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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TPC: Five Myths About the 47 Percent

Tax Policy Center LogoTax Policy Center:  Five Myths About the 47 Percent:

As Mitt Romney recently noted, about 47% of U.S. households do not pay federal income taxes. Some see this as evidence of a welfare state run amok. Others think that gimmicks and loopholes let both rich and poor Americans duck their taxes. This commentary corrects some misconceptions about this group, now colloquially called the 47%.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/09/tpc-.html

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Comments

TPC is demolishing its reputation as a non-partisan source of information by repeatedly wading into political debates. Even if the analysis is perfectly accurate exactly down the middle, people on either side will not see it as such.

Accuracy issues aside, TPC's recent topic selection has shown a bias toward Democrats, their points of view, and their accusations against Republicans. For example, where is the analysis about how high tax rates will need to go once the borrowing window closes on the federal government? That's going to be incredibly regressive when, not if, it happens. It's infinitely more important than studying one dumb campaign statement.

TPC has always been above reproach, providing pertinent and accurate analysis of important and feasible policy alternatives. This year it's turning the corner to becoming yet another partisan think tank analyzing largely irrelevant topics that are being promoted by Democrats' campaign staffs. That's really sad. It's so hard to build a reputation for impartiality and so easy to destroy it through carelessness.

I'm reminded of the advice given by Obama's first Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: Just shut up. Although he phrased it less delicately: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/06/secretary-gatess-stfu-policy/

Posted by: AMTbuff | Sep 25, 2012 2:07:55 PM

Romney talked about people who don't pay any federal income taxes, which fund the federal government, so the Brookings and Urban Institute "tax center", which is actually way left of center, immediately changes the subject to include all local sales taxes, social security taxes, etc.

"If you can somehow force a liberal into a point-counterpoint argument, his retorts will bear no relation to what you've said -- unless you were in fact talking about your looks, your age, your weight, your personal obsessions, or whether you are a fascist. In the famous liberal two-step, they leap from one idiotic point to the next, so you can never nail them. It's like arguing with someone with Attention Deficit Disorder." -– Ann Coulter

Posted by: Woody | Sep 25, 2012 2:26:16 PM

Glad to learn that Medicare and Social Security don't count as "federal government" according to Ann Coulter. Without those two spurious government programs that pretty much leaves military spending.

I live in a pretty poor state. Lots of 47%ers here, I have admit. I have a deal for Woody: The 47% can do without their EITC and Mitt Romney can send his sons to war. Fair enough?

Posted by: jimharper | Sep 25, 2012 6:01:15 PM

Jim Harper, those two things have nothing to do with each other. Refer back to Coulter's quote.

Posted by: Woody | Sep 26, 2012 9:22:26 AM