How many Americans pay their so-called “fair share” of federal income tax?

Not many.

According to MarketWatch, 45% of Americans pay no federal income tax at all.

An estimated 45.3% of American households — roughly 77.5 million — will pay no federal individual income tax, according to data for the 2015 tax year from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington-based research group. (Note that this does not necessarily mean they won’t owe their states income tax.) Roughly half pay no federal income tax because they have no taxable income, and the other roughly half get enough tax breaks to erase their tax liability, explains Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

On average, those in the bottom 40% of the income spectrum end up getting money from the government. Meanwhile, the richest 20% of Americans, by far, pay the most in income taxes, forking over nearly 87% of all the income tax collected by Uncle Sam. The top 1% of Americans, who have an average income of more than $2.1 million, pay 43.6% of all the federal individual income tax in the U.S.; the top 0.1% — just 115,000 households, whose average income is more than $9.4 million — pay more than 20% of it.

This is absolutely absurd. Equal treatment under the law means equal taxation under the law… there is no excuse for the government to be manipulating the tax code to pick winners and losers. The only truly fair tax is a flat tax.

 

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