Yes, it's completely ridiculous that nearly half of American households pay no federal income tax. This is a large part of the reason why our government is going to hell: a growing proportion of voters have no vested interest in our tax money is spent.
About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization. ...
In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17, according to a separate analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax. ...
The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners -- households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 -- paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.
The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.
This inequality is the core cancer that is eating away at our Republic. Any of these simple proposals would remedy the problem:
- No taxes, no voting. If you are a net recipient of tax dollars rather than a contributor, then you don't get to vote.
- Replace the income tax with a national sales tax.
- Replace the progressive income tax with a flat income tax with few deductions. (This could be implemented via a reduction in the floor for the Alternative Minimum Tax.)
Democracy is great, but remember that it is only a means to an end -- the desired end is liberty. When democracy endangers liberty rather than enhancing it, democracy should give way. That's why we have a republic rather than a pure democracy.
When a majority of the population can vote to themselves the wealth of the minority, the entire system will quickly collapse. We are approaching that tipping point.