Who really pays federal income taxes, and who doesn’t?

Mitt Romney got in trouble for saying that 47% of the country doesn’t pay income taxes. He was right, but that didn’t seem to matter. And when the Left tries to “debunk” this, they have to start out by saying that Romney was basically right!

Universities, once the bastions of free speech, are now having to be told to respect free speech. It’s as though the Leftists that make up the majority of academia never really wanted that.

Assisted suicide for a bad case of ringing in the ears? Yes, that’s what it’s come to over in the Netherlands.

Mentioned links:

New poll shows what Americans really think about taxes: the rich should pay more

Is it true that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes?

Universities told they must protect freedom of speech

Netherlands Now Euthanizes Alcoholics and the Mentally Ill

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Show transcript

Matthew Yglesias, writing over at the Vox website, does a bit of Vox-splaining about taxes. He covers a recent Pew Research poll that asked Americans various questions about the tax system. The questions were a set of statements and the respondents were asked if the statement bothered them a lot, some, not too much, or not at all. The statements were:

  • Some corporations don’t pay their fair share.
  • Some wealthy people don’t pay their fair share.
  • The complexity of the tax system.
  • The amount you pay in taxes.
  • Some poor people don’t pay their fair share.

The immediate question I always have for folks that say that corporations or the rich don’t pay their fair share is; what exactly is their fair share? And saying “more than what they’re paying now” isn’t an answer.

They also don’t address the issue of “fair share” from the other end. When almost 50% of the country pays no federal income tax, what definition of “fair” works for both ends of the spectrum? Yes, there are those that should indeed have a $0 tax bill, even a negative one with the Earned Income Credit. But half the country? What’s the highest income in that group? I’m asking because I can’t find it. I can find out the IRS rules about what income doesn’t require you to file taxes, but I doubt that half the country is making less than $12,000 a year. But all I can find is generalizations that it’s the poor and the elderly. I agree that they probably make up a lot of it, but … half the country?

Vox also has a page where they supposedly debunk the idea that 47% of the country pays no taxes. First of all, these percentages have always referred to those who pay no federal income tax. It does not refer to those who might pay no taxes of any kind at all. In today’s world, you can’t truly avoid all taxes. When Mitt Romney got recorded talking about that percentage during his Presidential campaign, he was referring to federal income taxes. In a Presidential race, the issue of state and local taxes is not brought up because that’s not a federal issue. But, as many other websites have a tendency to do on this issue, they create a straw man – the idea that this 40-something percent of people pay no taxes at all – and knock it down instead. In fact, in the Vox-splanation, they first have to acknowledge that, yes, the number is essentially true. Their number is 43%, but depending on who you ask, the number can be closer to the 50% mark. What they then do is say, well, 2/3rds of that group still pay payroll taxes. But again, that’s not what people are claiming.

In order to make their case, the Left refuses to define what fair is, or redefine it at a whim, and, in trying to disparage the facts, have to set up a straw man just to knock him down with a feather. They will not debate fairly, which says all you need to hear regarding how they can defend their ideas. They can’t.

From The Times of London, comes this sign of the times.

Jo Johnson, minister for higher education, has written to universities saying that they will be compelled to include a clear commitment to freedom of speech in their governance documents to counter the culture of censorship and so-called safe spaces.

Universities, which were the bastions of free speech, now have to be told to respect it. The counter-culture of the 60s featured liberals protesting, and calling it free speech, which it was. Now that those liberals run academia, well, turns out that it wasn’t “free speech” that they wanted. What they really wanted was their speech, to the exclusion of all others.

William F. Buckley, Jr. said it best, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” And here’s another from Archbishop Charles Chaput, “Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it tries to silence good.” No, no, I’m not saying all liberals are evil. What I am saying is that, if someone does this – preaching tolerance until they are in a position to silence the other side, whatever that side might be – then they are evil.

In 2002, the Netherlands legalized euthanasia for those with “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement.” Since then, the country has expanded the right to die to more and more people including children and the mentally ill, and more recently, at least one “hopeless alcoholic.”

Definitely look at the link in the show notes, where David Thornton, writing at The Resurgent, lists many others for whom government-approved suicide has followed the slippery slope that was so easy to predict. The mentally ill, PTSD victims, and even someone with a serious case of ringing in the ears are now taking “advantage”, so to speak, of this program.

Be more like Europe, they said. It’s so much more modern and uninhibited, they said.

Theo Boer, a Dutch ethicist who changed his mind on euthanasia after seeing the increase in killings, said, “Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as a normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.”

Genie? More like the Angel of Death.

Filed under: Economics & TaxesEducationFree SpeechGovernmentHealth Care