Low taxes, high deficits = conservative dream

Back To The 50s

by digby

I realize that facts are irrelevant to this faith based argument but this should give at least a moments pause to even the heartiest tea partier:

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending,counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future," he says.

Individual tax rates vary widely based on how much a taxpayer earns, where the person lives and other factors. On average, though, the tax rate paid by all Americans — rich and poor, combined — has fallen 26% since the recession began in 2007.

You would think this news would come as a big relief to the tea partiers who seem to think they are enduring the suffering of Jesus under the tax burden. But it won't. The anti-tax sentiment among middle and working class people actually means "stop giving my money to people I don't like" (and among the Peterson level deficit fetishists, it's "taxes are for the little people.") Neither of those sentiments are actually related to the deficit, but the deficit is a lovely excuse for such selfishness.

The deficit scolds and the anti-tax zealots who wring their hands over their grandchildren's debt are all unwilling to pitch in for that debt and help pay it down today. Apparently, the only acceptable way to help their grandkids is to make their kids suffer in their old age. They call this family values.