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April 12th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Is it right that half of American households pay no federal income taxes?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Tax Day is around the corner - but it turns out that millions of Americans don't dread the April 15 filing deadline much at all:

That's because 47 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income taxes for 2009. That's right - almost half of Americans will pay nothing.

So what we have in effect is roughly half the households paying the tax load for the whole country. One Washington research group says it's either because people's incomes are too low or they qualify for enough credits, deductions and exemptions.

In the past few years, credits for lower income families have grown so much that a family of four - with two children younger than 17 - making $50,000 will pay no federal income tax for last year. Nothing.

We now live in a country where half of the people aren't paying for the government services and programs that benefit everyone - that includes national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It's estimated that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans pay about three-quarters of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

Under President Bush, the nation's wealthiest taxpayers got big tax breaks; but President Obama has been pushing tax cuts for poorer Americans and tax increases for the wealthiest.

Everyone gets hit paying lots of other taxes... things like federal payroll taxes and excise taxes on gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes - as well as state or local taxes. But when it comes to the government's biggest source of revenue - the federal income tax - almost half of all American households pay not one thin dime.

Here’s my question to you: Is it right that almost half of American households pay no federal income taxes?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark writes:
I believe everyone should pay something. As it stands today, half the people in the country have no reason to vote against tax increases. The tax-paying half of the population will have difficulty in stopping a proposed increase that has no effect on half the nation.

Monica in North Carolina writes:
I take all the deductions and credits I'm entitled to, without apology, but I sure am carrying more than my fair share of the federal tax load if this is accurate...and I don't make enough money (yet) for me not to feel any pain when I have to pay my taxes.

Alan in New Mexico writes:
I feel like most of the people who aren't paying taxes can barely afford to get by. I know that my tax refund went straight to rent and bills this year.

Jim writes:
Jack, This is a perfect example of why the Fair Tax is the answer to our unenforceable and complex tax code. The Fair Tax is collected at the cash register. If someone makes a purchase, they pay the tax. The other benefit is that under the Fair Tax proposal, all payroll tax deductions will disappear. If you make $12 an hour, you get all that money in your check, no deductions.

Cathy in Alabama writes:
Jack, It's disgusting that half the people are paying for the other half. Benjamin Franklin said, "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." It is generally the Democrats that keep promising people more and more services for "free", hence buying the votes of huge groups of people with the money of others.

Kevin in California writes:
The question should be: Is it right that almost half of American households now make so little that they aren't subject to taxes?

Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona writes:
Depends upon your perspective, Jack. If you're part of the 50% who pay no taxes, it's not only right – it's an evolving privilege provided by a great nation to its wretched, downtrodden masses. However, if you're on the other side of the coin – the side paying the bill – you're simply being screwed and you don't even get a kiss as it's happening. Now, that's just not right.


Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. David from Herndon, VA

    I think so, Jack. These people aren't breaking any laws - they're just taking advantage of the same deductions and credits that everyone else has access to (barring income limitations). And if you make enough that you're prevented from using those deductions/credits, then you don't have much standing to complain, in my opinion.

    We've broken the backs of the middle and lower classes in this country. There's no need to pile on.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas

    It's wrong that nearly half of America hasn't learned a valuable skill. But then again, it's also wrong that so many executives aren't earning their pay.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  3. Tia Dallas

    No but what else is new. I am surprised that the other half has not stopped paying theirs.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    Again, it sounds like your question is asking whether our politicians are favoring some citizens over others. They wouldn't do that, would they? Well, would they?

    April 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Absolutely not. There should be a minimum tax that everyone has to pay, no matter what their income is.

    Just as anyone who can afford to HAVE children, should be REQUIRED to pay some part of their education cost, no matter how poor they are. Living in an apartment, should not allow them to evade their fair share of that cost, as a minimum tax.

    The free rides have to stop. The poor can certainly get a break, but free should NOT be the break!

    April 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  6. Mike Anderson

    You know it isn't right, but just as you fail to consistently report that the top 10% of the population pay 71% of the taxes, you will under report this fact. But, if the left works a little harder they can get the 10% to 7%, the amount to 80%, and the half that pay's nothing to more that 55%.

    Gotta love it.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  7. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    No, and as Mario Puzzo wrote: "behind every great fortune is a great crime."
    Every citizen must pay his fair share...and corporations, too!

    April 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Jayne

    I refuse to blame low income people in this country for not paying taxes until big corporations like Exxon and General Electric ante up. How can corporations be allowed to hide billions and billions of dollars in profit offshore and not pay a dime to this government? Leave the poor people alone.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    Does it really matter what 'kind' of taxes you are paying? Most communities have an inescapable 1 – 2% 'wage' tax. Wage-earners pay both Social Security and Medicare taxes, matched by their employers, (who if given no choice, would just as soon pay these amounts to their workers.) Many of the folks you refer to are tenants, and unless their landlords are blithering idiots, they are recovering the costs of property taxes and their own income taxes with each monthly rent. Let's not forget all the other wage taxes ... federal and state unemployment taxes, worker's compensation, etc. And finally, wage earners spend most of their income, subject to sales taxes.

    Perhaps, Jack, these folks don't pay 'federal income' taxes, because there is nothing left. Once could argue that the working poor and the lower middle class are the most taxed in this nation.

    Rick,
    Medina,OH

    April 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  10. David

    No it's not.

    The income tax should be replaced by a sales tax, The income tax brutalizes the middle income bracket and lets the rich and welfare recipients skate. It's also time to tax the churches and the drugs...

    It would not only equalize the tax burden but could also encourage savings.

    David

    April 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: I think 50% is to high, but remember people who make less than $12,500 do not pay federal income tax. Married couples making between $18,000 to $27,500 pay very little taxes, and through in one baby an they might get a refund. Now, 20 % to 28% of the poeple do not file income taxes, and they warrant investigation by IRS. When you through in college students I guess it might reach 50%, but did you know people who made $250,000 or more have gotten a taxcut for the last 7 years. The total taxcut amount for the high end group is 1.4 trillion dollars for the last 7 years, and this figure does count interest on these funds. WOW!!

    April 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  12. Francap

    Is it right that that the top richest people have most of the money?

    April 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Ken in Mt

    Given that the top 2% own 95% of the stuff and pay 70% of the taxes, the question should be "why are we subsudising the rich kids?"

    In a perfect world we would all pay the same percentage of our income, no loup holes, no exemptions, no excuses.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  14. oldfuzz

    Yes and then again no.

    No. Much of that half consists of people working and retired who have too little income on which to live.

    Yes. Many of those who don't have found ways to dodge paying taxes illegally.

    Maybe. It's a matter of equity. considering the other taxes we pay–sales, gas, property, etc.–there are always those who pay too much or too little.

    We have a viable and effective Congress to keep things straight.😉

    April 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  15. David of Alexandria VA

    Nlot at all, jack. And, we're at a really dangerous tipping point. As someone who pays about 65% of his income in some form of tax, more than half of that in income taxes, I worry about the time when 51% of the population can avoid ever having to pay by simply raising taxes on the other 49%. This is an expensive country to live in; serious choices have to be made about how we allocate our resources and the answer can't always be that someone else pays for it. We need to live within our means - and that entails the critical need for"pay to play."

    I already give my fair share - and Obama loses my interest wshenever he flatly says that I don't.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  16. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Jack, without yet reading your elaboration on this subject I'm guessing you're referring to low-income people. No, that's not fair. However, the incredibly-high income people also pay little or no tax compared to their GROSS income, and some actually swindle the Government into giving them refunds. This is the real crime and is also the secret the GOP wants more than anything to remain secret. Ask ANY Republican Congressman or Senator if he/she would be willing to vote for a straight percentage based on gross income. And I mean ALL income. Capital gains, Dividends, the works. You'd have alot less to talk about after reporting the answers.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  17. Pete - Hiawassee, GA

    Is it right ??
    It's the ULTIMATE insult to every hard working, law obiding, tax paying citizen in America. It goes against everything this once great country used to stand for.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  18. DJ from Fort Walton Beach, Florida

    No its not right, and we wonder why things have trouble being paid for. If you're not paying any taxes you dont deserve to complain about anything.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  19. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl my wife pays, i pay, so it must be my neighbors that are not paying their fair share. i thought so, just wait until our politicians force the 50% that are paying out of a job too like the rest of the country. i think i will turn my home into a church and stop paying all of these unnecessary taxes, pass the plate.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Mike

    No it isn't right, and chances are they are the same ones who take full advantage and abuse government sponsered entitlements such as medicare/medicaid, food stamps, unemployment benefits, and welfare. Now that health care is going to fall under government control this needs to end. It's not right that those of us who pay our taxes like responsible citizens should are footing the bill by ourselves.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  21. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Absolutely not! Everyone should support our system and pay equal taxes and a flat tax is the only fair way to tax. Our system taxes just over half of us on the money when we earn it and then taxes us again when we spend it, double taxation. There is something wrong with a system that allows people who pay NO income tax to be able to vote to raise everyone else's income tax.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  22. T. Thomas in Abilene,Texas

    No. VAT is a much better way to go.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    It is about as right for half of the country not to pay taxes as it is for Big Businesses making billions a year to only pay $500.00 a year or less.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  24. Vince Latona

    YES..it is right. Actually, not only is it right that half of Americans don't pay any income tax, I strongly believe that the 'other' half should not have to pay any also. They want to make it fair. Well that's fair.

    That way the government won't have any funds for their hare-brained schemes to 'level' the playing field.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  25. Justin

    Yes. The extremely wealthy make their obscene fortunes on the backs of the working poor in this country (formerly known as the middle class). The economy does not exist in a vacuum and the vast majority of those making 7+ figures work no harder than those on the bottom, probably much less hard in most cases. There is a point at which money for the sake of accumulating wealth becomes meaningless and criminal - for them to pay the lion's share of the tax burden is sensible and should be considered their patriotic duty.

    Justin in Sacramento, CA

    April 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  26. Chandra - Las Vegas, NV

    No, the government needs to cut the umbilical cord and start requiring people to be responsible for taking care of themselves and their families. The government shouldn't be deciding how much of the money I earn that I should be able to keep. Everyone should pay the same percentage in income tax, simplify the tax form and eliminate all deductions. Being responsible and living within your means costs you more in taxes.......wrong message. Our choices in life should not cost us more or less in taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  27. Loren

    No, it is not right. (I'm assuming that the Americans referred to are those of employment age and generally earning income.) I've been working almost forty years and, even in the time when I was unemployed and received unemployment compensation, I have paid federal taxes. I don't how a system that is built on justice could result in people who are earning income not paying their fair share. Whatever the rules, there seems to be less concern with fairness and more concern who has the better lobbyists to get tax breaks passed, and who is so-called disadvantaged so that a party can use them to get reelected. Our tax system has become a game to be worked, and simplification is needed.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  28. Melissa

    Depends what side of the fence they're on. If they are making less than the poverty line, I'm fine with it. If they are making more than the poverty line, then they need to be paying taxes. Period.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  29. Ray Kinserlow

    I can guess which half of the economic spectrum is not paying any federal income taxes. We have Bush II and the Republicans to thank for that. Considering the horrendous deficit, it is time to repeal the outrageous Bush tax cuts. Maybe it is time to increase the taxes on the upper income brackets significantly beyond historic levels.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    April 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  30. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Is it right that half of Americans are paid such low incomes that they pay no federal income taxes? Is it right the that the U.S. Government has allowed the union movement to be gutted, allow such companies as CNN to bust their unions with impunity?

    April 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  31. Noah: Urbana, IL

    This is a deceptive question in and of itself. We need to keep in mind that many of those not paying income taxes are in that boat because they make less than $10,000 per year per capita. Is it right that they pay no taxes? I would say so. I would also say that it is not right that they end up getting tax credits that they didn't pay in the first place. Two separate questions, two separate answers.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  32. Ray from California

    Yes, if most households are like ours. We're about as middle-class as one gets, and since 1969 when we got married our tax liability has been such that 9 times out of 10 we actually get a federal income tax refund. Anybody can do it by just becoming more "aggressive" with their deductions and accruing stock losses at the right time. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to make it happen.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  33. Gerry Erman

    No it isn't ,but thats the current system. If we eliminated the existing federal Income tax system and replaced it with a consumer tax it would be equal across the board. The more you buy, the more tax you will pay, pretty simple and eliminates the deadbeat taxpayers and the costly collection of back taxes.

    Gerry
    Arizona

    April 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  34. Gordo, NJ

    I'm sure the single mom and coffee shop waitress who makes so little money she doesn't pay taxes would happily trade places with the Mercedes-leasing $ix-figure republicans who are always whining about taxes and welfare Queens picking their pockets. We should go back to the Republican Eisenhower administration when the wealthy paid up to 90% taxes, the American economy dominated the world, and most families could live well on one middle class factory job.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  35. Jimmy from Houston, TX

    I am sure the half that pays no income tax thinks it is a fine system, and they support all these expensive entitlement programs. Our lopsided system has 53% paying no income tax, but 100% are allowed to vote to raise income taxes.......and they wonder why there is a Tea party movement!

    April 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  36. Wayne from Belleville, Ontario, Canada

    It depends on which half. From experience those that make nominal amounts of income (in Canada at least), as in under $20,000 per annum pay at least 16% income tax.

    Those that make in excess of $250,000, have this ability to "hide" their income, and yet live comfortable, and with healthcare of their choosing. Even in Canada we have two-teir health care.

    I think if a person makes in excess of $25,000 as a single person, they should pay tax. It they are married and/or have dependents, the threshold should be higher.

    When pro atheletes pay less of a percentage of their income, than a Wal-Mart employee, there is something wrong with the legislation.

    Then again, isn't the income tax illegal in both Canada and the United States?

    April 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  37. Tony from Southport

    When a couple has to live on $30,000 a year, they shouldn't have to pay federal income tax. Everything they buy is taxed. The services they use such as electricity and water are taxed. Their Medicare premium is deducted from their social security checks. This administration will cut Medicare benefits and raise premiums on seniors. Is it fair to have them pay federal income tax as well? Only if you want to get rid of them Jack.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  38. Greg M.

    Jack,
    I was granted disability (SSDI)in 2004.A couple of years later i received a letter from the IRS asking why i did not file taxes in 2003.I had $0 income and told them this.After further review by them they said that i should not even have received this letter.Why are they going after INNOCENT people and NOT going after people who they KNOW should be filing such as federal employees who should be setting an example?
    Greg M. Largo,FL

    April 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  39. bill, fresno, california

    I can see it from both sides. People say that the top 5% pay 60% of the taxes. But they own 90% of the wealth, so they're still paying less in taxes than their percentage of wealth would indicate.

    And the bottom 50% may pay nothing, but they only have something like 3% of the wealth.

    Still, I think everyone should pay SOMETHING, even if it's only $100, just to show that they're contributing members of society.

    April 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  40. Joseph

    Jack,

    Is it right that half of Americans don't pay Federal tax? You bet...half of Americans can't afford to pay Federal tax!

    Best,

    Joseph
    Brooklyn, NY

    April 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  41. Cal

    Jack,

    I believe that more Americans than we know exist UNDER the poverty
    level, and should be excluded from paying taxes. Let the "big shots"
    in Washington who have bankrupted this country and our people, pay
    for the ones who cannot! Of course, if life was fair, and everyone could
    exist on a decent salary, then they should be expected to pay their fair
    share of the tax burden.

    Take care, Jack!

    April 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  42. Ed Fazio, AZ

    It is Not Fair that Almost Half of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax. Everyone Should be Required to Pay a Base Percentage of Their Income from Wages Earned with NO Deductions of Any Kind. This Percentage Need Not be Excessive, But Should at Least Cover the Family's Share of the Interest on the National Debt.

    After All, Every Person in the United States Benefits From Being Here in one way or Another. Therefore, All Persons Should Assist in Funding the Cost of Protection and Freedom.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  43. Joan Gilbert-Croteau

    Jack,

    Chances are its our federal taxes that are making up for those who don't pay

    Its about time they start paying their fair share.

    Joann from Maine

    April 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  44. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Absolutely not. I suppose this is mainly due to the Bush tax cuts and Re.agans trickle down economics, which to me has brought about most of our debt as well as Bush's wars. Those of us that pay our fair share should be joined by all others and especially the wealthy. Maybe its time for a flat tax, all those that make over $100,000 pay 15% income tax and all the others pay 2%. Just think of the savings in eliminating the IRS.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  45. Joe Hanson

    Jack,

    Tax the rich, then tax them some more.
    If I need money, I'll just steal it from the poor.

    Joe Hanson,
    Minneapolis, MN

    April 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  46. Lee - Houston

    The half makes up the poor and the rich people of America. If you are suggesting like the right-wing of the Republican Party that these are average middle class Americans. Then I must notify that you have come under the effects of the substance that you were smoking.

    The rich may pay the majority of the taxes but we all know that they pass on those costs through their businesses and tax loopholes. At the end of the day the middle class is footing the bill as it is shrinking in size and influence, which is the reason why we have to borrow money from countries like China.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  47. Mason

    It's one thing to not pay any taxes. Add onto that that some people actually recieve money to live here. But as the Obama administration says about all of their policies "it's not wealth redistribution" What is it then?

    April 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  48. Mark in Arkansas

    No, Jack, it's not right. Nor is it right that there are more holes in the tax system than a brick of Swiss Cheese. The entire "income" tax system needs to be scrapped, and base a tax strictly on a sales. No exemptions, no deductions except purchases made for resale. But then... all of those IRS workers would be unemployed. AWWWW...

    April 12, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  49. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Recently I read where 10% of the population pay 73% of the taxes. Where do I sign up for such a position? Obviously, the 10% are making train cars of cash daily. (i.e. Wall Streeters?) do they really EARN that? Since many jobs went overseas it's no wonder people do not pay much tax, you can't get blood out of a stone, nor taxes out of minimum wages.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  50. JGB

    Ofcourse it's not fair. Those that pay no income taxes are the very same people that are screaming the rich need to pair their fair share!

    April 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  51. Doug - Dallas

    No it isn't fair Jack. This country is quickly reaching the point where taxes will have to be increased and spending cut drastically. Everyone should have to pay taxes. The government could solve it's budget problem if they would institute a flat tax on all earnings, no exceptions. But that requires common sense and that is in short supply when it comes to our legislators.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  52. Smith360

    Jack if you are fortunate enough to be in the 50% and pay no federal income taxes then of course it is right. However, if you are unfortunate enough to be in the other 50% and pay federal income taxes then you are likely feeling differently about it.

    The Republican linked American Corporations that have moved overseas to avoid paying a great many American taxes are certainly no poster child's for fiscal responsibility.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  53. Steve, Clifton, VA

    It's right only if half of those Americans not paying income taxes are comprised of Americans making salaries that is well within the poverty threshold and/or Americans that have been unemployed for six months or more.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  54. Michael G Tampa, FL

    Well Jack,

    It's not right that future generations will be paying for the stupidity of Congress in creating a 13 trillion dollar national debt.....

    It's not right that my tax dollars are paying a trillion dollars for two pointless wars.

    It's not right that the USDA pays billions in farm subsidies.

    It's not right that the IRS is going to be enforcing a national health care tax and fine system.

    It's not right that Congress won't finish the Southern Border Fence.

    It's not right that my Social Security is bankrupt and the entire fund has been stolen by Congress to pay for sweetheart earmarks for decades, among other boondoggles.

    Of course is right that almost half of Americans pay no federal income taxes Jack.

    It's what Congress allows them to do ! !

    It's what our messed up 13,000 page federal tax code allows individuals and corporations to get away with through loopholes and exemptions.

    Michael G
    Tampa, FL

    April 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  55. Thomas from Virginia

    I do not believe that almost 50% of Americans pay no Federal Income Tax.

    I believe that 43% of Americans do not have a Federal Tax Liability. There is a big difference. This is an example of the misrepresentation of what the research actually states.

    If you repeat an misrepresentation enough, it becomes fact in some minds.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  56. Greg, Ontario

    If you looked into it would probably find out that those people pay so much in other taxes it more than makes up the difference. Those are the people that invest in banks, bonds and manufacturing in the US. So it's a simple choice let them keep thier money to creat jobs and other forms of wealth or take it and watch the economy shrink even more.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  57. Matt M

    Any time the half that whine about paying taxes want to trade incomes I would be glad to trade.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  58. Minesh -Troy, MI

    No- it is not fair, Jack.

    We must eliminate IRS and income tax and move to National Sales Tax. This way everybody shares the tax burden based on their purchases with complete transparency and April 15 would become another beautiful spring day.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  59. Minesh -Troy, MI

    No- it is not fair, Jack.

    We must eliminate IRS and income tax and move to National Sales Tax. This way everybody shares the tax burden based on their purchases with complete transparency and April 15 would become another beautiful spring day.

    Minesh from Troy, MI

    April 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  60. Jonathan

    Jack,

    It is not "right" that only half of Americans pay income tax. It isn't "right" that the wealthiest people pay the majority of the taxes either. It isn't "right" that the people who don't pay taxes are the ones complaining about the rich. A fair tax seems to be the only sensible solution. Everyone living in this country should contribute their "fair" share.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  61. Heather from Indiana

    Yes, if they have followed the tax policy regarding their income. I'm guessing though that it's the richest that don't pay, so in that case, NO!

    April 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  62. Andres Saenz(Albuquerque, NM)

    No, I think it's wrong because everyone uses all of the goods and services provided by the federal gov't, such as the USPS for example. So everyone should pay taxes!

    If only half of the American people are paying taxes, that's going to place an unfair, larger tax burden on the other half who DO pay their taxes. It's somewhat reminiscent of what Barack Obama said during his Presidential campaign in 2008, about "spreading the wealth around".

    April 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  63. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Why not make it a flat rate for everyone? Everyone pays 5% with no tax deductions. That seems like a fair way of doing things. But see how far a suggestion like that goes in Washington. There would be no tax loopholes for the big boys to crawl through.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  64. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)

    Jack,
    Of course it is NOT right.

    We the people!

    have allowed the politicans to use tax law manipulation
    as a means of obtaining "contributions".

    April 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  65. Homeless D in Atlanta

    The fact that so many households pay no Federal Income Tax is HALF the question, Jack.

    The other half of your question should be, "Is it right that HALF of American households have so little in earnings that they pay no Federal Income tax!

    When half of the wage earners make so little that, once they take their standard deduction and their exemptions, they simply do not OWE any tax, it is a sad, sad commentary on our society! And, I believe, will ultimately lead to the collapse of our country.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  66. Joe R - Houston, TX

    What would be more right than almost half of ALL American households paying no income taxes would be that ALL American households paid NO INCOME TAXES!

    April 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  67. pat in michigan

    no it is not .What we need is to do the math and figure out how much we need each year with a mortgage on our debt in addition to a flat tax of say 15% no deducts for individual or corporate . then maybe ,just maybe stop dropping bombs on every third world punk that has an axe to grind with this country.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  68. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    That depends. If they are expatriates working oversees where the cost of living can be outrageous...then the answer is no. As far as the rest of us goes...we should be able to opt out of Federal taxation if we disagree with the way the federal government wastes our tax dollars.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    April 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  69. OETKB, SATX

    Who are these folks not paying taxes? We want specifics!!!! The rich, the poor, the disabled, the retired? Who?

    April 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  70. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    This is the reason we need a flat tax rate that everyone has to pay regardless of your income, people would have a different outlook about how the government spends their money.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  71. Donna Wisconsin

    Depends on which half–the half that don't make enough money to pay taxes other than payroll and sales taxes or the half that make so much and have lots of ways to 'write off' money that they don't pay? That's why a 'flat tax' won't work–the folks at the top of the money scale don't buy consumer goods like we do. They INVEST and the guy at the bottom will keep on giving.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  72. Kenny in the High Desert of California

    Right are wrong I don't know. One thing I do know millions of our jobs, middle class workers jobs,were sent out of the country to foreign lands. Those jobs created millions of taxpayers in China while our Government in Washington turned their collective backs on the nations dwindling middle class, those who pay the lion's share of the nations taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  73. Bill in Penna

    Jack,
    Who are the ones paying taxes? The Uber Rich pay no significant taxes. Most corporations pay no taxes. There are huge payments of tax payer money to many very rich CEOs and corporations.
    Those who make minimum wage pay a minimum of 8% on every dollar earned with no deductions, exemptions etc. (FICA tax).
    We who earn median (middle income) pay the greatest percentage of our income to: federal, state, county, municipal, sales, property and school taxes.
    A fair tax scheme would include a graduated flat tax or a 15% VAT on most goods and 25% on luxury goods – second cars, second houses, yachts, planes etc no exclusions for educational, religious and non-profits. If you benefit from security; local and national, fire protection and use of highways you pay fair usage fees.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  74. Doris Lauter

    If half of the people are too poor to pay taxes, then that is as it should be. But if some of those people are wealthy tax cheats, then they should be found out and pay up.
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    April 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  75. Brian

    Brian from Philly.

    I think it's 100% appropriate that 50% of American households pay no federal income tax, so long as the other 50% get to follow.

    The Federal Income Tax is not constitutionally legal and only pays interest to the Federal deficit. It pays nothing to programs that are supposed to support Americans.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  76. John Todd

    I favor the fair tax the more I hear about it. I like the idea that everyone living in America should share in the cost of operating our nation. Those who purchase more will be taxed more, so the rich will pay their share.
    People who get things for free rarely appreciate their value.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  77. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Sorta makes an honest person want to consider cheating on his tax return in hopes of paying less or, if he is really lucky, getting a bit of a refund. I've considered it Jack, but I can't cheat the government. Afterall, the government wisely handles our money in such a thrifty manner there is no reason to cheat.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  78. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack I have always complained about just this question. I can understand people without means being exempt from tax as long as they have no means but as soon as they have an income they need to pay their fair share just like the rest of us. This government entitlement scam is getting old. Being born an American does not entitle you to anything more then any other American has including taxation.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  79. Jill

    No, it's not. Why should I subsidize someone else's children? If you can't afford them, don't have them.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  80. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Of course it's not right, and that is one of the best examples of why we need a straight flat tax on everyone.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  81. brojake

    no..get in line like every one els.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  82. Angie

    Half of American Households pay no federal income taxes?

    Are they the unemployed whose unemployment ran out and they have no income?

    Are they the homeless families?

    Are they the households who paid employee federal and state tax but when it came time to do their income tax, they got a portion of their money back due to deductions?

    Are they the households who have to withhold their own fed and state tax during the year because they have a home business or are self employeed, only to find out that they had to use that money for medical expenses because we are waiting for the government and private insurance companies to begin that loop where we can finally have med insurance? And so we end up in a deeper hole?

    Or are they the rich and wealthy who have so many tax breaks that no matter what, they always get all their money plus some when declaring their income taxes?

    Are they the household of companies who get every single tax break and credit in the system which no real household could ever have? Don't laugh, corporations are now regarded as private citizens thanks to the Republican dominating Supreme court Justices.

    Or are they the citizens who just never pay nor file?

    Are you talking about illegals or green card people?

    There is no real information, so I find it hard to answer your question.
    I'll answer when you finally let us know what we are answering.
    I just don't want my answer to be misrepresented again like it was in the CNN poll for Health Care Reform. I was one of those who was upset that the Public Option did not pass, so you and CNN mistakenly, if not on purpose, put me in the column against Health Care Reform when I was always for it. Shame on you CNN

    April 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  83. Paul Austin, Texas

    No it is not right. Yet another reason for a flat federal sales tax and sack the income tax. If you can buy or need to buy you pay if you can get by with buying less you pay less taxes. In this way all would have to pay taxes as you and a system like that would at least be fair or at least better than what we now have.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  84. Angie

    And yes, We do pay our property tax

    April 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  85. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    No, it's not right. This combined with the percentage of unemployed in the double digits, no wonder we are facing budget deficits. On top of that, government wants to spend and spend and spend, thus compounding the budget deficit problem. And my kid will end up paying for it. Probably her kids as well, should she choose to have any.

    I know I've already said this, but it's not right.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  86. D R Green

    I live in Canada and we face similar issues with taxation.
    Personally I feel that the entire tax system should be scrapped. Usually the poor and the rich and those with children get away without paying, and the middle class pays for everyone. As a middle-class single person approximately one third of my income goes to income tax.
    We should simply change to a new tax system where people making under $15,000 pay no income tax, and everyone else pays 10% of their income. Period.
    The government would probably get more tax money from a system like this. However, a "simple" system such as this would put Accountant's and companies like H&R Block[head] out of business, so their lobbyists would never allow any tax reform to a simpler system to happen. They profit off of the current overly complex system.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  87. John Todd

    Jack, I've heard some of your excerpts from friends and have to wonder how much longer you'll be at CNN if you keep railing on Nancy, Harry and Barry. I'm suprised you're still there. Hang tough.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  88. Tom Huntington, NY

    I am more worried about the big businesses that make literally billions in profit and pay no tax. Closing that loophole alone would go a long way to easing our deficit problems.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  89. Floyd Burgess

    I am one of those who did not pay Income Tax last year. I get Social Security and a small Annuity payment. I live within my means. However, I would gladly pay 10% of what I make if the government would eliminate their debt and be responsible to our citizens. We do not need to borrow money for BS wars, like Iran and Afghanistan. How about focusing on the USA for once.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  90. Steve in Lake Forest, CA

    Hi Jack,

    USE tax, that's the solution. This would not only level the "paying" field, it would likely make us live more within our means.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  91. erin

    You specifically refer to 2009, Jack.
    Must I remind you of the economy?
    Unemployment? Under-employment? Pay cuts?

    I dare point out that many Americans fell in their tax bracket due to the recklessness of those charged with guarding the nation's coffers.

    Are you suggesting a special foreclosure tax? A job-loss penalty? People may be down but many aren't dead yet...keep kicking!

    Puh-lease...

    April 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  92. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Yes, Jack, it's right. Those who don't pay taxes include a lot of hard-working Americans struggling to earn a living wage, people who can't afford health insurance, and people who were once in the middle class but have had their jobs shipped overseas. Give them a break and tax those who have money.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  93. Steve

    Not only do the poor people don't pay taxes, they get tax credits from the IRS. Example a woman with 2 kids works part time and makes three thousand dollars per year, files her income tax and gets approximately $10,000 back from the IRS. Plus she has a live in boyfriend that works.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  94. John R

    You don't need an advanced degree or a government study to understand how unfair it is for half the population to bear the burden for all.

    When Obama gets the percentage down to about 25% paying for all,
    this country will collapse because all the high earners will leave.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  95. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    In an ideal world Jack,no this is not right. But in the here and now that is the way it is. The richest people rode high on the hog during Bush's two terms. Let the little guy try and get back on their feet now. The pedulum swings and it always swings back. Don't worry,soon enough Republicans will be back in the drivers seat with plenty more tax breaks coming their way.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  96. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Maybe it is time to phase out personal income tax and have a national sales tax, prorate the tax so that the more an item costs, the higher the sales tax rate would be. That way, necessities like food would have a lower tax rate than a beach-front condo.

    But this is just wishful thinking, it's an election year and everyone REQUIRES "their" taxes to be lower, otherwise, they might not reelect the D.C. clowns that have created the IRS and its thousands of pages of loop-holes and tax breaks.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  97. Steve

    Not only do the poor people don't pay taxes, they get tax credits from the IRS. Example a woman with 2 kids works part time and makes three thousand dollars per year, files her income tax and gets approximately $10,000 back from the IRS. Plus she has a live in boyfriend that works.
    This is what I call Obama care. You don't believe me check it out.
    The rich and the middfle class are paying the taxes. No incentive for the poor people to work. This also encourages cheating to get free money. This is what destroyed the communist system in the Soviet Union.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  98. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    It is absolute justice when Americans pay no income tax. Partly because the Federal income tax is in fact a war tax that we started paying one hundred years ago to pay for our overseas imperialism. And, partly because most American families have been thrown into poverty through no fault of their own by the corporatist system that shipped their jobs overseas. Do those corporations pay their fair share of taxes? Not just 'No' but 'Oh Hell No'! Most of the federal revenue does not come from income taxes, and never has. As far as I am concerned they never should, or will.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  99. Jou

    No, it is not right! Their is always an exception to just about everything in the US and to this issue are the citizens in the poverty level that needs the help! Everyone else should pay their fare share of taxes. That does not mean that the middle class citizens has to carry all the weight of the taxes. The rich are the ones that get all the tax breaks, have the loophole and live in luxury and keep getting richer and richer! It is about time the rich start paying what it is fair!
    I had both my hips replaced in 2009 and I lost $30,000 + in wages, had to pay 10% of my hospital bill and to make thing worse had to pay over $2,000 in taxes. Did I get a break, no?

    Apple Valley, MN

    April 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  100. frank

    Quit lying Jack. They pay income tax, they just get it back after they file. No interest. Think of it as a free loan to the Feds.

    Now, there should be a cut in the number of dependents you can claim. Say 3. More than that you're a burden on society. Think Utah and all those Mormon breeders. Want a kid, pay for it.

    so does the fact that you're going to have to pay more taxes on all that fat cat CNN income keep you awake at night? About time. You and all the rest of the fat cats have lived too high on the hog. The rest of America has suffered.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  101. cy

    Every time I hear about how a "tax credit" is going to benefit me I want to spit on someone. I am not hiring tax lawyers and accountants to figure out how many ways I can get out of my civic obligations. These credits usually serve to benefit the more affluent people, the ones who have "people" . This is not fair. Politicians should stop acting like tax credits mean anything to average Americans except another way for Washington to give us the shaft. cy arlington, va

    April 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  102. Joe From Woodbridge, NJ

    Jack
    Half the American households not paying federal taxes is like a tree falling in a forest. Does anyone [in congress] hear it, or care?

    April 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  103. Don C

    Jack,
    lets see, Where does it end? Are we now going to vote in politicians to pass tax laws so that 60% of America doesn't pay taxes. Sounds like someone is buying votes to me!!! I can see why the "Tea Party" looks so appealing. Taxation without Representation.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  104. cy

    Maybe we should make the income tax a minimal across the board rate. Any deduction or credits would be kept to a minimum and debated in public. Then we should institute a national sales tax so that people who could afford to buy the most, would pay the most. Unfortunately, numerous Democrats and ALL the Republicans would oppose any plan that smacked of fairness for the American workers and consumers. cy arlington, va

    April 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  105. Gary H. Boyd

    Depends upon your perspective Jack. If you're part of the 50% who pay no taxes it's not only right, it's an evolving privilege provided by a great nation to its wretched, downtrodden masses. However, if you're on the other side of the coin, - the side paying the bill, - you're simply being screwed and you don't even get a kiss as it's happening. Now, that's just not right.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 12, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  106. HJO

    No it is very wrong. It would be interesting to know the reakdown between Democrats and Republicans wouldn't it??

    An American should not be allowed to vote if they do not pay taxes. It's as simple as that. Do you think it will ever change?

    Not with the "do nothings" in the House and Senate.

    Henry

    April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  107. Rae from Indiana

    What's not right is that 50% of Americans make so little money that they are not required to pay income tax. What happened to an honest days work for an HONEST DAYS PAY?

    April 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  108. hampster

    No matter how you cut the pie everyone pays taxes!Utilities to gas is heavily taxes, by the FED, by the STATE, by the County,By the locality! On top of taxes you have all these nusiance fees from garbage to whatever some politician can think up. America's taxes are crushing everyone!

    April 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  109. Kevin in CA

    The question should be: Is it right that almost half of American households now make so little that they aren't subject to taxes?

    April 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  110. Joanne from Medina

    In addition to federal payroll taxes (which, by the way, for poor working people is substantial), you pay fees and taxes on cell phones and cable, state sales tax (8% in NY State) on just about everything you buy,, property taxes including school taxes, etc.. etc. A family of four making $50,000 ? is probably paying as much as they can with these other taxes , so if we need more federal tax revenues it should come from those at the top.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  111. Brian Smith PhD

    Jack, the key phrase is when you brought up services like “national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education.” No matter who pays for it, for those items is anyone getting their money’s worth? The answer is no. Heaven knows, education in this country is scraping the bottom of the bucket. Remembering the blackout in ’03 that spread from Ohio on eastward shows the infrastructure is weak at best. So perhaps the 50% that don’t pay should consider themselves lucky not having to pay for those “services”. What they would get for their money leaves much to be desired.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  112. Bob Tampa Fl

    No Jack, it is not right! But, when more and more people are not able to earn enough, it will be an increasing problem. Perhaps, a better question would be, how do we turn this direction around?

    April 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  113. Mark Dembeck

    I believe everyone should pay something. As it stands today half the people in the country have no reason to vote against tax increases. The tax paying half of the population will have dificulty in stopping a proposed increase that has no affect on half the nation.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  114. Paul New Port Richey Fl

    People pay taxes according to the tax code written by government. Excuse me Jack, but this question is ridiculous. You targeted the wrong end of this problem.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  115. Moe Dallas TX

    I think if you pay less than 15% of you income in taxes you should not be able to vote or hold office..That will get rid of the deadbeats and the very very rich..

    April 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  116. Justin M from Ohio

    That 47 percent would be able to pay taxes if they had decent jobs that could sustain their family. If you want those people to pay taxes, then the rich people that pay most of the taxes should give them better pay so they can give the government their due. Until that happens, then the rich should foot the bill for this country. Either which way, the rich have to give up some cash so this country can get on the right track.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  117. Matt from Philly

    Every American has a responsibility to contribute to the betterment of our country. A Federal $100 minimum tax for every man, woman and child would go a long way to solving some of our budgeting problems and is affordable for just about everyone.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  118. David Gerstenfeld

    Now that I'm retired, no. When I was working, yes.

    Now, how about the percentage of coporations that don't pay corporate taxes or headquatered offshore to avoid taxes etc.

    David, Las Vegas

    April 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  119. Ronald R. Hutton

    That's the PROBLEM. If there were not so many loop holes and taxation was really based on income we would be a surplus nation as opposed to a debtor one.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  120. olivia knoxville

    Yes, it is right, Jack. America would turn into a third world country if poor people paid federal taxes. I became disable at the age of 35 and I do not pay taxes on my small pension and social security. But when I did worked my federal taxes were 25K plus annually.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  121. Ed Lexington, KY

    Well, Jack there have been several company ads on TV from companies that promise to help people with tax problems with the IRS. Things like “We owed the IRS $40,000 but (this company) helped us and we only paid $2,000”. This has always ticked me – if you owe $40,000 why are you not paying $40,000!

    Now you are telling me that 47% of people don't pay anything? Now this is really ticking me off since I'm now on Social Security, and on Social Security alone I'm paying over $2,300 next week. Thanks Jack for making my day.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  122. chris

    i really don'r belive this this is another scam for us to get taxed more

    April 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  123. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    It's fair if you're in one of the households that pay no taxes, it's unfair if you're in one of the households that do. That's how class warfare works Jack.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  124. A.Greenway

    I think either options are far too extreme. On one hand, you can't have a system where the poor pay for the rich, but on the other hand, you can't have a system where the rich pay for the poor. I do not think it is right that half of America is not paying household income taxes. Fair is fair, and you shouldn't be able to benefit from the taxes if your not paying them.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  125. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    It is absolutely wrong Jack,
    I made less money last year, and I'm still paying taxes on April 15th. I guess the only pro to making less money is that you will pay lower taxes. If I had it my way, I would deny all Americans who will not be paying taxes this year other government services as a penalty.

    April 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  126. Annie, Atlanta

    Is it right that Exxon Mobile and GE don’t pay any taxes? How about Warren Buffett paying 18% while his receptionist pays 33%? Or how about the Bush tax cuts for the rich that have the bottom 90% of us getting trickled on, and not in a good way? Those of us in this bracket haven't seen stagnant wages and jobs shipped overseas for a decade. And we're the ones you've chosen to pick on? Seriously?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  127. Judy - California

    Flat tax, Flat tax, Flat tax. A nominal income percentage would not only simplify the tax system, but the lives of many. The IRS can then spend its time going after the cheats. I wonder if anyone has ever done the math on this.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  128. Joe in Kent Island, MD

    It is fair as long as those people earn just enough to get by. Sort of the reverse of the question: "Is it right for some people to earn 10's, 100's and even billions of dollars a year when others work 3 jobs and still can't pay the rent?"

    April 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  129. Annie, Atlanta

    Redo:

    Is it right that Exxon Mobile and GE don’t pay any taxes? How about Warren Buffett paying 18% while his receptionist pays 33%? Or how about the Bush tax cuts for the rich that have the bottom 90% of us getting trickled on, and not in a good way? Those of us in this bracket have seen stagnant wages and jobs shipped overseas for a decade. And we're the ones you've chosen to pick on? Seriously?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  130. Ralph Spyer

    Every person living in America pays federal taxae, when they buy gas,tires , beer, cigagettes, when they pay a phone bill , or a electric bill, Jack their taxes we don"t even know about. The rich just pay more.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  131. Andrew Amherst NY

    Jack the answer is simple, NO! Obama talked about people paying their fair share and this is exactly where he should start! Those who pay the least tend to get the most services.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  132. Ken in NC

    Jack, it is about as right for half of the country not to pay taxes as it is for Big Businesses making billions a year to only pay $500.00 a year or less in taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  133. Scott Stodden

    It is what it is Jack! I mean people are struggling to find a job that's the main key we're missing in this country jobs, jobs, jobs! Without jobs nobody can afford to buy a house and to file taxes without a job is quite the impossible tax, its not right but without jobs what can we do?

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 12, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  134. Bonnie

    Those who are self-employed (like us) pay plenty - starting with dollar #1, we pay all 15.3% of our own "payroll" tax (that's social security and Medicare) and half of our employees' tax. Last I heard, the government uses that money for whatever they want - no "lock box" on that. If we have a really good year, we pay income tax, too. We have no children, so no big "refund" for us, either. I think it only makes sense that the people who are raking in the big profits should pay higher taxes. We certainly can't afford it.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  135. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It's not right at all. We should have a flat tax. everyone regardless of income pays the same percentage. Once more than 50% pay no taxes, they will vote for candidates who do nothing but tax more and more from the top half to give to the bottom half. That's not what america is all about.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  136. Danielle

    Please give me some details about the rich Americans/corporations who do not pay taxes and then I'll think about this question (for ex. many cruiseline Cos do NOT pay taxes because they carry the flag of Panama and they do not have to pay minimum wage either).
    San Diego

    April 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  137. John, Fort Collins, CO

    When I was drafted in the Army in 1967, my pay started off at $93 per month and was at $233 per month two years later. I paid Federal and State income taxes on the whole thing, as well as paying at a higher rate because I was single. I was effectively slave labor and still had to pony up my share of income taxes. So what happened to personal responsibility during the last 40 years?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  138. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Of course it is not fair! The tax system should be simplified, something so easy a caveman could do it!! Tax all income above the poverty level with NO DEDUCTIONS, and NO ADJUSTMENT based on how many children one has. That way EVERYONE is paying their "fair share" and not just those evil rich people.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  139. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Well Jack, how about if we let only those who pay taxes vote? Our motto: No representation without taxation.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  140. Sue From Idaho

    No, that is why a flat tax is such a great solution. You make it you pay it. Frankly I don't know how a family of four would make do on fifty thousand dollars a year.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  141. Jonathan Hott

    I don't care how much money you make, if you breathe air, you should pay taxes to your government. Without taxes, government doesn't function, and without strong government, the world doesn't function.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  142. Leo

    Well... being that the federal income tax is ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL I feel ALL households shouldn't pay.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  143. Greg, Ontario

    Wolf says he is paying a lot. That means he is making a lot. Isn't that the way it works? The more you make the more you are taxed.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  144. jesse

    Jack, what you should be asking is if it is right that 47% of americans live earning the equivalent of <$50,000/yr for a family of 4. That is not a lot of money and in most parts of the country is very hard to survive on. This is more a story of the distance between the haves and have nots in america than a problem with not enough people paying income taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  145. Jon

    I make $60,000 a year, and a pay 45% more than my brother on taxes, who makes $50,000 a year! This system isn't fair.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  146. David, Ottawa ON

    That's just crazy Jack! Now, I didn't much care for Mike Huccabee but he was absolutely right when he called for abolishing the Federal Income Tax and replacing it with a GST like we have here in Canada and most other Western Nations.

    There's no dodging a GST – You shop, you pay, it's that simple and everyone pays in proportionately to what they buy. Oh, but I guess that sounds too much like "the evils of socialism" now doesn't it.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  147. Balaji Vishwanat

    If this not socialism I don't know what is.

    Balaji Vishwanat

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  148. Julie Smith from Louisiana

    I used to think that a national sales tax was the answer and lo and behold they have decided it might be a good idea. Only problem, is it is supposed to take the PLACE of the income tax, not in addition to it. These morons just don't get it. Tea partiers, rock on!!!!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  149. Darren from Minneapolis

    No, Jack, I think it's unacceptable that only half of Amercians pay income taxes. That being said, it is also unacceptable to tax people into poverty, which is what would happen if lower income families were taxed the way the rest of us are. I think a National Sales Tax would be a much better way to collect taxes. Everyone buys stuff, therefore everyone would pay taxes. Our economy is almost entirely driven by consumer spending. Even a modest sales tax of 1% would raise hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue. We could use it to pay off the National Debt, then everyone could get a tax break!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  150. P Plante

    Why no comment on the 66% of U.S. Corporations that pay no taxes?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  151. j simmons - Chandler, AZ

    I bet that the 1/2 of Americans that don't pay taxes are the ones protesting with signs regarding 'Taxed Enough Already'. They are the same tea party members that don't want the government interfering with their social security and medicare!!!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  152. Sandi

    Jack, I'm listening to you give this report on the Situation Room, and I'm so glad that you said this. This situation has to change. It just must. I wasn't in favor of the flat tax, but as I face the last half of my career and watch my children begin theirs, the flat t ax is looking like the only fair thing to do. I pay at least 40% of my monthly income to tax. The burden is incredible. I cannot afford the organic, free-range food that I see the people in the grocery line ahead of me are buying with the food stamps that my income pays for...where's the fairness?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  153. Joyce Landry

    Yes, it's fine that so many American households don't pay income tax. They pay all kinds of often very high other taxes: sales taxes, property and school taxes, etc. etc. And if the U.S. government can keep giving subsidies to programs like corn ethanol to the tune of 50 million dollars, they can give American households a break.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  154. Edwib Rudd

    Yes, people who make the most should pay the most. Just because some families and individuals do not pay any income tax does not mean they don't pay taxes. Sales tax, gas tax, tobacco tax, use taxes, etc. These flat rate or regressive taxes are part of the reason why a graduated income tax is fair.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  155. JohnC

    Jack, that question will be easy to answer, just as soon as we figure out how to squeeze juice from a grain of sand. Has anyone who answers this question ever known exactly what it's like to not be able to make a living no matter how hard you work?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  156. Karl from SF, CA

    You don’t say how much those wealthy people are contributing, considering they are making the big bucks. $50,000 a year doesn’t go very far supporting a family of 4, if you haven’t noticed. To be fair, a flat tax, of say 10%, with no exemptions, would be fair, but the wealthy would actually have to pay their fair share of what they benefit from this country and that will never happen, just like term limits in Congress and public only campaign financing. What the wealthy don’t pay in taxes is invested in buying Congress so it stays that way.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  157. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    It is time to seriously consider the Fair Tax.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  158. jay furman

    I have paid in big for 35 years....now laid off I still pay for a huge power bill, atrocious Federal Income taxes and equally sad, Wisconsin taxes or as we say in Cheeseland Wistaxsin.
    The truly Wealthy can and do pay the windfall rate as do sales folks who score big on super sales....as for the poor, feed them and remove the Federal tax burden and we will all sleep better at night.
    jf

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  159. Shirley aka Tillie

    I do not believe that report Cafferty. Not many folks get all their money back. 50,000.00 >>>> I don't think so!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  160. Gary

    Of course not just like redistribution of income isn't. How much of the reidstributed income is taxed?

    I'm sick and tired of supporting illegals, the lazy, and those who find it easier to mouch off the government.

    A wish Englisman once said" Dependency corrupts – absolute dependency corrupts absolutely

    I wonder how many of those who don't pay taxes have been corrupted by dependency on the rest of us!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  161. Don from Canada

    If it's so unfair why does the recent census confirm the increasing concentration of the nations total wealth in the hands of the most wealthy?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  162. Ian

    Jack, I would like to make a comment on 1/2 Americans paying no taxes. One thing to remember is every legal worker in the US has taxes taken out of their paycheck. So technically we are paying taxes. While the govt still gives it back at the end of the year, they get a free loan for that amount of time. Also, they get to keep any interest they may earn on that money while its in their keep.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  163. Erick Malsbury

    The taxes need to be equal. How can you have equality if some people are treated differently than others?!

    Considering the Federal Income Tax equals about the same amount of money as the interest due on Federal Reserve Notes, the tax is not needed. Let the treasury issue notes without interest due. Let corporate taxes pay for federal government services.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  164. Eric Golladay

    I think if 10% of Americans make 80 to 90% of the money than yes they should be paying at least 75% of the taxes. The 50% of americans not paying income tax are fighting for the scraps of money left over by the other 10%. If there was more than 10 or 20% of the moeny supply available for the working and lower classes of this country than we could discuss increasing their tax burden.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  165. Monica in NC

    I take all the deductions and credits I'm entitled to, without apology, but I sure am carrying more than my fair share of the federal tax load if this is accurate...and I don't make enough money (yet) for me not to feel any pain when I have to pay my taxes...

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  166. Daniel Hernandez

    I do believe this is right. one thing to keep in mind is that the other half of americans who are paying taxes, have the substancial finances enough to do so without major impact on their house hold. how can you possibly think it's wrong that the government is well-minded enough to understand when some one CAN"T afford something. Mr. Jack Cafferty, you need to realize this as well.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  167. absolutwill

    It's absolutely fair when the rich who pay 75% of the country's taxes make up 90% of the country's wealth. Obama understands the only way to compensate for dipping wages and massive layoffs is to lower taxes for those who can't afford it. When the economy recovers and Americans can go back to work they'll make enough to pay taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  168. J.Hyatt

    The statistics you just reported do not appear to be correct. All of the seniors on SSA pay Federal and State taxes. Maybe someone should look into why the 'comfortably well off' seem to know how to write off enough so they pay nothing. I know one airline pilot that claimed 99 dependents to prevent large withholdings and claimed a boat parked in his front yard for a year as a 'commercial fishing business' when the boat never left the yard.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  169. Amy H

    Every one should pay taxes. I pay into the system and have diabetes , yet I get no help from SSI. They claim I make too much money. Yeah we pay for all the other people who has nice cars and great welfare benefits. What about us who pay over 1000 a month to survive. Then rub salt on the wound I can't get medicine. Not so good for a 30 year old with 2 children and a husband whom suffers from an incureable disease.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  170. Derrick in San Francisco

    Those rich fat cats in the U.S. also get all the benefits in this country too. The police don't protect people in the poor neighborhoods, the ambulance don't come quickly, the schools are bad and unsafe, the streets are dirty and unclean and unsafe, the hospitals overcharge and under serve. The jobs have been sent overseas or far away to other states. With all due respect it's asking a lot to ask someone who has makes $2000 a month and has $2500 in rent and food to pay more to get nothing.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  171. Jim

    No it is not right that almost half the people pay no federal income tax. Everybody should pay something. A low income person should not get a free ride, just pay a smaller amount than a high income person. Maybe a minimum tax of 5-10% would be right.

    The problem with paying nothing is that if you get everything free from the govt, you don't care about govt spending... because you are not paying for it! And govt spending needs to be cut, and that means entitlement programs and tax credits, etc.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  172. Matt Easley

    It is cause we are all laid off from work, Jack.
    So your taxes are paying me to watch you. Sit up straight so I can eat my cheap food and get more upset the direction the country is headed.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  173. EILEEN.. Austintown, OHIO

    IS IT RIGHT???
    Let me tell you, I'd be happy to PAY. Thanks to George Bush who
    removed two-thirds of my money. I am now pinching pennies with
    those in the 47%. Sad news is I'm over 75. I thought these were going to be my "golden years". It's a bitter pill to swallow when you have scrimped and saved all your working years to come to this.
    While that guy rests like a prince in Texas.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  174. Jacob

    No, it is not OK. I certainly agree with taxing the rich, and cutting taxes for the poor, but nothing? Thats not right. They're getting a free ride while the rest of us pay for them. If they don't pay should we stop them from using the interstates? Maybe not give them welfare. Of course not, thats crazy talk. The government provides the poor with many great services that benefit them in every way, and the least we can ask in return, is to pay their taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  175. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    I open my phone bill and there are taxes. I buy milk for the children and pay taxes. I fill up my gas tank and pay taxes. We have property taxes and tolls on our highways and bridges. But when it comes to income taxes, is it fair that almost half of all American have a low enough income that they do not have to pay taxes while others make millions for keeping their payroll as low as possiable.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  176. CARTER

    Jack,
    Hello? Are you worried about the Chinese? The amount of money collected from the non-apportioned direct income tax isn't enough to even pay the interest on the debt. So nobody's income tax pays for any federal services, only the interest that we're paying to China.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  177. Sharon

    Hold on a minute, Jack. This report does not talk about the single people who pay taxes – even in the lowest tax brackets or who earn the lowest incomes. Nor does it reveal how much unearned and untaxed income the wealthiest have. The wealthiest quintile controls 84-90% of all wealth; the lowest quintile controls about 3% of all wealth. And I'd love to know how a family of 4 making $50,000 has no income tax liability. Does that mean that EVERY family of 4 making $50,000 pays no income tax?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  178. Kitty

    Not only are they not paying taxes.....they are getting $5000-$7000 refunds on top of it Why should you get a refund when you don't pay a dime of federal income taxes.....that's not good enough?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  179. Dave

    I question your numbers. I"m getting a refund this year, but that doesn't mean I'm not paying any taxes. I've been contributing into the system all along, just more than my fair share. That means I've been giving the government a loan for the past year, and I don't think I"m seeing any interest on that loan.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  180. JJ Jones

    Need more information. The question is how much, both in absolute and relative terms, do these households that pay no federal income taxes pay in all the other forms of local, state and federal taxes? Once we get a handle on this question, we can opine on whether these households should be paying federal income taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  181. George

    I remember George Bush strutting around when he took 1000's off the tax rolls in his attempt to cut taxes and borrow money to run the country. NOw we want them back. It's a privilege to pay taxes to live in this country. If you don't like it, then go to Guatamala, even Mexico.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  182. Larry Kap

    I haven't paid federal taxes in years, mostly because I have 2 kids in college and 1 at home under 17. The credits, deductions, and exemptions really do help the middle class. It's tough to pay 2 college tuitions at the same time along with everything else. One time, the IRS even sent me a letter saying that after I paid not taxes that I was eligible for the "Additional Child Tax Credit". It was an additional $200 beyond my zero tax liabiltiy. I think that was real considerate of them to notify me.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  183. Peter Shank

    Yes it is fine when the top ten percent of the wealthiest people posses ninety percent of all the money accounted for.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  184. Alan, NM

    I feel like most of the people who aren't paying taxes can barely afford to get by. I know that my tax refund went straight to rent and bills this year.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  185. ABeal

    Absolutely not. Everyone should be required to pay their share of taxes. I don't care if that amount is only 1 dollar!!!! As a middle class american soon to be lower class. I'm tired of taking care of the rest of my fellow americans that includes the very wealthy!!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  186. Joseph Kraatz, Oceanside, CA

    This country cannot survive with its tax system. I propose that every couple that produces a child pays an extra 2000.00 per year. Everytime you buy a home you pay an extra 20,000.00. Maybe then our population will realize the cost of maintaining schools and infrastructure is costly. It is beyond me why producing offspring is good for our country. Why should childless peoples support those that eat up the entire tax system?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  187. Kip

    Yes, it's completely right. They still pay other taxes, but those that benefit the most from the government should pay the most. While hard work is the most important factor in making a lot of money, no one would be making a dime without the protection provided by the military, the regulatory protection provided by the federal gov't, the protections provided our social safety net that make entrepreneurial activites possible, etc. A progressive income tax system only makes sense. It allows the market to work while providing the resources required to provide the basic services we need.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  188. William Hanna

    i disagree. while that may be true with children, it certainly is not true for the rest of us. And all the rest of the taxes are quite a load just by themselves. My wife and i live on 23K and still pay almost 2K in income taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  189. Mike

    Jack, you are asking the wrong question. We should be asking – "is it right that almost half of American households earn so little? the last 20 years have seen a massive redistribution of wealth – upwards. The gap between the richest and poorest Americans has never been greater. Corporate CEOs rake in obscene pay packages while average families struggle to make ends meet.. Lets increase working Americans incomes, so that they can pay income tax.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  190. Phil, Morrison, CO

    47% pay no income taxes but I also read this week that average CEO pay is 300 times average worker pay. Perhaps we are losing the middle class in the United States.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  191. ember

    the families that aren't paying taxes because they make too little are likely getting help–how much more help would they need to get by if they also paid taxes? wouldn't make much sense. let the keep the money rather than use it to pay middle-men to give a fraction of it back to them via food stamps & other government programs. it ends up being cheaper and simpler in the long run.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  192. Chris Gaines

    Jack – perhaps I could have a real answer for you if you could let us see a comparison of the income bracket these 47% of Americans fall into that pay no taxes. I am considered to be very low income and I pay taxes! What am I doing wrong?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  193. Larry McDonald

    Hey, Jack...

    You high income media guys keep repeating the Republican line about where the money's coming from: "70% of federal taxes paid by the top 10% of the population."

    How about reporting some information about where the country's money's going? New York Times, March 29, 2007:

    "The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.

    "The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980."

    And it's gotten seriously worse in the past two years.

    Not to mention that your top 10% pays a tiny, tiny percentage of their incomes in payroll taxes, while they make a huge dent in the earnings of us bottom-halfers.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  194. ken

    Jack is that 1/2 of the 3/4 of american households that were foreclosed on? or is that the 1/2 of 1/2 that still have their homes and their jobs? sheeesh I hope we aren,t gonna start doing whats right....are we?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  195. Shari

    No, it's not right, but the real crime is the amount of money the feds take from us to spend on anything they please, things that have nothing to do with the common good. Americans should demand an amendment to the Constitution that itemizes what Congress is allowed to use tax money for, and the list should be very, very short. Let people decide locally what they are willing to spend their money on in their own communities and states and let local money pay for all local and state expenses, ALL. This is the way our country was meant to operate.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  196. Paul Viets

    I believe that Income Tax has become the toy of both the Democratic and Republican parties, playing games to see who can attract the most votes. I believe that every American has the responsibility to pay a portion of their income into the Treasury as an income tax, be it even a small sum. I do not take pleasure in paying my taxes but I am proud that I support the country that gives us so much. The system is in need of change.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  197. Theodore R. Wade Jr

    ,It is not right that half of American households pay no federal income taxes. Neither is it right that Big businesses have enough loop holes to fly a 787 through. All taxes should be equal and balanced, something like 15% on all unadjusted gross income for everyone; all families, all businesses. The tax code should be written on 4 pages, not 15 volumes.
    After all, these same families are sending their children to defend this nation.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  198. Dan Leahy

    Is it right that Exxon-Mobil made something like $45 billion in profit last year (the most by any company in the history of the world!!) and paid no tax on it in the US? I guess you'd rather put the blame on the growing number of Americans who don't make enough to keep body and soul together AND pay income tax. You must be a Republican, Jack. They love to blame the most powerless among us for the mess the rich and powerful have gotten us into.
    Dan
    Santa Barbara

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  199. Ashley

    What do you mean half of America doesn't pay tax? Every day I work, I'm paying taxes. I gross about 20,000 a year, I only see about 12,000 of it. Not including my refund, which is not much. I think I pay enough when they take away from my paycheck every pay period.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  200. lisa

    A flat tax that we all share regardless of income would encourage everyone to work harder. You get to rise financially if you work hard enough. Why expect someone else to support you ? After working 3 jobs last year just to keep up with the economy I'm now rewarded with more taxes. Why bother.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  201. Graham

    Be careful Jack, if you start talking about spreading things out evenly, they might call you a Socialist.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  202. Mike Oklahoma City

    Well, yes. I think that your example of a family of 4 making 50k a year in the state I live in should have to pay some federal tax because you can live here on that but in a lot of places that is not much at all. Call me a Socialist or a Commie or whatever but I do think those lucky enough to make a lot do benefit more from the way our country is set up and they should be the ones paying the taxes. The poor in this country have a much larger percent of their income eaten up in sales taxes etc than most "when every dime you make is spent before you get it i is hard to just sit on your savings." I have a better question for you Jack why are corporate taxes so low here?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  203. James A. Humphrey

    Hell no it isn't fair!!! The self reliance that built this country is at least half dead or maybe only 47 percent dead. While I do not mind giving people a hand in tough times, I do not like the continual giving of a handout. Everyone should pay something. We have allowed this once great country to become the land of entitlement. Seems more and more folks want something for nothing. It is a very sad state we find ourselves in. If the US thinks 2008 and 2009 looked bad, just wait for the coming storm. You haven’t seen trouble the like of which will we see if we continue our out of control spending.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  204. RickFromDetroit

    Is it right that many Americans make millions and tens of millions of dollars every year?
    Is it right that the medium household income is about 1/2 of the middle class standard of living?
    If the government wants more taxes, then they should raise the pay of the lower income earners.
    I can remember when 30 years ago $50,000 a year would provide a family with an upper middle class standard of living.
    Today-- well $50,000 a year it isn't bad before taxes, but it isn't good either!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  205. Mike Anderson

    Let me ask you this, Jack. Is it right that $50,000.00 is barely poverty level these days? One might want to beware of the last ten years of Republicanism. Thanks to them we now have a two class system. The rich and the poor. No wonder the percentages are what they are.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  206. Gary Sullivan

    We follow the tax rules to the letter. We paid taxes for all our working years. Now we are retired with a mortgage and lots of medical bills. So we don't pay taxes. So what's your point?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  207. Carlos Tampa, FL

    Yes, it is wrong for nearly half of America to not pay federal income tax, but that depends on the person who your asking. someone who makes less than 40,000 dollars a year, or anyone who is greedy, would say no, because it's hard for them to make it by on their salary, or they simply do not like the government. However, regardless of what income anyone makes, in my opinion, everyone is entitled to pay the government some amount for the benefits they take for granted every day. It should not be up to 50% of the population to pay for 100% of the population, plus the 2% of those who are unaccounted for.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  208. Emily G

    NO its not right...that 1/2 pay for the whole. I am a full time working single parent, with 2 kids in college (fulltime). Both work 2 jobs to help with their education. I just wrote checks to the IRS for my son 's Federal income tax that he owed along with the 2 checks I had to write to NYS for what they both owed our state. Mind you my daughter earned just over $6000 & my son earned 10,000 and they owed tax.They are both dependent, full time students who both work to help themselves get their education aside from my help & they get taxed & there's others out there contributing nothing! Something is very wrong.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  209. Rob from Maryland

    Of course the current tax system is unfair. Worse yet is the fact that, by its own estimate, the IRS collects only 88 cents for every dollar owed to it. We spend so much money trying to find tax cheats and double check on us honest folks that the IRS is the world's most expensive cash register.

    Why not let the government get our taxes when we buy things instead of when we earn money? Everybody would pay taxes whenever we chose to, it would be completely fair, and we'd spend a lot less money getting money into the treasury. It's called the Fair Tax.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  210. Will A., Las Cruces, NM

    Quiet, Jack, we don't want the Tea Party people to know they benefit from free socialist government programs. By the way, they are removing their kids from public schools and universities, staying out of libraries, staying off of public roads, and returning the social security checks they were going to use to by medication with their Medicare prescription drug plan, right?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  211. gerry luimes

    Just leave the solution to the repubs: They not only will confirm the no tax policy for the many non payers,they will grant them an extra bonus payed out monthly because "we like total personal choice and freedom" encouraged and implemented by the (rep) future feds.
    gerry at edmonton,can

    April 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  212. Dave, Gaithersburg, MD

    Absolutely not! A few weeks ago I ran to the grocery store and stood in line behind a man paying for his groceries with food stamps. After he handed over the food stamps he asked for 3 packs of cigerattes, priced at nearly $7.50 per pack. If you can afford to smoke while receiving aid form my tax dollars, you can spare a few buck in taxes. In my opinion, this is a disgusting abuse of a broken system.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  213. CJM, Gainesville FL

    You cannot tax what they do not have, Jack. Anyone who considers a family of four on a combined income of 50k a year or less living in a state of socio-economic equality, obviously has never attempted such a lifestyle.

    Besides, it's part of the capitalist mandate. "Consumers" can't spend what they don't have either, though with out of control credit/debtor system in this country, everyone seems to get away with that anyway.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  214. Tom

    Jack,
    It's not fair. Why don't we have a flat tax in this country? Everyone should be treated equally!!!
    "The democracy will cease to exist
    when you take away from those
    who are willing to work and give to those who would not. "
    Thomas Jefferson

    April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  215. jim Blevins

    Absolutely, but that doesn't go far enough. When money changers are getting hundreds of millions a year, and many children of working parents are going to bed hungry, more needs to be done to insure that the lower income people get more of this countries product.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  216. David P Bellamy

    Hell yes it is right. Poor people pay more than their share of taxes as it is. Income taxes are the one place where this gets equalized, at least partially. I pay tens of thousands of dollars in income taxes now, but when I was a poor grad student, I did not pay any. If I had had to, I would never have gotten the advanced degree that got me a high enough income that I have to pay a lot now. I don't think anything is wrong with the system, except maybe that the highest brackets are too low. Remember what they were in 1950.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  217. Ken Huckins

    Jack, Is it fair that Exxon and GE paid NO income taxs? Give me a break, go look up the L curve. When Ronny cut the top tax rate in half he doubled the payroll taxs all working people pay. You are not being honest with a question like that. How about asking Is it fair that the rich are getting richer per Warren Buffet billionare whose secretary pays a higher rate than himself?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  218. Singh

    I am not an US citizen but have been legally in the US for the past almost 10yrs. I have been paying my taxes regularly(Taxation without representation?) all these years. I do so becaus I do utilize the roads,my children do attend school here and the police do protect me as well) I have 2 suggestions
    1)Everybody pays taxes proportional to their earnings without any exemptions
    2)Those paying higher taxes (subsidizing the 50% who don't)get faster services at hospitals etc as compensation

    April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  219. Bob Milburn

    The US government should be run similar to a publicly traded stock company. If you do not own any shares or stock in the company, obviously you are not elgible to vote for candidates for the Board of Directors. Similarily if you do not pay ANY Federal Income Tax then you should not be elgible to vote in the national elections. Both Congress and the Administration branches of government would have a complete different makeup and maybe the deficit would not be so outrageous.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  220. Nelli R

    Not so bad that lowest income people don't pay, but most are eligible for earned income tax credit of up to $5000and receive a check from "the government" which means the fica and medicare taxes they do pay and receive credit for are returned to them.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  221. Paulino

    Americans are losing jobs & not able to pay taxes. The fact that Pres. W. Bush pardoned the wealthy from having to pay taxes is rediculous. Everyone out there suspect their own Congressmen & leaders of not being real reps of the people when they don't pay their taxes. More unemployment means less citizens with good income to pay taxes. Less people making money means the country will earn less. The rich need to pay their share of the bill.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  222. Robert from Detroit

    Albert Einstein said, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." This is one more reason to eliminate income tax altogether! I'm 100% in favor of helping those in need, but this is ridiculous. Get rid of income tax and instead raise the sales tax. That way, everyone in America would be contributing every time they pulled their wallets from their pockets.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  223. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Who's cheering about the Dow Jones reaching 11,000 again?

    Welfare happens at both ends of our tax structure. The rich don't pay for the services they get; the poor pay no taxes.

    Unfortunately, the poor do not have the media resource to snipe back at the rich; the rich to the contrary are amply able to put the 'blame' on 'welfare cheats'. The sad part of it all is that the rich garner much, much more from our public coffers, yet cry 'wolf'.

    The situation will become increasingly apparent as us 'baby-boomers' start to collect Social Security, with no income limit on reduction of benefits. .

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  224. Terry in Fayetteville,NC

    If wealthier people want some help with their tax burden all they have to do is pay their employees more, build a business or do a little investing in their community. The average worker would be thrilled to have those options.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  225. Patriotson

    Socialism is well on its way in America. When 49% of Americans pay no taxes and 51% are supporting them then it is clear the Lennin principle is in force. "From each according to ones ability to each according to ones need." Need I say more.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  226. Okie

    In 2000, almost 58% of the U.S. households (yes, households!) made less than $49,999 annually. That was before the recent unemployment surge, too. I'm sure many more will be in that category the next time it's measured.

    For those who pay the most (I'm included), try supporting a family on those wages!

    Incidentally, 41.4% of those make less than $34,999 annually.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  227. Wade Parham

    Let me explain something to you Jack, you're beginning to sound the guy you recently sent packing who was on your station at 7pm ET (dont want to even say his name). Tax day is merely a reconciliation of the tax account we have with IRS. Its not some people's fault that with current law, IRS usually overdraws from them all year and pays them no interest or penalty for their overwithdrawal. See some of you in corporate America don't get that paystub every week or two weeks which list something in their called TAXES. Those don't count? Not to mention that again, they take too much out, keep it all year long and then give back to you at reconciliation time. As for the top 10% paying 75% of the taxes, sounds fair...to much is given, much is required (and we now who does the giving and it aint us)

    April 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  228. Scott

    I believe that many of the tea baggers fall into this category; generally less educated making lower wages. I'ld like to see how many of them are actually not paying any federal taxes. Many people who complain most about taxes gladly take government assistance and services.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  229. chris

    no i dont belive this is a fair deal but i do belive more taxes would be pumped into the government if the job market increased many of us our on the rocks right now

    April 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  230. Lois Moe

    A number of articles have stated that the top 1% of U.S. families control 1/3 of the nation's wealth, and the top 5% controls 60% of the nation's wealth. The bottom 50% of families owns 5% of the wealth. If this is true, it may be only natural that about half of the people pay no federal income taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  231. D Lee Dates

    I sad that only half the working Americans earn enough wages to pay taxes. Compared to other developed counties this is a sad commentary on the US economy.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  232. Randy Redding

    Of course not. I suspect that of the 50 percent that pay taxes it's the white male that is carrying the load. They are used and abused in a society that no longer respects their contributions. It would be interesting to see CNN provide the specific research and reporting.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  233. Amber, Ohio

    Jack, I am in one of those households with two adults, two young children, making around $50,000 a year and we don't pay federal taxes. Do I think it's fair? Right now, yes. If we received free healthcare, were able to go to college for free, and got other major benefits that citizens of other countries receive from paying more taxes, then I would be happy to not get a single dime back from my tax returns. Until then, we wouldn't benefit enough from paying into federal taxes. My tax return is a tremendous help for paying our medical bills and college loans each year–we need it.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  234. Susan

    Jack,
    what are you talking about? I work 20 hours a week, bring home about $250.00 and I pay federal taxes! I pay about 5.00 a week. I'll take a big salary and pay more taxes. I bet I would still have more money than I have now. You fat cats do not understand what poor is!

    Susan

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  235. Derrick in San Francisco

    How about you stop the rich wall street guys stealing money hand over fist as the dow hits 11000 and the corporations that hide money off shore and skirt taxes like AT&T did? And that's bull. I made only $20k and i paid taxes this year. My refund doesn't remotely cover what i paid out.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  236. Mary

    Is it right that 1% of America's population controls 95% of its wealth? Is it fair that corporations avoid taxes through loopholes while a family of four struggles to survive on $50,000 gross (not agi) Is it fair that big banks got bailed out, wealth was totally redistributed to the wealthy again and the blue collar worker is left holding the bag, AGAIN!!! Pensions, Gone, Savings, GONE, Home Equity, GONE, but Wall St is back on top with CEOs collecting bigger bonuses then ever! None of it is fair!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  237. Sydney (Iowa)

    This is very unfair to some of us who work hard and get taxed while other citizens who get more government free grants/help and hand-outs from our tax money just live in a free world. Everybody should pay their taxes, because they also get government benefits. I just found out that l have to pay the government $8 000.00 in taxes which they claim l owe. If l have four kids and earn less than $70 000, and get taxed at work and still get a letter from the government that says l owe $8 000.00, why should others not pay tax while the government is trying its best to kill me through unfair taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  238. ROCKY IN L.A.

    That does not seem fair, Jack. I think that there should be some tax credits for certain things but, in this case, too much of a good thing can (and does) hurt. Hmmm..? I wonder how many Tea Partiers and Republicans, who are CONSTANTLY whining about taxes being too high, fall into that non-paying category. ...but I digress. Anyone who benefits from something paid for by tax dollars, should be paying, at least, something in taxes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  239. Connie

    If those who are not paying taxes qualify, then why is there a problem?
    The wealthy have gotten breaks for years. Let's go to a "flat tax" that was proposed several years ago and never got any where.....seems like the fairest way to go "no loop holes!"

    P.S. What happened to the Jack that always appeared to have compassion for the poor? He appears to be more cynical than ever!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  240. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Yes, given the fact that the wealthiest 1% of our country makes more than 99% of the remaining Americans, and that the ratio of wealthy to those in poverty has increased during this recession. After all, these multi-millionaires hardly need to apply for food stamps or unemployment should they lose their job. Also, I don't think it was fair that those wealthy bank executives received million dollar bonuses for almost collapsing our economy and only received those bonuses through tax-payer monies.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  241. frankdozier

    This is almost an atrocity for the top 2% of Americans. If the poorest of people pay no taxes then that means the top 2% are fitting the bill for the bottom 50%. Socialism? Possibly. The top 2% deserve better. What's the point of having seven houses if you lose a small percentage of your vast income?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  242. A Chan

    Although I may not be paying much Federal Income Tax as a single person, I pay over $4,000 yearly for Property Tax so someone's kid can go to the local school, and over $7000 interest annually for my mortgage. I make less than $32000 gross a year. Would you think I contribute a more than fair share to the US economy?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  243. Brandon

    (Cedar City, UT)
    It is absolutely not right – that number should be 100%, because taxation is nothing more or less than a protection-racket. Not to say that some of the services it pays for aren't useful, even vital – though all could be provided from a different vector, and probably at higher quality and/or lower price – but the model is exactly the same, and calling one "crime" and the other "government" gives neither any more or less legitimacy.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  244. Matt from Iowa

    This provides a great bit of context to the current broader discussions on the tax system. I am a unemployed university grad with 80k in student loan debt. I made less than 18k last year. Even after the max student loan interest deduction, and standard paycheck withholding, i ended up owning the fed.

    Under our complicated tax code, a comfortable middle class family can completely avoid income tax, While the bill for their federal services is footed, in part, by people who make 10 bucks an hour.

    I do not think any number of tax cuts, or modifications to our already impossibly long and complicated tax code will stop things like this from happening. We need a new way.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  245. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Sure it is, the Republicans have been crying about not wanting to pay any taxes at every opportunity, they got their wish now they can stop calling the President a Radical, a Socialist and a Communist!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  246. Kathy Gudino

    Jack what you say is not exactly true. when you figure you tax, you have to meet your tax responsibility before you pay or get a refund. We make under 60 thousand a year and the federal withholding was over 4,000.00. Then after your deductions and exemptions are subtracted , then you could have to pay more taxes than what you paid through the year. So you can not say we pay no income tax???

    April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  247. tom Trapani, Quito, EC

    Taxes on income is based on INCOME if a person does not have sufficient income to reach the tax threshold so be it. A better question is should we close loop holes that give certain types of income an unfair advantage of earned income through labor.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  248. MARK PRIBBLE ANNA ILLINOIS

    I think we should all pay the tax regardless of what you make. We all receive help from the Government in one way or the other, from food stamps to Disaster relief & our infrastructure we should all share the tax burden.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  249. Ronnie

    The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. - Albert Einstein.
    still dont understand it..

    April 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  250. Eric

    In short, Yes. For decades expenses have out outpaced wages, the disparity between wealthy and poor has widened, and thanks to those tax cuts for the wealthy you mentioned the middle class is shrinking. Not to mention that the executive pay ceiling has launched into space. A few decades ago CEOs got 20-30 times the pay of the worker, now its several hundred times. What would you expect? Looking at it from another way, what does it say about our country that the top 10% of earners are capable of supplying 70% of the tax revenue?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  251. Randy Lawson

    Because after paying state and sales tax we don't have anything left to give to federal.

    Lyons,N.Y

    April 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  252. Joe CE

    No it is not right. It is a civic duty to share responsibility. People making between 60k & 500K should have an absolute minimum tax of $10. Minimum tax should be based upon gross income not adjusted gross – this would impact a lot of high income people.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  253. carter in colorado

    Hello Jack?
    Are you worried about the Chinese?
    The unlawful, un-apportioned direct income tax that is collected isn't enough even to pay for the interest on the Federal debt. So nobody's tax dollars pay for any services, just for interest to the Chinese.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  254. steve- virginia beach

    Not at all, especially in this day and age when one is labelled a racist if we expect folks to at least try to be as self-sufficient as possible and expect the government to at least try to alleviate the underlying problems that are causing our woes.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  255. Abe. P. Ochoa, McAllen, TX

    We need to understand that, All Americans, if they work, pay income taxes because it's deducted from their wages. Most probably get part of their taxes, returned when they file their federal/state returns the following year. Many, however, don't bother to file a return so they don't get any of their money back. True, the very wealthy pay more unless they claim deductions, etc. and are able to get away with paying very low amounts to the IRS.

    Most of the IRS money comes from middle class Americans. Why? Simple, because there more of them than any oher kind and they cannot afford to hire professionals who are able to find loopholes, deductions, etc., for the purposes of lowering the IRS costs.

    Very few of the "Illegals" have regular jobs so they don't have regular wages where Income Taxes may be deducted. However, they do pay Sales Taxes and because they seldom file Income Tax returns, they never get any of their money back.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  256. ed connor

    Mr. Cafferty, I am surprised that, as an informed journalist, you aren't aware of where our federal ( Income ) taxes actually go. Our personal Income taxes go to the "Federal Reserve" to pay part of the Interest that the Fed charges the Federal Government for printing our currency. That's it, that is where it goes. All direct taxes go for paying for roads, schools, things like that. All Corporate taxes, dollar for dollar, go to the defense budget, period. There is no income taxes going to pay for personal programs like you're suggesting. If you think I"m wrong, respond by e-mail. If you find that I am right, you need to correct yourself on the air. You owe it to you listeners.
    sincerely, Ed Connor

    April 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  257. MARK PRIBBLE ANNA ILLINOIS

    All should pay including all Churches.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  258. Lori in Minnesota

    If you have an income, you should pay something – a minimum tax of some kind. The real question is, of the half of Americans who are not paying taxes, how many are retirees living on only Social Security, had no income or were unemployed and unable to generate an income? If they have no money, it's difficult to tax them.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  259. Pat Stamm

    Hi Jack: We should all pay our fair share!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  260. dave

    jack that is a loaded question, 50,000 a year with 4 kids is not middle class any more. "From 1979 to 2009 after adjusting for inflation, the highest earners in the US saw dramatic growth in their earnings while the lowest earners now make less than they did 30 years ago"
    The gap between rich and poor grows and the middle class is being dissolved. That is the way this country is going. Soon there will be only two classes- the rich and the poor. The only way for the rich to get out of paying so much in taxes is to eliminate the poor. The rise of serfdom.1. A member of the lowest feudal class, attached to the land owned by a lord and required to perform labor in return for certain legal or customary rights.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  261. Dave Bechtel

    I've been aware of this report for some time now and just can't believe what it says.
    Both of our adult chilren have family's of four and salaries as teachers or public officials under $50K.
    They pay taxes!!! So, who is not paying , maybe those at the other end of the income scale or is this some "spin" by an anti-taxes think tank? Where is it's validity and detail.
    I can't believe anything any more!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  262. Joe

    Can you please explain the difference between federal income tax and federal payroll tax? Aren't federal payroll taxes paid according to your pay (i.e. income)? What's the difference?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  263. gilloes mauviel

    jack your are not asking the right question . you should asked a family making 50,000 a year should they really pay taxes. I like the question you asked wolf cause his anwser was not what you expected

    April 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  264. SHAWN FROM KY

    No Jack, it isn't right, its left. If the right had their way, everyone would pay income taxes, but the most wealthy would receive enormous tax breaks.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  265. southerncousin

    Looking at some of your responses, I see the hard core liberals trying to justify this travesty. They don't seem to understand that the rich pay substantially more in taxes, that could be going to start businesses that pay taxes rather than to unwed mothers, high school drop outs and dope smokers with no sense of personal responsibility. No, this is why the TEA party is growing. Wait unitl April 15th.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  266. Kandy Chik

    NO! It is absolutely "not" right that only half the households support the expenditures that support our American lifestyle. I lived in Hong Kong when it was under British control and they had a "flat tax." By the time that country was turned over to China, the surplus was so great they built a new airport in order to deplete the surplus funds prior to the takeover. Flat tax – to my way of thinking – is the most fair way of being taxed. I would "gladly" pay 10% of my yearly earnings if Bill Gates would pay his!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  267. Ritchie Griffith

    All people should have to pay some income taxes no matter what they make. If they pay none, then they do not realize how much money the government is really spending. If all these extra programs cost them more of their money, then they might not want all of them. At some point the 50% that are now paying all of the taxes are also going to run out of money. Unfortunately, with the spending we have seen under Obama, it has already happened if we pay the debt he has given us.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  268. catherine

    Mr Cafferty,
    I am very sorry for your loss. Maybe today is not the day to write for the first time to you, but when the time is right, In response to half of the households not paying federal tax – somethings missing. I 've been working and paying taxes since 14 yrs old. College was not an option for me, so i never got paid well, even in jobs with lots of resposibility. I have been disabled from disease since 2001. My husband could not find a job for a long time and when he did, it was minimum wage . He is now making( since the begg. of this year, a whopping 15 dollars an hour. And medicare doesn't cover many prescriptions for younger people who get sick. So we also had to take out a home loan ( adj. interest) that ended up being as high as the cost for our townhouse. And guess what? we paid Federal taxes. we live in expensive so.cal.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  269. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yes it's right, because people are being taxed to death by State taxes on food as well as other goods and services.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  270. chase

    No it is not right that half of americans don't pay income tax. It us not right to tax hard working people who go out and try to make something of themselves and not tax those who don't. Its not fair to keep taxing the wealthy while the moochers sit back and do nothing.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  271. joe m

    so the poor don't pay, the rich find ways not to have to pay, the politicians won't pay, so that leaves the rest of us working stiffs having to carry the burden. and people wonder why we are in such a financial mess. everyone expects something for nothing. that's the american way.

    NC

    April 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  272. Craig

    The idea of redistribution of wealth seems to outrage those who were the recipients when the redistribution was at the expense of our shrinking middle class. When you shift the wealth away from the middleclass are you shocked when the federal tax burden follows? Apparently trickle down economics didn't work out so well did it Jack?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  273. rick from vancouver canada

    If half of all Americans do not pay any federal taxes, why should they get to vote. Perhaps when your return is accepted with tax owing, the IRS should issue a voting voucher for the upcoming November elections

    April 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  274. Tom

    Jack,
    My wife and I pay over $50,000 a year in federal income tax, and I don't want to trade my lifestyle with any of those 47% who don't pay any income tax! Everyone who pays federal income tax should be thankful for the life this country allows him/her to live, not complain about those less blessed than they are.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  275. Bette

    I question if your percentage that do not pay taxes includes the 10 to 15 percent unemployed and the many retirees who exist on social security and do not owe any income tax.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  276. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, is it right that high paying manufacturing jobs were sacrificed to corporate greed and sent to the third world as part of "free trade?" Is it right that high paying middle management jobs were erased only to be replaced by lower paying service industry jobs? The American people were warned about the affects of "trickle down" economics and NAFTA, but we were given easy credit terms that let us buy more and more toys and we didn't pay attention to the fine print. Now we find that 50% of the people don't make enough money to pay taxes. Is it right? No. Is it the result of idiotic economic policies? Absolutely.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  277. RickFromDetroit

    A sales tax would be a good way to collect taxes, but we would end up with an uneven and unfair collection process unless the wage levels were standardized on and we narrowed the gap between the wealthy and the poor.
    It is impossible to balance anything out in this Country when we have some people making a million dollars a week while others are making a million dollars in their lifetime.
    That is why I say, tax the wealthy.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  278. Sandra Flowers

    Jack,

    I'm 65, worked and paid taxes all my life. Even retired I still pay taxes on retirement income and social security and if I try to earn a little more I am taxed on that. I am for a flat tax where everybody pays their fair share.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  279. steve- virginia beach

    No. I used to think differently but in the day of Progressives, those who aren't paying taxes are the ones who are pushing the hardest for out-of-control spending without a care as to whether the problems that are used to justify the spending are resloved. And the rest of us are racists if we don't like over priced and underachieving programs. I suspect they'd start caring more about responsible governence if they paid taxes too.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  280. Homer

    Jack,

    I'll be god damned if I'm going join one of those fucking social sites just to get a message to you and Wolf.

    Wolf's apparently too chicken shit to get a message to him, but since you're both just sitting there, ask him to prove someday there really is a difference between him and my hysterical old grandmother.

    And as for you, after we fist fight, lets go have a beer without the fucking president.

    Homer

    April 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  281. tammie

    Seems like a loaded question Jack, you trying to start something?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  282. Lynn

    It's about time the wealthy pay their share of taxes.
    The rich have gotten by for so many years while the middle class paid big time.
    The fat cats have got us so broken down that they need to take over.
    Why are you even asking this question, are you having to pay now?
    I know this won't make your column but am writing anyway.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  283. Russ

    Perhaps it's time for a flat tax. I'd probably pay more in taxes, but it would be fair. No one could weasel out.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  284. dk pennelle

    Paying taxes means having money in the game. Having money in the game means ownership. Ownership means caring more for what we own and being sure money is spent wisely and other owners behave. Now, the White House and Congress think they own all but need to pay nothing.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  285. Conor in Chicago

    It's the rich that start all the wars-they should shoulder the tax burden.

    It's the rich that buy all of our politicans and leave the poor in the wind. They should shoulder the tax burden

    It's the rich that own all of the media and pit us against each other so they can hold all the wealth and power. They should shoulder the tax burden.

    It's the least they could do for destroying this country for the last 30 years.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  286. Homer

    Let me ask you a question first Jack. Is it even mathematically possible for 5% of the population of this nation to control more than 99% of the wealth. Now, if you've got an equation that says that will work you let me know.

    But in the meantime I've been working for a living since I was 16 and now I find I've been losing ground ever since. Where's my party? Better yet; what's your solution?

    April 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  287. RickFromDetroit

    $1,000,000 a year comes to $19,230 a week. If I made that kind of money, I would say TAX ME, I don't need that much money any way!

    April 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  288. David Sisters OR

    Next tax cycle it will be 75% because no one will be working

    April 12, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  289. Dennis North Carolina

    yes, but thirty percent cheat on their taxes and never get caught. welcome to the united states of America.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  290. Zach

    Is it right? Maybe. Does it make any sense to claim Americans are over-taxed? You tell me.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  291. Jim - MI

    It is ridiculus that half the country pays no tax, this is also the group that cries the loudest for expanding benefits and taxing the tax payer heavier. Too many people looking for handouts, they are victims and entitled to everything.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  292. honestjohn in Vermont

    I sure know that I am not among the 47% that pays zero income taxes and never have been. I guess I make too little, too much to get a break.

    April 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  293. Hayden

    Maybe the taxpayers should have the power to put a mute on the republicans

    April 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm |