A Recent Statistic about Who Pays Income Taxes has been attracting quite a bit of attention lately. The statistic is that 47% of American citizens pay zero income taxes. It makes a compelling figure. But we respectfully disagree:
When You Buy Something in America, some of the money that you pay eventually goes to the Federal government in the form of income taxes. If you cook hamburgers and French fries and sell them through the drive-through at a fast-food restaurant, and you get paid $8.00 an hour, some of your labor that goes into selling that food earns money for your employer and eventually goes to the Federal government as income taxes.
Your Boss Pays These Taxes for You, and his boss pays some of them, too. All of the way up to the CEO of, say, McDonald’s®, who earned more than $17,000,000 last year. Some of the taxes that he paid came out of money that he got as labor from you.
Now if You’re the CEO of McDonald’s® (which company’s last two years have been economically successful, despite the Great Recession and millions of other jobs lost by other entites), you not only can afford to pay your portion of your health-insurance premiums and any deductibles and co-pays; you could also afford to pay your entire medical bills, almost without regard for any preexisting condition or lifetime maximum or disallows. On the other hand, if you’re the guy making that $8.00 per hour, (which comes out to about $16,640 a year), you might find it harder to pay these deductibles and co-pays for yourself, let alone for the rest of your family. Along with housing and food, etc.
But Even with That Low Income, you’re still part of the capitalist American economic engine. And of course you’re still free to go off and invest in a competitive business and sell more or better hamburgers at a lower or better price. And then you, too, can run your own hundred-billion-dollar publicly owned fast-food corporation.
Either Way, You’ll Still Get to Pay Your Fair Share of Taxes.