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Lies, Damned Lies and Dennis Rehberg

I’m getting pretty sick of the recent Republican canard that half of Americans pay no taxes. This statement falls nicely into the 19th century adage that there are three kinds of falsehoods, “lies, damned lies and statistics“. Of course it’s false that a large number of Americans pay no taxes. Darrel over at fayfreethinkers.com has done a very nice job of pulling together the facts and figures to give lie to this current Republican Damned Lie. Here are a couple of my favorites;

From the excessively conservative Heritage Foundation, we find that payroll taxes make up the same percentage of federal tax revenues as do income taxes.

And second, here’s a good chart that shows just who those are that don’t pay income taxes. 28% pay payroll taxes. Another 10% are elderly living on social security and/or meager pensions and 7% make under $20,000 per year. That makes them poor in just about anybodys book.

Of the remaining 1% of non-income tax payers let’s remember that number includes the 1,470 millionaires and billionaires who payed zero income tax in 2009.

Somebody print out this post and send it to our Congressional Representative. Dennis Rehberg is that cash poor and struggling millionaire congressman from Billings. He is the same one who thinks that we need to reduce the taxes on millionaires, do away with Pell Grants and increase tax breaks for corporations. Or, maybe we should all pay a flat tax, at a tax rate somewhat lower than he pays currently on his generous salary.

I realize that all politicians like to quote hand-picked statistics and meaningless poll results, but sometimes it just gets under my skin when they keep repeating falsehoods that even they know are Damned Lies.

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