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  • Morning Coffee: Tax Rant

    I realize $50,000 for a family of four isn’t that much to live on . . . but should such a family not only not have to pay taxes but actually get money from the government through tax credits? According to this article, a family of four with two kids under age 17 and $50,000 income would make $31 from the federal income tax. What I take from that is, I’m paying thousands of dollars in taxes so that my income can be redistributed to other families who make less. It’s one thing if I’m just paying a bigger share of road construction/police protection/military/etc. because I have a bigger income, but it feels wrong that my tax dollars are simply going to subsidize other families. Not that they can do much with $31, but it’s the principle of the thing. At least there are lots of good deals to help me stretch what’s left after taxes! (Hat tip: All Financial Matters.)

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    Comments

    1. madmommy says:

      I completely agree with your comments on taxes. It would seem that everyone should try their best to save money and make the most of what they have, before we tax those who have already put forth that effort. I realize there are a few circumstances where my tax dollars would be well spent, but I would rather choose the way I donate money, rather than have the government choose for me.

    2. adrienne says:

      I read that AP article as well. It looks like some of the credits are in place because of the economic recovery plans.

      The segments of the population profiled are still paying federal payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare), property taxes, state and local taxes, and sales and excise taxes.

      Rest assured, taxes remain inevitable for all working people in this country. There's something about this article that suggest a family of 4 making $50k is freeloading that bothers me.

    3. We are a family of 4 that makes under $50K and our tax liability has been $0 for the past 3 years or so. This year, in addition to paying $0, we received money from the IRS for buying our first home and for the recovery act. We were given MUCH MORE in a "return" than we paid in through sales tax, property tax, gas tax, etc. We also qualify for our state CHIP program and WIC!! We aren't on either, but I can't believe we're eligible!

      I didn't read the article, but I don't feel like we're freeloading. We work hard and make sacrifices so that I can stay home with our children. But that doesn't mean that people like you, Cathy, should be financing our new home, our roads, our retirement, etc. I completely agree with you. I also think the day of reckoning is coming. We can't ask 50% of the population to pay for everything.

      I was just reading some articles on FDR — when he got in to office he pushed the top tax bracket to 79%!! I am afraid we are heading that way again with our assumptions that we have a "right" to things regardless of what we can afford!

    4. You totally sound like my husband with your "tax rant". There really does need to be some changes.

    5. Anonymous says:

      I'm single with no kids and I pay over $4000 a year in federal taxes. A family of 4 with the same salary as mine pays no taxes but uses more government services (roads, schools, police, etc) than I do. I dont know whether to complain about the $4000 or to just be glad I'm not supporting 4 people on my salary.

    6. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thanks, everyone! I honestly don't mind if the tax law is set up so that the family of 4 doesn't pay any taxes. But the fact that they actually get money is what's bothering me – I mean, if the government said, "Hey, we're going to take money from you because you make so much and give to this family because they're a lot poorer," just about everyone would be up in arms. And that's pretty much what's going on here!

    7. Anonymous says:

      I think statistics like the one you cite are really misleading. I don't mind my taxes going to families, but what drives me crazy is the reason why those families probably need those breaks is because workers aren't being paid appropriately. The CEOs of big companies "earn" millions even billions a year, pay their workers the absolute minimum, and then complain about their unfair tax burdens. I don't think the government should give money to the working poor. I think it should regulate industry to make sure it doesn't take advantage of its workers. There are some amazing stats in this article http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4 that might make you see it a little differently.

    8. Anonymous says:

      You might be interested in this article, which explains/debunks the "money back" claims:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html?src=me&ref=business

      Also, don't forget about sales tax, which lower income people spend a much higher proportion of their income on.

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