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Biden’s Own IRS Debunks His Class-Warfare Tax Myths

Posted on Friday, February 24, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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21 Comments

Joe Biden’s name has never been synonymous with factual accuracy or intellectual integrity. True to form, his 2023 State of the Union address pitched an exhaustive wish list employing a class-envy predicate that the U.S. income tax system “is not fair”:  

And we pay for these investments in our future by finally making the wealthiest and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share. Just begin. Look, I’m a capitalist. I’m a capitalist. But pay your fair share. I think a lot of you at home, a lot of you at home agree with me and many people that you know: The tax system is not fair. It’s not fair…  

Let’s finish the job and close the loopholes that allow the very wealthy to avoid paying their taxes. You know, there’s a thousand billionaires in America, it’s up from about 600 at the beginning of my term, but no billionaire should be paying a lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter. No, I mean it. Think about it.  

Ignore for a moment the absurdity of a man who spent his entire career in government insisting upon his capitalist bona fides.  

Had Biden thought about it as he implored others to do, he would’ve rethought those claims.  

The latest data from Biden’s own Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shows the shocking degree to which the portion of income taxes paid by wealthier Americans actually dwarfs their corresponding portion of the nation’s income.  

First, let’s address Biden’s suggestion that wealthier Americans don’t pay their “fair share.”  

For the 2020 tax year, the latest available, the top 1% (incomes of $548,336 and above) earned 22.2% of the nation’s income. Their share of the nation’s total income taxes paid, however, was 42.3% – nearly twice as high.  

If paying an income tax share twice as high as one’s income share isn’t “fair,” then what might Biden consider fair? Three times their income portion? Four times?  

One needn’t oppose a progressive income tax to begin asking such questions.  

Moving on to the top 5% (incomes of $220,521 and above), they earned 38.1% of the nation’s income in 2020. They paid a whopping 62.7% of the nation’s income taxes, however. Accordingly, they’re paying almost two-thirds of all income taxes, yet their share of income remains barely above one-third.  

Moving up to the top 10% (incomes of $152,321 and above), they earned 49.5% of the nation’s income, so nearly half. Their share of the nation’s income taxes, however, was 73.7% – almost three-fourths.  

Meanwhile, the top 25% (incomes of $85,853 and above) bracket earned 70.7% of the nation’s income, but paid 88.5% of U.S. income taxes.  

As for the top 50% (incomes of $42,184 and above), they earned 89.8% of the nation’s income, while paying 97.7% of income taxes.  

As for the bottom 50% of Americans (incomes under $42,184), they earned 10.2% of total income, while paying one-fifth that share in total income taxes – 2.3%.  

Accordingly, the share of income taxes paid by Americans in higher income brackets exceeds or even dwarfs the share of income they earned.  

Second, let’s address Biden’s claim that billionaires pay lower tax rates than school teachers or firefighters.  

According to the IRS, the top 1% paid an average tax rate of 26.0%, while the top 5% paid an average rate of 22.4%. The top 10% of income earners paid an average rate of 20.3%, and the top 25% paid an average rate of 17.1%. The average rate paid by the top 50% was 14.8%, while the bottom half paid an average rate of just 3.1%. The average rate for all taxpayers was 13.6%.  

Accordingly, Biden’s claim that billionaires somehow pay lower rates than working class doesn’t match reality.  

Additionally, it’s important to note that the top 1% paid a higher share of the nation’s income taxes in 2020 than they did in 2017, before taxes were cut under former President Trump.  

Whether Biden’s misstatements are attributable to dishonesty or ignorance is open to debate. In terms of casting domestic fiscal policy, however, what’s less subject to debate is whether wealthier Americans pay their “fair share.”  

Biden’s own IRS makes that crystal clear.  

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Stephanie Sinclair
Stephanie Sinclair
1 year ago

This story needs to be put on Facebook so it can be shared. As a tax practitioner I have been saying this for years but no one believed me!

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Excellent article.
Put this out to everybody.

grumpy old woman
grumpy old woman
1 year ago

Income taxes punish those willing to work and is inherently un-fair. What we need is a national sales tax of 5% on all finished goods except food and fuel. That way everybody pays the amount equivalent to their personal circumstances. Millionaires and billionaires would pay much more than someone working unskilled jobs because they spend more.

The true root of the national debt is the unrestrained spending and the just giving away of our money. The Billions given to Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable and needs to end. The government spends far too much and most of what they spend is either a payoff or just totally wasted. Washington never met a dollar they didn’t want to steal or waste, give them one dollar and they will squander 10.

CountryBoy
CountryBoy
1 year ago

And here is a map of who is getting audited the Most and Least…
projects.propublica.org/graphics/eitc-audit

NOTICE WHO is barely getting Audited at all….

Mark Sobotka
Mark Sobotka
1 year ago

The political idiots in Washington have created this mess. They keep messing with the brackets and rates within the brackets. Yet they’ve created the “loopholes” for their friends to avoid paying taxes on income. If there were really serious about being fair they’d start closing the loopholes. The unfairness is coming directly from Congress and the IRS. If the loopholes were closed the percentage rate could most likely be lowered and still raise more revenue. Few loopholes mean a simpler tax system and tax return. There’s no reason why a typical middle class tax return has to be over 50 pages. Probably would piss off a lot of tax preparers. Personally, I’d like a flat tax or a national sales tax that’s included in the price of the item, not added on at the time of purchase. But I think a fair compromise while still having a progressive income tax is to close the loopholes.

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

At 75 years old, I still have to work! I spent over 43 years working in print advertising sales with small independent publishers on a straight commission basis. I NEVER made more than 30k/yr and just “survived” each year. When print advertising died, i lived for a year and a half in my car until finding my current job. Now I work 6 days a week/ 9 months a year and made double my previous best year ever and love working! And none of it is because I received any help from the Federal Government either! I’m sure I’ll be working for as long as I can handle it healthwise and now I have to fear Jackass Joe Biden’s policies that are going to target people’s savings accounts.! And if so, expect an uprising by the People and that’s the main reason the Commies want to take the citizen’s rights to own guns away. So beware People, and stay vigilant and prepared!

Word of Truth
Word of Truth
1 year ago

Somebody wrote these lies into Biden’s speech. These lies were premeditated for Slow Joe to read.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 year ago

If only we paid taxes each month with the same attitudes we do oaying the monthly bills. What amazes me is how ppl will ask “how much did you get?” like you won a prize from the lottery when all you’re getting is some of your own money BACK!

Stephen Eldridge
Stephen Eldridge
1 year ago

I think the report of the lower half paying 3% of all the Individual FIT is misleading because that is BEFORE subtracting Refundable Tax Credits which results in the bottom half RECEIVING net “refunds” of tax paid in by OTHERS if $150B a year.

Donna
Donna
1 year ago

The term”fair share” brings to mind the book, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, 1957. All 1,168 pages are worth the read.

Joanne 4 justice
Joanne 4 justice
1 year ago

Let’s look at the facts, Biden administration is the WORST EVER in history of the USA.

John
John
1 year ago

It is funny how there was a big stew over Trump releasing his tax returns and now that he did I hear crickets from the left. Maybe they can’t read a return and understand it as they are so stupid.

Paul
Paul
1 year ago

Taxes will never be “fair”. As No one can define fair. The totally lost people in congress have no clue. All of them came to government poor and have gotten richer having no business nor working other jobs. How is that possible?All congress talks about is spending other people’s money and making themselves richer.The only way out of this is term limits for everyone. 3 terms house 2 for senate. This would give them no pension as not 20yr in government employment.

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