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Is The Middle Class Really Carrying The Tax Burden? A Contrarian View On "No Shared Sacrifice"

Tyler Durden's picture


There has been much discussion lately about whether the US middle class is being unfairly penalized and carrying the burden of a tax regime that benefits the uber-wealthy. While that may certainly be the case on some statistical basis, especially if a literal handful of people account for the bulk of the income, thus skewing the median and the mean representation (a topic extensively analyzed in Nassim Taleb's Black Swan), below we present two charts that come straight from the IRS which show that talk of "no shared sacrifice" is largely unfounded. The first chart looks at the effective tax rate by income cohort; the second, and far more dramatic hockeystick chart, demonstrates the number of people paying no income tax. The results are, to say the least, quite surprising.

First, effective tax rate by income bucket:

Second, and even more surprising, the percentage of filers paying no income tax.

Charts courtesy of John Poehling


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Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:06 | 1432507 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Still though, it serves the purposes of divide and conquer well.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:08 | 1432514 Clueless Economist
Clueless Economist's picture

Did anyone catch Becky Quick's aggressive questioning of Warren Buffett on CNBS between the girl in her pajamas studying for a MBA and Bill Schaefer made a financial gain with his invention commercials?

Her pointed queries had the old SOB sputtering and hacking evasive denials.  My favorite was Becky's probing request to know how Warren feels about investing so successfully during the financial meltdown.  Priceless!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:31 | 1432628 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I saw that interview as well. And after a few moments of confusion that Becky would actually ask Uncle Warren questions and then follow up with more I realised that it's that time of the year again for Becky.

Becky conducts one interview a year with Uncle Warren where she asks sharp questions to rebuild her "credibility", then lays off the old senile coot for the rest of the fiscal year. Remember, Uncle Warren's 'year' runs from July 1 to June 30th.......just like any other self respecting corporation. :>) 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:54 | 1433028 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

George Bush is widely considered a president who catered to the American plutocrats. Under the George Bush tax cuts, the upper income earners were taxed at 35%. After 10 years of these cuts, this Reagan-esque trickle down ideology as been proven to be a total failure. 

If the tax cuts were to expire, and Obama didn't renew them, the tax rate would increase to 39%.   

According to American right wing idiots and fear mongers, this 4% is the difference between capitalism and socialism, and proves that Obama is the incarnation of Hitler, Marx and all the famous villains in history. 


-Max Fischer, Civis Mundi


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:20 | 1433126 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

You're right. For a decade we have only heard how wrong headed the Bush tax cuts were - pure give away to the evil rich. Accordingly, ALL of the Bush tax cuts should be let to expire.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:11 | 1433584 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

by Max Fischer on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:54 #1433028

George Bush is widely considered a president who catered to the American plutocrats. Under the George Bush tax cuts, the upper income earners were taxed at 35%. After 10 years of these cuts, this Reagan-esque trickle down ideology as been proven to be a total failure. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

HOW do you figure that Max?

Sheer Madness, Max (no pun intended)


The question is:  How much should each group (percentile of taxpayers) pay in taxes?


(The following is source from IRS web site and 2008 is the latest year for their published data. After all, they are a government entity.)

Total income tax share (percentage): year; 2008


-- % taxpayers --   -- Pays ----------------

   Top 0.1 ........... 18.47   percent of all Fed Income Tax  
   Top 1 .............. 38.02   percent of all Fed Income Tax  
   Top 5 .............. 58.72   percent of all Fed Income Tax
   Top 10 ............ 69.94   percent of all Fed Income Tax
   Top 25 ............ 86.34   percent of all Fed Income Tax
   Top 50 ............ 97.30   percent of all Fed Income Tax

-  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -  - - -

Just what SHOULD this distribution look like Max?




Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:39 | 1433713 goldenrod
goldenrod's picture

Top 5% have a disproportionately high share of the income.  Naturally they pay a larger share of the income taxes.  Also, let us look at the total tax burden; not just the federal income taxes.  When you factor in the highly regressive SS and Medicare tax, state income taxes and sales and property taxes the picture looks different.  The low income people are taxed at a much higher rate than the high income people.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:14 | 1433864 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

No. Federal income taxes fund general govt spending.  FICA taxes were established to fund specific benefits (Soc Sec & Medicare) for the relatively equal benefit of ALL citizens (understanding the class warfare movement to make them "means tested" - code word for welfare for the elderly -- more dependency agenda business).

Those who make 20% of the total income pay 37% of all federal income taxes.  Those who make 47% of total income pay ZERO federal income taxes. Do not see clear rationale on why that gap should be wider.

Wash DC has no power over state taxes -- suggest you change your state legislature if you do not like your state taxes or move to another state. Some states punish success less than others.  


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:28 | 1434218 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

FICA taxes were established to fund specific benefits (Soc Sec & Medicare) for the relatively equal benefit of ALL citizens

Yeah, but they're not USED that way.  FICA taxes have been treated as general revenue for decades and used for (among other things) wars and income tax cuts.

Federal income taxes fund general govt spending.

With such an assertion, you're pushing a total falsehood.  Spin's annoying, but outright lying actually *contradicts* the argument you're trying to make.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:05 | 1433836 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

The top 1% make ~25% of all income in the United States.

~80% of all income increases since 1980 have gone to the top 1% in America. 

These inequities in American income rival banana republics like Guyana. 

So if the rich pay a disproportionate amount of taxes compared to the poor and down-trodden, WTF do you expect?

- Max Fischer, Civis Mundi


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:47 | 1434031 mraptor
mraptor's picture

The taxes should be as small as possible for everybody, even the rich ones... the problem is not with the tax cuts, the problem is with the spending !! Spending others people money on other people is the problem.

Any person can better decide how to spend his money than the gov., simple common sense...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:33 | 1432631 eisley79
eisley79's picture

my lord, Americans pay no tax.  If the US just straight adopted the Canadian tax system, you would instantly have like a 10 Trillion dollar budget surplus lol.


But those brackets are pretty wide.  The people that get the most hammered in any Western tax system are the upper middle class.  Rich enough to hit the high tax brackets, not rich enough to use tricks to pay no taxes. 


The ueber rich do not pay anything close to those tax rates at the end of it all.  Go for a flat tax, 15% tax period(well in Canada, US one looks like it would only need to be around 7-8% LOL), no write offs, IRS, or tax rules.  Set the minimum to be taxed at the poverty line, and everyone is paying the same thing.  Total tax revenue would go up, and equality would be reached, while lowering the taxes for the vast majority of tax payers.


That's if you are going to have an income tax, which, is another debate altogether.  My last comment on that, Companys should be paying for the right to sell to a countries consumers, and imports for the right to import into it.  People should not have to pay for the right to earn money, nor pay for the right to buy something.....

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:43 | 1432693 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Think of all the poor lobbyists and tax preparation firms you would put out of business!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:00 | 1432792 Sgt.Sausage
Sgt.Sausage's picture

==> my lord, Americans pay no tax

That is, but an illusion, and what they'd like you to think. The rest of us Americans have a word for it: Bullshit!

What you are looking at are Federal Income Tax rates - extrapolated to "Effective" tax rates.

In addition to the Federal Income Tax (mine's at 33%, marginal), we have both the Social Security and Medicare taxes. I'm self-employed, so I pay both the employer and the employee's share. A total of just north of 15% of income below $105,000 (ish). In addition to that, I pay my State's department of taxation 7.5% (marginal) and my municipality an additional 2.3%.  On top of that there's the FUTA tax (Federal unemployment) and SUTA (State unemployment).


That's *before* we get into the County/School-district taxes, which are based on property/real-estate values, but for me they equate to an additional 4.3% ( depends on year and property values) of my annual income.

Add to that a sales tax of 7.5% in my area on everything you buy except food.

Throw in $0.54 - 54 cents on every gallon of gas "Road Tax".

Add $3 bucks a pack for every pack of cigarettes "Sin Tax" - part of that goes to my State, part to the Federal Govt.

Everything else is taxed to hell and back too. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) taxes on my phone, cable, and internet bills. PUC (Public Utilities Commission) taxes on my electric, water,  and heat/gas bills). FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) taxes on airline flights. Local, County, and State "Inn Taxes" on every night in a hotel. It goes on, and on, and on.

Then, if by some extraodinary diligence and luck, you manage to hold on to anything you have left - if you invest it and it <gasp> makes any money, then that is also taxed at anywhere from 15% (qualified long-term cap gains tax) all the way up to your marginal income tax rate (in my case, 33%).  

You are not seeing the complete picture with the above charts.

Even those filers who pay "no tax" as described above - in this context that means they pay "no INCOME tax". They pay a metric ass-load of the above taxes just living day-to-day.


Tell me again that we Americans pay no tax. Last year I paid $62,500 in taxes across all of the above. This year, because my income is down (hazards of being self-employed) I will pay just under $40,000 in the above taxes.


==> Rich enough to hit the high tax brackets, not rich enough to use tricks to pay no taxes.


Story of my life.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:23 | 1432898 JR
JR's picture


This, Sgt.Sausage, is the true story of America’s welfare state – the transfer of money from the producers to the non-producers.  Thanks for taking the time to provide these sad details. Government statistics lie when they engage the sins of omission. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:32 | 1433169 luhar
luhar's picture

Sgt Sausage did note that even the poor are taxed up the ass, read his entire post.  the "non-producers" you refer to are people who work at the lowest levels in our society, the folks that help you pick out clothes at the department store and ring it up, the folks at the fast food joints, cab drivers, bus drivers, beer vendors at ballparks etc.  To refer to them as non-producers is kind of idiotic, they are an essential part of the system.  Without them, the wealthy would have to do a lot on their own, imagine what a drag that would be!

Also, has anyone considered that the reason the % increase of folks that are paying no Fed income tax is because there are way more folks now than ever before that fall below the bottom tax bracket because they dont get paid shit???

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:46 | 1433236 JR
JR's picture

Why would one assume that the term "non-producers" refers to people who are working, earning and paying their way?

There is such a thing in a welfare state as a huge population of persons not earning and working and paying their way.  Example:

According to Illegal Immigration Statistics: 51% of Mexican immigrant households use at least one major welfare program; 28% use more than one.

According to Dr. Gianni DeVincent Hayes, writing in 2005, 31% of Mexican housewives are on welfare, costing nearly $70 billion in social services for them, and over 42% of all Mexicans here – nearly half – are on assistance.

According to Dr. Madeleine Cosman, free medical care to illegals between 1993 and 2003 closed 60 hospitals in California due to more than 50% of unpaid services, and another 24 California hospitals closed in 2004… Anchor babies born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income and Disability Income.

A study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration now costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year, with the lion’s share of the cost paid by the states. The report, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers, is the most comprehensive analysis of how much the estimated 13 million illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children cost federal, state and local governments…

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:23 | 1433920 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Well... If the Mexican house wife raises her kids properly, and looks after her husband, who is working in the fields for 10+ hours in harvest season I don't think that is unproductive.  Any way, the problem here is not just of generalizations.  It is also a problem of who is to blame. 

I think this is a classic case of Divide and Conquer, to be honest.  There are any number of ways the problems could have been mediated, proper immigration controls, proper exportation procedures, free medical care certainly could have changed, so that you get the care, and a trip back to Mexico.   But no.  It was in the interests of certain groups to fracture the American populace, and immigration esp. rampant uncontrolled immigration from one specific region is an age-old way of doing so.

Tue, 07/12/2011 - 22:49 | 1450362 luhar
luhar's picture

Sorry, been away for a week.  Okay, thanks for clarifying non-producers.  So my arguement back to you would then be, what are all these illegals doing here anyway?  Why do they come here and who the fuck is hiring them and paying them in cash (so we collect no tax rev from them) and not providing them healthcare (so we pick up that tab also) .  I nor any of my middle class friends hire illegals, so who does?  I think you are on to something. 

Not only do the uber-wealthy encourage these illegals to come here by offering them jobs, they drop them on us to pick up the tab on all other services! 

Simple solution:  Hiring illegals should be classified as treason as you have conspired against your country.  Minimum penalty for treason is 5 years, 10k fine; maximum penalty is (of course) death.

Mon, 07/18/2011 - 23:10 | 1468997 eisley79
eisley79's picture

no doubt there are lots of taxes in America, you are still missing the point

whatever you pay at the end of it all, Canada pays Double, and Europe pays triple.  US taxes are impressively low across the board, income, sales, gas, 'sin', you name it

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:26 | 1432900 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Don't forget the progressive pseudo-taxes: "parents too rich for student aid" tax, out of state tuition tax, you don't qualify for free school meals tax, concealed carry tax to exercise your 2nd amendment right to bear arms, annual tax to operate (own) motor vehicles, and of course the ultimate insult to the thrifty yet duly departed, the estate tax.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:32 | 1432944 blueRidgeBoy
blueRidgeBoy's picture

nice work, SGT.  Story of my life, too.  The Marxists that infest ZH will surely claim that it's only fair that producers pay so much, and that the rest pay so little (or not at all).  But the IRS data (and our own experiences) clearly show that the federal tax system has become more progressive, not less, over the past 10 years.  It galls me that almost half of all Americans pay nothing for the support and maintenance of their federal government.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:10 | 1433319 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

SGT just got through showing that we have a flat tax on everything except income, and you think taxes are getting progressive?  You choose to buy an expensive car, you choose to buy an expensive house, you choose to buy the ipad2, you can choose not to consume.  Seems you have the freedom to pay less in taxes by consuming less.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:19 | 1433617 Janice
Janice's picture

Here's the problem that I have with that.  If we allow a flat tax, national sales tax, or VAT tax, will the politicians do away with the income tax, tax on communications, gas tax, and others?  Hell no, it will just be one more tax to pay on top of all the rest.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:20 | 1433620 Janice
Janice's picture

Here's the problem that I have with that.  If we allow a flat tax, national sales tax, or VAT tax, will the politicians do away with the income tax, tax on communications, gas tax, and others?  Hell no, it will just be one more tax to pay on top of all the rest.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:02 | 1433503 JR
JR's picture

I'm absolutely in your corner, blueRidgeBoy.

The bottom 40 percent in America, on average, now 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…

Obama's Making Work Pay credit provides as much as $800 to couples and $400 to individuals. The Earned Income Tax Credit provides up to $5,657 to low-income families with at least three children.  All they have to do is file an income tax form even though they had no income.

According to, “What makes it so effective is that the EITC is fully refundable; if a tax filer's EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, he/she gets a full refund of any remaining amount, even if the worker’s tax liability is zero.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:37 | 1434248 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The EITC only goes to people who are employed, though.  These are folks who work and don't make enough money to survive on, so the government DOESN'T keep so much of their income as not to force them into homelessness and/or starvation.

Aren't you in favor of reducing government's taxation?  There seems to be a contradiction here.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:57 | 1433061 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

I am with you too brother. Game over when more then half of the population lives off the state. 100% wouldn't be a high enough rate for the looters I know.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:28 | 1433946 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

You are blaming the wrong people.  You are talking about people gaming the system, when in truth, the system bought them off in return for their support of big government.

It was a good deal for both sides.  For everyone else?  Not so much!

Rome had free bread at the Games, you know.  I am sure they charged admission if you wanted to sit in the good seats, but I am just as sure that thousands were let in, and many of them were there for the bread as much as the entertainment!  Bread and circuses!

Now we have Food Stamps and American Idol/Monday Night Football!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:01 | 1433075 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Yep and the unemployment rate did what from 2007 to 2009? Matching the increase in those not paying income tax? For the love of God, where is the analysis?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:12 | 1433593 Janice
Janice's picture

Ditto.  What the Bush tax cuts saved me in income tax, the property tax increases took.  We are going to continue to be nickeled and dimed to death. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:05 | 1432817 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

The graph is of effective tax rates, which is the actual percentage of their adjusted gross income paid in income tax. Would 15% off the top collect more than the effective tax rates on AGI?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:38 | 1432676 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I cringed every time he trotted out the "america had 120% debt:gdp way back when"...  "we're nowhere near that!"

Or the ol' blame it on republicans, "we raised the debt ceiling 7 times during bush's administration"...  "how can the republican's now get religion?"

I wonder if she helped him change his depends during commercials...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:14 | 1433118 pupton
pupton's picture

Yeah, well after 4 terms of FDR what did he think would happen?  Buffet makes it sound like our fiscal situaiton is no big deal.  This time is way different than the FDR depression.  There will be no "peace dividend" returned on this "120%".  No industrial base built.  No advances in technology.  No Bretton Woods/Dollar hedgmony.  No infrastructure, no baby boom...nothing.  We have received no benefit for this debt other than to provide the parasite class with largess, temporarily.   

It amazes me that WB can be as rich as he is and still be such a fukkin retard.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:42 | 1433217 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Perhaps he is just a fuckin liar.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:09 | 1433102 pupton
pupton's picture

Did anyone catch Warren Buffet offer up Berkshire Hathaway money to float the governments debt while the idiots in DC fiddle?  He said they would be more than happy to prepay their taxes, and he would make a few phone calls and that they'd have the government bailed out.  LMFAO!!!  Stupid old bastid...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:37 | 1432669 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

consumption tax, let hookers, pimps, drug dealers, illegals, etc pay their fucking share...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:45 | 1432701 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

I agree, legalize and tax.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:13 | 1432854 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Indeed, let the high quality hookers, drug dealers to the rich and famous, the bankers (also known as the thieves), CEOs, and politicians start paying their share.

But in truth, for America to even get close to a balanced budget the entire DEFENCE/Empire budget will have to be cut.  I find it shocking how cuts to the Defence budget cannot even be imagined, it is unpatriotic.

Well, guess what, the Military is notorious for misspending, and right now they are misspending money that has been borrowed by the US gov't, and will be paid back by the people (or not).  The people who think they are actually getting their money's worth with the defence budget, or that America couldn't protect its borders for less, you crack me up!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:43 | 1432989 1911A1
1911A1's picture

Because even if the entire defense budget was eliminated, the current federal deficit would still be at 15%.  This also fails to address the more serious problem of mandatory government spending (social security, medicare, medicade) increasing at a faster rate than GDP.  Mathematically this is unsustanable regardless of what you do to the rest of the federal budget.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:03 | 1433079 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Not really. The Congress critters who have defense contractors in their district are the ones who cause the fraud in the MIC.

Congress tells the military what to spend, and how much.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:13 | 1433331 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Riiiight.  Without the congress, there would be no MIC.  You really do live in an upside down world dude.  Reality has passed you by.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:44 | 1433741 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Corruption is a two way street. Without a military (and a government that needs to expand its power both foreign and domestic), yes indeed there is no MIC.

Just where does our 'innocent' Congress stand when it comes to "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none."

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:45 | 1432702 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

No tax. Let the government get back into the fucking box it was meant to be kept in...  This is as simple as losing weight.  Cut spending.  Period.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:50 | 1433025 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ $3,000,000,000,000

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:46 | 1433239 MassDecep
MassDecep's picture

The biggest Drug dealer is your Government. Listen to testimonies of Soldiers guarding the poppy fields in Afghanistan. Your Gov. also sells weapons to the Mexican drug cartel, then claims "we the sheeple" are doing it. War on Drugs.....More like trillions of dollars a year revenue for this crap called our gov.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:34 | 1433972 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

No effin way!  We are in Afghanistan for poppies?  Really?  Because when I did the research in 2001 I found out that the Taleban had banned the planting and harvesting of poppy fields, which up until then had been the source of roughly, oh 90% of the world's opium/poppy production.

Oh yeah, now i remember, the Taleban isn't running Afghanistan, ever since that order coincidentally, and American soldiers refuse to cut down the poppy fields, even though it is the most likely source of potential terrorist revenues!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:39 | 1434255 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The Taliban are our ALLIES!

Oh, wait...sorry...that was a few years ago.  Nevermind.  Hard to keep track these days.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:35 | 1432953 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

At last, some sanity on this blog.

It wont bury the insane hard earned tax money mantra propagated on this site but at least , it is provided.

US middle class is the King class in the US, operating at the expense of the poor class (that they loathe) and at the expense of the rich class (that they envy)

This is the US middle class, thinking that they fund the government...

Everything in the US is tailored to satisfy the middle class.

The US is not the solution, the US is the problem.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:38 | 1433990 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

WTF???  I don't know what middle class means to you, but uhh... Have you checked out the stats on income disparity, or CEO pay, in the last 30 years? 

No one is funding the government right now, they are monetizing the debt.  And it will be defaulted on, so don't worry too much about it.

Probably worry about all the people who have depended on the government, and expect 20+ years more of benefits from them.  Those people are going to be real angry, esp. returning soldiers, who have been promised pensions, jobs, education, health care!   OMG!  Those people are going to lose their freaking minds!  And they have weapons training!  So thats what I would be more worried about.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 19:00 | 1434426 Paul Bogdanich
Paul Bogdanich's picture

Oh Pleeeease.  Comparing marginal income tax rates is a totally worthless and intentionally misleading analysis.  80% of all wage earners make less than $100,000 a year.  Therefore 80% get taxed 15.3% on every penny they earn for SSAN, MEDI & FICA.  People that earn over $120,000 pay the 15% only on the first $115,000 and 0% on anything above that.  So add that tax in and see how the analysis presents.  The overwhelming bulk of the CASH FROM ALL SOURCES that funds the government comes from the bottoom 80% of wage earners.   

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:09 | 1432522 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

how do I become part of the 41.7% that don't pay any?




Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:11 | 1432533 cswjr
cswjr's picture

Get laid off, collect UI, get on SNAP, and have Obama pay your mortgage.  Easy as pie.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:14 | 1432549 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Anybody can do it. THATS equality..... wow.. now i get it...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:34 | 1432653 Weisbrot
Weisbrot's picture


not quite anyone

when it comes to the 0bama admin -

whites & asians need not apply



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:01 | 1432797 magis00
magis00's picture

This is true. 


Got 100% on the Census test, thought it would be plush to walk around and make $15/hr (2x my part-time job at the time).


Didn't get hired.

(Irish-American, thank you very much. "White" pffffft)

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:09 | 1433103 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Only fools admit to being Caucasian on a job app these days.

Hispanic requires no proof like claiming to be Native American.

It would be amusing if all male Caucasian Americans disappeared overnight, and the number of "Hispanic" males increased by that exact number.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:21 | 1433129 bill1102inf
bill1102inf's picture

+10,000,000.  I have told people to do this for years and years on anything they fill out for the government.  Everything always seems to get approved, whether or not because of this, I don't know.  Personally, if im not going to see someone f2f, I put Black or African American.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:54 | 1433257 jiggerjuice
jiggerjuice's picture

sheeeiiit... im all doubled down on races over here.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:18 | 1432573 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

nobody should have to pay a thin dime in taxes when the FED is always there to create new digits whenever Uncle Sam sticks his hand out

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:33 | 1432652 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Why pay any taxes? FED should just print the tax bill if its so great and works so well and all.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:38 | 1432677 Confused
Confused's picture



Why are we paying taxes, when the money can just be printed?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:46 | 1432714 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

It's the interest, not the debt.  Bankers, and the puppets under their control, are not going to pay their own interest of course.  That's what us tax slaves are for!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:29 | 1432933 Confused
Confused's picture

Of course. But the point is just that the whole thing is absurd.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:52 | 1432717 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

+1 or alternatively...,

     Why are we printing money..., when we can just pay taxes?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:51 | 1432719 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:55 | 1432720 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Jacked up Internet connections FTW!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:54 | 1432725 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

What the hell is going on?  LOL  Am I on dial-up or something?  ;-)

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:49 | 1432726 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

+1 or alternatively...,

                        Why are we printing money..., when we can just pay taxes?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:50 | 1432732 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

+1 or alternatively...,

             Why are we printing money..., when we can just pay taxes?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:53 | 1432735 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:51 | 1432743 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

+1 or alternatively...,

             Why are we printing money..., when we can just pay taxes?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:34 | 1434613 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I'm impressed with your mad posting skillz! :>D

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:48 | 1434645 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its just like pounding the Ben-a-Printin Button ;-)

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:19 | 1432577 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Also, get a degree in any soft science, create or work for a non profit. Solicit funds from people like buffet, or grants from the .gov. All of your expenses, from the vehicle you drive, to the trips you take, to the meals you eat are written off. your "salary" might be $45k, so inaddition to the perks, get you student loan interest written off, so then you can qualify for many welfare components. "work" 30 hour weeks where you basically dole out whats left of uncle warrens & sam's money to other people. "Hard" work if you can get it.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:33 | 1432650 ThirdCoastSurfer
ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

You are so right, tax-free organizations are out of control. I don't know about $45k though, take Habitat for Humanity, a review of the 53 local chapters covered by shows these local CEO's and Executive Directors make in the $150k range. This is a fairly common salary across most charities, except of course for those with national HQ's where salaries run into the millions. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:01 | 1432798 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

what's 150K in DImonbucks?

Why do you hate CEO so much?

They have boards just like the boys with the big pockets.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:56 | 1432770 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Be sure to include the "religious" organizations in that heap. They own tons of land and pay no property taxes.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:24 | 1432907 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Yes, but if you tax them they will withdraw support for the Oligarchs/ Corporatist Empire!

So that is not going to happen, is it?  Sure, the Church in general has much less influence than 40 years ago, but can you imagine if they were actually allowed to discuss the War on Terror in churches, and criticize the American Empire's endless spending?

Believe me, churchse not 'getting political' is a big part of why things have slid so far, so fast, in the last 10 years.  And I don't believe in organized religion!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:21 | 1432587 Serfs Up
Serfs Up's picture

Become unemployed.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:32 | 1432643 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

Your name and avatar are genius man!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:43 | 1432694 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

or alternatively..., "Incorporate Thyself"!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:53 | 1433041 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Or alternatively: Become your own central bank, buy lots of gold!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:30 | 1433164 legal eagle
legal eagle's picture

You live on $1,000 a month.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:11 | 1432528 Quintus
Quintus's picture

Why would they be?  Nearly half the money the Government spends is borrowed anyway and will most likely not be repaid in any meaningful way.  For a country that is generally inclined to despise socialism, the US seems very reluctant, as a whole, to pay via taxation for the benefits (dubious though they may be) that the government bestows.  Much like the Greeks, in fact.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:18 | 1432571 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:53 | 1434662 nmewn
nmewn's picture


But I'm sure it has more to do with it can't be afforded at all at these levels.

Da chickeeenza, are a-comin-hooomaaahaaa, ta rooostahhh ;-)

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:11 | 1432529 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

The number of people paying no income tax does not surprise me when one considers the increase in the number of people unemployed or underemployed since 2007, which amounts to what? 8 million people?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:28 | 1432930 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Yeah, I don't see how that is surprising at all, given the continued growth of the gap between the poorest and the richest, it is exactly what one would expect it to see.

I love the arguments that try to make you hate the poor people for being poor.  They pay no taxes!  Think of all the benefits they are stealing!  They are lazy!

Uh no, their jobs have been outsourced, and starting a (legitimate) business in this country, no one has the time or patience for all the forms and red tape!  I heard you were allowed to form a company back in the Soviet Union.  No one ever did, it was pretty much impossible, but you were 'allowed'!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:11 | 1432534 Jason T
Jason T's picture

The inflation tax is an unsung culprit.  Property taxes are up huge NY at least too.  

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:42 | 1433216 pods
pods's picture

Bingo.  Inflation is the worst of the taxes.  

And when people say "rich" I cringe, at least in terms of income taxes.  Sure, high earners pay a ton of their labor to the monster in the form of income taxes.  But they aren't rich.

The RICH have all their play money come through foundations, and get first crack at newly created debt, so their income is the value of the $$ that is stripped from EVERYONE when new money is created.  Most here falsely confuse high income with wealth.  They are not the same.

This is a perfect system.  We squabble amongst ourselves while they run the world, sucking life from each one of us every time the $$ printer runs off another sheet full of em.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:47 | 1434033 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Its funny, but I have been ranting to people about 'rich people' running things for a long time, and I always have to explain "I mean people that have billions of dollars (and debt), not someone who makes $100k a year".

Its amazing, the ability for people to disagree because they have different definitions and connotations of words!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:11 | 1432535 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

You rich white men will never change. Always trying to stick it to the middle class hard working transfer payment collectors. I hope your white guilt eats you alive.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:46 | 1432707 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture

LOL.  Like white rich men are reading Yahoo! threads.

Nice troll Conrad~!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:47 | 1432716 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture


Nice troll Conrad~!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:54 | 1432755 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Never in my life did I think I would see one who is considered an African American act so much like a fat, old, grey haired white man.  I actually laugh about it because I have talked with many African Americans and have told them Obama is the cracker they thought they were getting away from.  I always add that I am with them in their fight against the old fat white haired crackers.  Gets their wheels turning.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:29 | 1433157 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

With the uncontrolled invasion from the south, and Planned Parenthood succeeding in its mission to abort as many black babies as possible, their vote is becoming less significant by the day.

Still, they will only vote for those that pimp AA and welfare.

Fuck em. They will get what they deserve.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:58 | 1433270 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

It was hilarious when BHO extended the Bush tax cuts.   

No worries though, 90+% of blacks will vote for BHO no matter what he does or does not do.  That's the way they roll.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:12 | 1432538 rubearish10
rubearish10's picture

When just starting out and earning below average pay, the low tax burdern made sense. Although, when income was rising nicely, I also didn't mind paying more taxes. I would mind though, if the effective tax rate for higher wages reduced take home pay below where I first started. That's the problem. This nation will become slaves to mediocre employment for all.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:34 | 1432952 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

For all???  For all?  Are you f***ing serious?

No, it will be mediocre for 99%, at most.  Those who own everything, land and corporations included, will still be living it up, just as they are now.

Its class warfare, and war has already been declared on the common man, when the bailouts and TARP went through.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:12 | 1432541 FastBoat
FastBoat's picture

Hmm, a whole bunch of people go from having jobs to getting food stamps and the % of people who pay no income tax goes up. - Whodathunkit???

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:13 | 1432542 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

That blue/$500 K+ line might conceal more than it reveals.  At $500,001, you're talking the local dentist, doctor, successful local contractor, even a successful local restaurant owner.  These people are surely paying more.  But-- How do things look at Blankfein level?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:29 | 1432617 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

"How do things look at Blankfein level?" Exactly!!!! Or GE or Buffett.

Personally ... as far as I'm concerned Buffett should have been bankrupted as the single largest single recipient of TARP funds.

And I'm good with a 99.9% tax on TBTF bonuses.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:58 | 1432774 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I am actually with NOT supporting those TBTF firms in the first place. This idea that the tax payers can give them money to support their failures, but then grab the money back through taxes is nonsense.  If they were never subsidized in the first place, there would not have been the bonuses thereafter.  Our problems were close to being solved with the Lehman crack up, but the Feds decided to keep the ponzi going.

Buffet should have been broke with AIG, but we cast a net to catch him against out will.  Fuck Uncle Cracka

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:59 | 1432781 1911A1
1911A1's picture

ll you need to do is open the IRS spreadsheet and look.  Their top category is AGI over $10 million and tax rates are as follows:

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

27.4  26.1  22.4  21.1  20.9  20.1  19.8  21.1  23.5

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:26 | 1433372 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"$500,001, you're talking the local dentist, doctor, successful local contractor"

Where are you from? Where I live the local Doctors and Dentist drive ford's and Toyota's. A lot of Doctors and Dentists are borderline struggling, because they get nickeled and dime to death by Health Insurance companies, rising costs (rent, utilities, services), and malpractice insurance. Only a few specialized doctors make that kind of money.

 Most doctors and dentist are in the upper middle class making $175K to $250K. The $500K earliers are executives and family owned mid to large businesses.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:13 | 1433594 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

I live on the outer edges of the Boston area, where cost of living is high, and where some doctors still do well.  (I have contacts in places high, low, and in between, so I keep on top of the local info).  A lot of the people around here have military/gov't/union insurance, so the $ still flows.  Also, people working in defense plants (biggest employer in Eastern New England) are spending money like crazy on this and that.  I'm sure that will change soon enough.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:39 | 1434256 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Defense plants?  Jesus H Christ, do these people realize the money they are being paid is borrowed money?!?!?  Do they know they are spending money today that their unborn children are expected to pay for, with interest?

Those are death plants, BTW.

On the individual level, I just don't know how people do it.   First of all, you are not protecting American citizens (soldiers, maybe), second of all, you are endangering the future of the country.  You think you are earning 'money', but in fact, the government has no money, and you are being paid funny bucks, which the rest of the population then has to make up the slack for, with productive labor, financed by investment and savings.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:14 | 1432546 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

How about the millions of poor or entitlement recipients who don't even file?  That 47% number is extremely misleading.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:14 | 1432550 props2009
props2009's picture

Country wise risk.


US ,UK slowing but surely becoming riskier

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:14 | 1432551 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

Yeah I share my income and sacrifice my kids future to transfer payment tax feeders so they can buy a 52 inch LCD and a giant SUV to park in their 3000 square foot section 8 castle. Sounds like a great deal to me...hopefully all that useless crap they "stole" from me keeps 'em occupied when the SHTF

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:20 | 1432583 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

I don't know why you hate the disadvantaged so much. They are products of their environments. It's impossible for them to be raised properly. Absolutely no educational opportunities. It's not like they get free medical care, food, and housing you know. Just admit it, you're a closet racist.

Barack Hussein Obama, MMM MMM MMM -

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:33 | 1432621 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Absolutely no educational opportunities.


Wait gets longer for public housing


June 30, 2011

The developer, St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar, also will be tasked with improving education and providing support such as day care centers, literacy programs and job training.

Neff said Galveston is the first housing authority in Texas to fully adopt a plan pioneered by the Atlanta Housing Authority.

The new proposal will cost about $46 million more than the old plan. Housing authority officials were unable to come up with a cost for the old plan, but former board member Ray Lewis said it was about $88 million. Housing authority spokesman Justin Herter said the new plan would cost about $134 million.

Using a federal grant, Atlanta rebuilt with mixed-income housing and added cradle-to-college education and the same community services that Galveston wants its developer to provide.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:35 | 1432660 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Atlanta LOL...a black-run school system that got caught in a decade long systemic cheating scandal.  They were the "proof" of the educability of this demographic, the shining beacon of how things could be done 365black and done right. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:51 | 1432740 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Atlanta school superintendent resigned, and has now "disappeared."



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:00 | 1432780 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Guru got me.....


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:43 | 1432622 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

Yeah your right. I can just hand over my money peacefully, let the poor, disadvantaged, 'products of their environment' have it all while my kids become the truly disadvantaged by doing without some of my income to help their own dreams in life along...hmmm sounds like true equality to the way you forgot the free education those 'disadvantaged' get! (sarcasm on) Oh yeah and your link proves ever so powerfully that you get what you pay for! Free re-education for all!!!

Edit: You are right about the racism though. I hate those white trash trailer park queens that have a triple wide and pop out kids every 18 months to stay on the their jacked up full size Chevy 4x4 to the local piggly wiggly and buy steak and lobster on EBT...someone please quit f*cking those bitchez!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:37 | 1432673 roadlust
roadlust's picture

At least you're out of the closet.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:49 | 1432731 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Most excellent trolling Conrad!!

Burn the effigy!!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:42 | 1432689 DOT
DOT's picture

3000 SF Section 8 ?

What can a landlord get from ole uncle sam for one of those ?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:55 | 1432762 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

depends on the county. In North LA county (high desert) they get around $2K from da gubmint...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:53 | 1433038 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

Section 8 housing vouchers actually pay ABOVE market rates for properties (substantially above), the theory being that one (the government) has to provide an incentive to landlords to rent to Section 8 scum.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:58 | 1433068 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

Yeah you should see what the compliance inspectors uncover here...there was one lady who worked for the state prison system as a guard at $70K a year, (base + a ton of overtime), and still collected section 8 to the tune of $2K a month...and they still cannot understand why Kalyfoornya can't balance their books.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:15 | 1432554 oldmanagain
oldmanagain's picture

The poor pay a lot of taxes.  Just not income taxes.  Very stupid reinteration of propoganda. It just shows how bad off are the majority of citizens.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:37 | 1432671 Havana White
Havana White's picture

+1.  Contrarian view more like squint.  A lot of selfish fucks around here...  Go on, say what you're barely disguising - you'd enjoy seeing those who struggle (not just the few who game the system) go without shelter, malnourished, without medical care, in pain and wholly discouraged.  Go on and insist that full-time minimum wage workers, below the poverty line and barely able to feed and clothe a kid, have even more taken out of his or her puny paycheck.  Yeah, how dare they own a TV.  Fuck you, heartless and impotent of empathy as you are.  You're not men.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:51 | 1432699 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Is the lady that got her purse stolen a victim, or a donor?

Forced charity ain't charity 'tall. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:44 | 1433743 AGuy
AGuy's picture

Hmmm, interesting Idea.

Next Time I get mugged I will ask for a receipt from the mugger so I can submit it as a tax deduction!

Thief:  [wielding (Knife/Gun) "hand over your wallet or else"

Victim: "Sure, but I will need a reciept for that."

  Thief: "No problem."



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:51 | 1432729 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

...yeah she is just giving up her fruits of her labor for 'protection', yeah thats it protection! If you don't agree Sonny, Guido, and the feds would hate to see something bad happen to you or your family, it would be a shame if your business were to burn or even worse we found some unpaid taxes to confiscate your stuff and redistribute, I mean pay your back taxes, yeah that's it. So hand it over bitchez!

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:47 | 1445548 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Since you love them so much, I'm sure you could have them stay over at your house.  Everyone should have that choice.  I say no able bodied adult should be given a living.  Society should provide for the truely disabled only.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:58 | 1432778 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Bzzz, wrong.  Net out transfer payments and "refundable" tax credits and try again.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:19 | 1432576 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

ok but this is a red herring argument.


All the articles about QE-n etc. talks about how the Fed is monetising government debt.

We all agree this is a Bad Thingtm.

But the IRS will say that the middle class is NOT being affected, because they 'don't pay (income) tax'.

Well Obama might turn tables and say, ok abolish the income tax for the middle class. We'll just monetise EVERYTHING.

Then he can officially say "I'm not taxing the middle class".

We all know where that would lead to.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:58 | 1433066 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture

That's where its going anyway.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:19 | 1432578 bill1102inf
bill1102inf's picture

What is the best gold instrument to buy? Seriously

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:23 | 1432597 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Little round pieces that you keep in a safe in the basement.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:01 | 1433072 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ $1525

Buy physical gold and keep it well hidden.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:31 | 1432637 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

solid gold banjo

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:50 | 1432737 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

... for fuck's sake.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:09 | 1432832 magis00
magis00's picture

Shiny fiddle made of gold?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:49 | 1433244 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

LOL, very nice, that!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:51 | 1433773 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

(but if you lose, the devil gets your soooooooooul.)

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:31 | 1432641 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

US Mint-produced gold coins.

from a local, reputable dealer or a trusted online source.  take fiat money from one pocket.  put real money in the other pocket.  don't lose yer pants. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:33 | 1432654 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

he said instrument, not coin


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:29 | 1432932 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

True.   And I'm holding back on all the "instrument" puns.   It's not easy.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:52 | 1433778 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Maybe a Philharmonic-a?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:20 | 1432580 4shzl
4shzl's picture

The most important story about how the American way of life gets financed can be found here:

The "money" quote:

For two decades, since the fall of the Soviet Union, demand has exploded for the $100 bill, which is hoarded like gold in unstable places. Last year Treasury printed more $100 bills than dollar bills for the first time. There are now more than seven billion pictures of Benjamin Franklin in circulation — and the Federal Reserve’s best guess is that two-thirds are held by foreigners. American soldiers searching one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces in 2003 found about $650 million in fresh $100 bills.

This is very profitable for the United States. Currency is printed by the Treasury and issued by the Federal Reserve. The central bank pays the Treasury for the cost of production — about 10 cents a note — then exchanges the notes at face value for securities that pay interest. The more money it issues, the more interest it earns. And each year the Fed returns to the Treasury a windfall called a seigniorage payment, which last year exceeded $20 billion.

Of course the the $20 billion a year is really peanuts compared to the half-trillion dollar interest free loan that we enjoy enjoy as a result of our monetary partnership with drug kingpins, illegal arms dealers, sex slave traders, and tyrants around the world who are the principal hoarders of FRNs overseas.  Yes, we could put them all out of business in a heartbeat by forcing them to exchange their stashes for newly designed paper as other countries periodically do, but no, we never will because the staus quo is just too profitable.

Rogue nation?  You better believe it.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:54 | 1434293 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Shows you how much demand there will be for silver at $100!

Central banks AND drug kingpins both hold lots of dollar reserves.

And lets not forget that the main reason the system continues is because  the Fed is private, and makes  a profit before 'remitting the seignorage', and gets control of the money supply on top of that!

What you need to realize is that not only does reserve currency status finance America, so does debt monetization/money printing!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:22 | 1432585 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

ignoring the fact the founders despised taxing income and that we shouldn't be doing it, it is alarming that so many pay no income taxes - sounds like a built-in voting block......

coincides nicely with the hockeystick foodstamps chart

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:59 | 1432788 Capitalist10
Capitalist10's picture

Exactly.  Just a few percentage points away from achieving Obama's plan for creating a permanent majority voting block.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:10 | 1432838 magis00
magis00's picture


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:12 | 1432846 magis00
magis00's picture

Actually, the affluent-minority will have much better weapons than pitchforks. 

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