Fact Check Of Obama’s ‘Fair Share’ Argument Against Wealthy Simply Doesn’t Add Up

Clearly the tax code needs to be reformed, because there is so much uncertainty for individuals and corporations when it comes to paying federal taxes. But according to Stephen Ohlemacher at the Associated Press, President Obama’s “fair share” argument against the wealthy and his emphasis on the “Buffett Rule” simply do not add up:

President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries.

The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social Security payroll taxes.

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