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2009 (the year cited for this claim) was an outlier because of temporary tax cuts and the economy. Dreaded Anomaly Send a noteboard - 25/02/2012 01:14:01 AM
The link below (which I also posted further down in the thread) is a blog post by a member of the Tax Policy Center, which did the research. It says:

It is no accident, btw, that the number of people not paying income tax was so high in 2009. You may have noticed that we’ve had a recession lately. And here is a powerful insight: When people’s incomes decline so too does their income tax (at least most of the time). At the same time, many working families have benefited from temporary tax cuts aimed at boosting the economy, and as a result some did not pay income taxes last year. As the economy improves and those tax cuts expire, it should also be no surprise that the share of people who don't pay income taxes will likely shrink from half last year to less than 40 percent by 2012.
About Those 47 Percent Who Pay “No Taxes.”
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Why Joel is CRAZY - Nearly Half of All Americans Don't Pay Federal Income Taxes - 23/02/2012 04:43:15 AM 830 Views
A not so hypothetical situation... - 23/02/2012 05:46:44 AM 392 Views
Your paying more money now than then. Lower rate but more money *NM* - 23/02/2012 07:52:51 AM 212 Views
Accurate statement, but not a justification *NM* - 23/02/2012 03:44:55 PM 171 Views
Re: A not so hypothetical situation... - 23/02/2012 02:39:43 PM 390 Views
I don't know much about that. - 23/02/2012 03:53:27 PM 330 Views
Why the heck do you think the current tax system is skewed to the rich? - 23/02/2012 03:18:43 PM 437 Views
That's a fair question - 23/02/2012 03:52:08 PM 378 Views
Once again, poor people have no money with which to pay taxes. - 23/02/2012 06:23:07 AM 429 Views
50% of America is not "poor" or too poor to pay federal income taxes..... - 23/02/2012 01:01:24 PM 365 Views
It clearly is, if they're not paying taxes. - 23/02/2012 02:32:54 PM 301 Views
Regarding the mortgage deduction..... - 23/02/2012 03:20:37 PM 408 Views
You base that statement on what, exactly? Fervent desire that it be true? - 25/02/2012 12:43:30 AM 404 Views
2009 (the year cited for this claim) was an outlier because of temporary tax cuts and the economy. - 25/02/2012 01:14:01 AM 415 Views
You're operating under the same fallacy he does - that people should pay income taxes. - 23/02/2012 12:05:52 PM 485 Views
In much the same way - 23/02/2012 01:40:58 PM 436 Views
Same argument re: fallacies - 24/02/2012 02:52:17 PM 314 Views
Was meant as a joke reply - 02/03/2012 06:30:15 PM 335 Views
Joel is crazy, but I highly doubt that this is "why" - 23/02/2012 01:36:37 PM 489 Views
HA! HA! Very well played! *NM* - 23/02/2012 03:49:35 PM 128 Views
You mention this statistic all the time. - 23/02/2012 02:16:47 PM 259 Views
Obviously, we are talking about the bottom 50%..... - 23/02/2012 03:22:43 PM 277 Views
How do you account for retired folks? - 23/02/2012 04:18:59 PM 406 Views
social security isn't taxable either *NM* - 24/02/2012 04:21:21 AM 157 Views
Easy... he doesn't. - 25/02/2012 02:56:05 AM 272 Views
I wonder how much of that statistic is students - 23/02/2012 02:22:58 PM 457 Views
Federal taxes - 23/02/2012 04:18:22 PM 361 Views
Your figures are fairly unrealistic - 23/02/2012 04:54:44 PM 408 Views
Not entirely. - 23/02/2012 06:30:18 PM 292 Views
On exempting SS income: - 25/02/2012 02:30:43 AM 361 Views
Is there any reason why one should exclude the other? - 23/02/2012 07:32:09 PM 316 Views

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