August 16, 2011
"We’re dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax."

Rick Perry, announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President.

Sorry for letting facts get in the way, Rick, but here goes:

"As the Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams has explained, “a couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax this year because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.’…

Of those households that do not owe income taxes, about a third earn $10,000 a year and a slightly smaller share earn between $10,000 and $20,000. More than three-fourths earn $30,000 or less….

Two-thirds of the households that pay no federal income tax still ante up for payroll taxes. Fewer than one in five — 18 percent of all households — pay neither income nor payroll taxes. Nearly all of these are elderly (10 percent) or have incomes below $20,000 (7 percent.)…

Examining the total tax burden — state, federal and local — Citizens for Tax Justice calculated that the top 1 percent of households (average income, $1.3 million) earned 20.3 percent of income and paid 21.5 percent of taxes in 2010.”

Politicalprof: Boy those non-tax paying lucky-duckies, as the Wall Street Journal once called them. They have it so easy! It’s just so unfair! (Please note the sarcasm.)

From Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post.