Senate Democrats

Taxes by the Numbers

Thousands of protesters have descended on Capitol Hill today to protest what they believe to be  an excessively-burdensome tax system. But, as Sam Stein of the Huffington Post asks, "Does their anger reflect the truth about today’s tax rates?" A look at the numbers under the Bush and Obama Administrations paints a much different picture than the one most protesters presume to be true.  

Democrats:  On the Side of Middle-Class Americans

98 percent – The percentage of all working families and individuals in America who got a tax cut in 2009 thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [Citizens for Tax Justice, 4/13/10]

$3,000 – The record average tax refund taxpayers are seeing this tax season thanks to the tax cuts in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [White House, 4/12/10]

40 million – The number of American families with incomes up to $88,000 (for a family of four) that will receive a tax credit to help pay for health care coverage in the exchange, thanks to health insurance reform. [House Majority Leader Hoyer, 4/12/10]

Republicans:  On the Side of the Wealthy

$120,000 – The average amount that the richest 0.3 percent of households with incomes above $1 million received in 2007 from the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts [CBPP, 5/9/08]  (To put this number in context, sending your child to a private college for 4 years costs, on average, $105,000 in tuition and fees alone. [College Board, 2010])

$46 million – Average tax cut per filer received by the 400 wealthiest taxpayers in the entire country in 2007. [CBPP, 2/23/10]  (To put this number in context, a person earning $50,300 per year, or the median income in the U.S., would have to work 914 years to earn as much. [US Census data for 2008])

$18 billion – Total tax cuts for the 400 richest households in the U.S. in 2007. [CBPP,2/23/10]  (To put this number in context, $18 billion is the economic output of the entire nation of Bolivia. [CIA World Factbook])

2 percent – The percent of total benefits of the capital gains and dividend rate reductions in 2010 that went to the middle 20 percent of taxpayers, compared to 89 percent of the total benefits that went to the wealthiest 20 percent of taxpayers and 58 percent to the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers. [CBPP, 8/7/08]

– Number of years President Bush took to turn the budget surplus he inherited from President Clinton into a budget deficit. [OMB Data]