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- 65% of voters believe that President Obama has a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans after being reelected last month. That includes 45 percent of the Republicans surveyed as well.
- 64% of voters believe that President Obama also has a mandate top protect programs like Medicare and Social Security during his next term. Considering Senate Republicans are now relying on filibusters of their own proposals related to the “fiscal cliff,” something tells us that Speaker Boehner was probably correct in telling House Republicans not to make holiday plans this year. source
By MICHAEL COOPER
The figure comes from the Tax Policy Center, which found that 46.4 percent of households paid no federal income tax in 2011.
But most households did pay payroll taxes. Of the 18.1 percent of households that paid neither income taxes or payroll taxes, the center found that more than half were elderly and more than a third were not elderly but had income under $20,000. Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, wrote in a blog post last summer that about half of those were off the rolls because they had low incomes.
“For example, 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,” he wrote. “The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.”
A major reason that many poor people no longer pay federal income taxes is the Earned Income Tax Credit, which has long been supported by Republicans. The credit was added to the tax code when Gerald Ford was president, and was expanded by President Reagan in 1986 and by George H.W. Bush.
When President Reagan urged the passage of the 1986 tax overhaul, he said that ”millions of working poor will be completely dropped from the tax roles,” which he said would make the tax overhaul package ”one of the best anti-poverty programs this country has ever seen.”