Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They Just Have It Too Darned Easy

Why do Republicans hate the troops?

In August, Mark Howard compiled a list of complaints of prominent Republicans apoplectic about the IRS code allowing approximately 47% of their fellow Americans not to pay any federal income taxes. Here they are:

  • Rick Perry (R-TX): We’re dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax.
  • Michele Bachmann (R-MN): A system in which 47 percent of Americans don’t pay any tax is ruinous for a democracy.
  • Sarah Palin (R-AK): The problem is more than 40 percent pay no income taxes at all.
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT): 51 percent don’t pay anything.
  • Jim DeMint (R-SC): Over half of Americans pay no federal income tax.
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY): In fact, about half of Americans don’t pay any income taxes at all.
  • John Boehner (R-OH): Fifty-one percent — that is, a majority of American households — paid no income tax in 2009. Zero. Zip. Nada.
  • Eric Cantor (R-MD): We also have a situation in this country where you’re nearing 50 percent of people who don’t even pay income taxes.
  • Alan West (R-FL): Currently we have some 40-45 percent of Americans who are not paying any taxes.
Of course, the vast majority of Americans- at least 90%, as of 2009- do pay other federal taxes, whether payroll, excise (including, but not limited to, gas), or others. And even the other 10% end up paying various state and local taxes, especially sales, income, and property.

Though aghast that so many middle income Americans do not pay federal income taxes, Republicans have been silent about repealing the earned income tax credit or the child care tax credit. Nor have they suggested that elderly people cough up some bucks from the IRS. Better to be vague and hope your followers imagine that you're talking about the shiftless and lazy, drug addicts, and illegal Mexican immigrants.

Among those exempted from the federal income tax are citizens who work abroad and earn less than $91,400 (as of 2009). That would include virtually everyone deployed abroad by the U.S. government, including soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a travesty, (many) Republicans apparently believe, that these parasites have "no skin in the game," as they often put it.

So, let's review. The GOP wants families earning less than $20,000 (which comprise 75% of the freeloaders), single women with children, elderly people, and soldiers to stop glomming off the backs of oil industry executives and hedge fund managers. Sounds like a winning formula.

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