Half of Americans Unburdened By Income Tax, Complain Conservatives

The American conservative group “Heritage Foundation” gives us a graph that shows how the percentage of Americans has been rising who are neither federal income tax payers nor a dependent of someone who is.

Now you might think that American conservatives, who rarely have anything good to say about taxes, would be celebrating this erosion of the income tax. But no. The authors of the report call the “growth in the non-taxpaying public” a “worrying trend.”

And naturally, the Heritage folks conflate not paying any federal income tax with not paying any taxes at all, which makes them even more upset. It is “particularly alarming for the fate of the American form of government,” they say, and they don’t mean that in a good way.

Uncle Sam is floating some new ways of trying to make taxpaying “an offer you can’t refuse.”

  • canceling the passports of people who are behind on their taxes
  • making government employees’ retirement accounts leviable
  • forcing government employers to fire employees who are deliberately avoiding taxes

None of these proposals are law yet, but they’re being proposed in Congress, which means they probably have revenue estimates associated with them, which means if Congress is looking around for a way to pay for something else they want to do, they might add one of these proposals to their bill at a moment’s notice.