Tag: Taxes

The Federal Government Collected Record Income Tax Revenue in 2018

The United States’ economy continued to roar to life under President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress in recent months; racking up a record-setting tax haul for the US Treasury in the 2018 fiscal year.

According to CNS News, “The federal government collected a record $1,683,537,000,000 in individual income taxes in fiscal 2018 (October 2017 through September 2018).”

The previous record for personal income tax was back in 2015.

The strong economic report from the United States Treasury may spell disaster for Democratic hopefuls heading into the highly-contested 2018 midterm elections.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi -and potential Speaker of the House- has vowed to repeal the widely popular GOP tax cuts should her party retake control of Congress this fall.

Read the full story here.

Do Illegal Immigrants Really Pay “$10 Billion” A Year In Taxes?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Are illegal immigrant laborers putting money into the pot just like the rest of us? That’s what a number of pundits on the left have claimed, usually with a figure in the range of $10-12 billion a year.

  • PolitiFact rated the statement “Undocumented immigrants pay $12 billion of taxes every single year” from María Teresa Kumar of “Vote Latina” true – even though the “$12 billion” figure was based off of payroll taxes, half of which is paid by the employer. On the other hand, her estimate didn’t include state and local taxes.
  • A 2016 study by the non-partisan Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants paid $11.64 billion in state and local taxes in 2013.

So there appears to be some truth to the claim, but first let’s answer the lingering question of how the heck illegal immigrants are paying taxes in the first place.

That’s where the “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” comes in. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals that must file taxes, but either don’t have or are ineligible for a Social Security number. ITIN’s are issued regardless of immigration status. Of an estimated illegal immigrant workforce of 8 million, 3.4 million, or less than half, are registered with ITINs and are paying taxes. So the majority are not.

And of those who do, let’s take that $12 billion figure at face value and put it in perspective. In 2017, the Federal government spent $4 trillion, or 10.95 billion per day. The entirety of the nation’s taxpaying illegals don’t even pay enough in taxes to cover what the federal government spends in a day (because the 12 billion figure includes taxes paid to state and local governments).

And this is from eight million workers. The American labor force had roughly 160 million workers in 2017. Just for the sake of a thought experiment, if we were to replace the entire labor force with illegal immigrants, and have them pay all their state and local taxes to the feds, the Federal government would’ve collected approximately $240 billion in tax revenue in 2017, as opposed to the $3.3 trillion that the Federal government actually collected in 2017.

And seldom do those pointing out that illegals pay taxes mention how much they take from the pot.

  • Because illegals displace legal American employment (100% of which would be paying taxes – and likely at higher wages), illegal immigrants impose a $30 billion annual cost in lost tax revenue.
  • Because of pressure on wages, illegal immigrants are costing American workers $118 billion annually in lost wages.
  • the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds the net cost of illegal immigration (i.e. net of taxes paid by illegals) to be $116 billion. This is particularly noteable, because they assume that illegals pay $19 billion annually in taxes – far more than our liberal friends typically claim.
  • The conservative Heritage Foundation’s study on the same subject finds a comparatively lower $55 billion net cost to American taxpayers.
  • Health care costs for illegal immigrants alone total nearly $20 billion, or almost double what they pay in taxes, according to American Enterprise Institute scholar Chris Conover.

So yes, we are getting about $12 billion a year in tax revenue from illegals.

Problem is, it just costs a heck of a lot more than $12 billion to collect it.

Did We Really Use To Tax the Rich at 90%+?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

There’s one regard in which some fiscal liberals want us to return to the “good ol’ days” – insanely high tax rates, especially on the wealthy.

While the top tax rate is 37% today (previously 39.6%), debating raising or lowering the rate a few percentage points is pale in comparison to the rates of 70-90% we had in the past, we’re told.

  • “When radical, socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, I think the highest marginal tax rate was something like 90 percent” Bernie Sanders informed us, speaking tongue in cheek in regards to that “socialist” quip.
  • “That 90% top rate in the 60s wasn’t as crazy as modern context might make it seem. And remember, the economy thrived” tweeted New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who somehow has a Nobel Prize in economics.
  • “The income tax rate, through the early 60s… is I think 91% on incomes over $200,000.” said author Malcolm Gladwell.  “The thing is, if you bring this up now, people don’t even believe you that was in place 50 years ago.”

Gladwell is famous for stating that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill, but it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes of research into historical tax rates to prove the above arguments wrong.

As everyone that has filed taxes knows, the marginal tax bracket they fall into isn’t the effective tax rate you pay, because of deductions, and other factors. In the past, the tax code was ridden with loopholes.

When the Revenue Act of 1935 was passed, raising the top income tax bracket to 75%, literally only one person paid it; John D. Rockefeller.

It is true that we did use to have massively high marginal tax rates, but it was never the case that we had high effective marginal tax rates. Nor are the top rates comparable of the past comparable in the levels of income they affect. The new top income tax rate for households of 32 percent kicks in at $315,001 of income. The 91% rate in 1955 kicked in at an inflation adjusted $3.5 million in todays income.

As you can see in this chart from the Congressional Research Service, the top effective income tax rate in America has never exceeded 30 percent.

If we isolate just the much-maligned top 1% of income earners, their tax rate is less than 6 percentage points lower today than what it averaged in the 1950s. A decline for sure, but hardly the 60-or-so percentage point decline claimed.

Nor has the government been starved of revenue in light of the decline of marginal tax rates – because it’s the effective rate that matters.

Krugman and company are right in that tax rates on the rich used to be much higher.

But the tax rates that the rich actually paid? Not so much.

April 6, 2018: Ep. 693 Is This What the FBI is Hiding?

The unprecedented efforts by the FBI to hide the documents describing the origins of the Trump/Russia investigation are all making sense now. In today’s show I discuss the scandalous scheme that could destroy our faith in international intelligence cooperation. I also discuss liberal efforts to manipulate suburban voters and China’s “doomsday weapon” in the trade wars.

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February 13, 2018: Ep. 654 More Strange Occurrences

The dossier is still unverified.

Why did Obama’s National Security Advisor send this bizarre email to herself?

A great synopsis of our debt and spending problems summed up in one article.

No, Obama cannot take credit for the economic growth going on.

An older piece that describes the broad surveillance net a FISA warrant can cast.

This piece from 2017 describes the CIA-FBI relationship with regard to the dossier verification process.

February 9, 2018: Ep. 652 Is There Another Scandal Lurking?

This piece sums up why the FBI placed all of their trust in a former British spy they knew was lying to them.

Was the FBI team investigating Hillary Clinton violating information security procedures themselves?

More astonishing evidence of Russian collusion with the Democrats.

More evidence that tax cuts do not “cost the government money.”

Venezuela descends into complete chaos. Read this piece about their “Mad Max” like roads.

Hillary hijacked the justice system, here’s one of the people she used to do it.