In 2009, roughly 47% of households, or 71 million, will not owe any federal income tax, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Some in that group will even get additional money from the government because they qualify for refundable tax breaks.
There are a couple of charts over there you should see, so go have a look. There’s 2 things about this article that really get me. First off, I don’t believe anyone living in the United States and, therefore, benefiting from the services provided by the federal government should be allowed to pay no income taxes. Everyone should pay something.
Secondly, and this is addressed briefly at TaxProf, when the situation we have is that the burden of federal spending is borne by only a portion of the population what is the incentive of those 47% of households to demand that government live within its means? It’s easy to suggest that some nebulous “they” should be taxed more when you know for sure that “they” doesn’t include you. Since 1970, federal spending has outpaced median household income by a factor of 7.
As Glenn Reynolds implied in his link to TaxProf, when you’ve got skin in the game – meaning when you’re actually paying taxes – you become concerned with how the game is played. Everyone should be putting something into the treasury if anyone is.