Bill O'Reilly Knows Who Has It Rough In This Country, And It Is The Rich
Oh look, Bill O'Reilly is protecting the rich again! You will be very surprised to learn that in a Monday segment that was ostensibly about "income inequality in America," O'Reilly explained that the real inequality in America is all abouthow tough the rich have it, while those who aren't millionaires are just living it up all the time, having a big party at the expense of oppressed rich people. It's really an impressive bit of bullshitting, and you can bet that a lot of Fox viewers will take a moment out of their second or third jobs to sympathize with the plight of those making 300 times as much as they do.
And O'Reilly has a very impressive array of numbers and bafflegab to help prove that, in Obama's America, the rich are burdened like never before!
This year -- 2015 -- the feds will gather more tax money than ever before, about $3 trillion.
That's because since taking office President Obama has proposed 442 tax increases, not counting 20 others associated with Obamacare.
why, that's just insane, how Obama "proposed" exactly 442 tax increases, which have made the government richer than ever! Except that even if the number were true -- and it isn't; it's bullshit from Grover Norquist -- "proposed" tax hikes don't actually raise taxes until they're passed. But O'Reilly apparently lives in a world where "proposing" something is exactly the same as that thing happening, which is excellent news to John McCain, who can now be satisfied that his proposals to bomb pretty much everywhere mean that those bombs have actually been dropped.
Oh, and why is the government on the verge of collecting a record amount of taxes? Because the economy is improving, and that means higher revenues, helped along by the one tax increase Obama actually did manage, the tiny marginal rate increase on income over $400,000 that was part of the "fiscal cliff" deal a million years ago. Stupid economy!
And then O'Reilly throws out a whole bunch of other scary numbers and half-truths, all aimed at explaining how bad it is for the rich -- in fact, he says, "I believe that I've cut back investing because of the heavy capital gains hit" -- he believes it, so it is true! And how heavy was that hit? An increase from a 15% rate to 20%, for those making over $400,000 a year.
Then O'Reilly gets to the true winners -- those lucky duckies who aren't rich:
So you can see that taxes are through the roof on affluent Americans and business profits.
But for the rest of Americans, things are not so bad.
The bottom 60% of wage-earners pay just 2.7% of federal income taxes.
The bottom 40% actually get money from the feds; they receive payments called earned-income tax credits.
My god, that's just outrageous, isn't it? We especially like the statistical sleight-of-hand where he goes from talking about income tax rates to the bit about the bottom 60% of earners only accounting for "2.7% of federal income taxes" -- as if they were only taxed at a 2.7% rate. Hey, Bill, here's a clue: The poor don't pay a huge percentage of total income tax revenues because they don't have much money. If you managed to tax full-time minimum wage-earners at, let's say, 100%, leaving them nothing to live on, you'd get a whopping $15,000 a year from each of them. And as to the EITC, why, we're so old we remember when it was Ronald Reagan's favorite anti-poverty measure -- but we guess that was when people were in favor of "anti-poverty."
Ah, but here's the bestest lie of all, and no matter how many times fuzzy-headed liberals point it out, conservatives will never ever EVER acknowledge it: The right likes to pretend that income tax is the only kind of tax in the world, because then it's a lot easier to pretend that poor people pay no taxes at all. In reality, as a terrific piece at Vox reminded us last week, most Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes -- yes, even those 47% slackers! And of course, middle- and lower-income people pay a hell of a lot more in state and local taxes, which conveniently enough are higher for the poor than for the rich. Imagine that.
Still, we'd better be very careful to be nice to our overlords, lest they stop giving us jobs out of the goodness of their hearts. Let's just hope that Billo doesn't read this almost unspeakably stupid Breitbart piece arguing for more regressive taxation, to teach the poors a lesson:
Some will say that regressive taxation would be unfair on the poor because it places a disproportionate burden on them. But I say: why not incentivise self-betterment? Why not make success attractive, rather than something to be ridiculed and loathed?
Lord knows, the only thing keeping everyone from being rich is that poor people aren't miserable enough.