for couples). All those folks making $250,000, $400,000, $1 million or even $1 billion still get the Bush/Obama tax cuts on their income up to the first $400,000. Americans also got a two-year cut to their Social Security “payroll” taxes under President Obama.
Moreover, don’t fool yourself that the wealthiest Americans pay those top tax rates. They’ve arranged all kinds of tax breaks for themselves, including a 15 percent capital gains tax rate (that’s where much of their money comes from each year), carried interest tax breaks, stashing money in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and more. Willard Mitt Romney is a perfect example of someone taking advantage of many of these breaks and loopholes; as a result, he’s been paying less than 15 percent in federal taxes on his annual millions.
And you can ignore that other Republican myth about America having high corporate taxes. In reality, many big, profitable corporations pay no taxes at all. That’s in part because they, like the wealthy individuals mentioned above, hire teams of lobbyists to buy off Congressmen and Senators (and sometimes Presidents) into giving them tax breaks so they can offshore their profits, rely on cheap, unregulated foreign sweatshop labor, etc.
So folks can enjoy all that extra money in their pockets that isn’t helping to support their country. They just shouldn’t lie to themselves or to others that somehow President Obama is taking it from them.
[Originally published at Messaging Matters]