Running a fire department on an individual or household basis is nearly impossible. The same cannot be said for your medical insurance, paid time off, and retirement.
And one of Iowa's senators for 30 years, Tom Harkin, was quite liberal and the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When you break it out by income bracket, a lot of things show up that are contrary to popular opinion.
For example, if you look at non-elderly taxpayers in California or Texas, you'll see that for the bottom 60% of earners, California offers lower taxes than Texas. The bottom 20% there is a very large difference in particular. It's only the wealthy (really about the top 5-10%) where California actually taxes more.
Most states are actually regressive that way in taxation - very few states tax the bottom 20% less than they do the top 1% as a percent of their income (CA, DE, MN, NJ, VT). But the press reports based on taxes for the wealthy or averages, which are skewed towards what is done for the wealthy rather than the median.
For example, the bottom 20% of households by income pay a total federal tax burden of about 1.3% on average (-10.9% on income taxes, 9.4% on payroll taxes, 0.6% on corporate taxes, 2.2% on excise taxes). The top 1%, by comparison, pay an average of 31.6% (24.4% in income taxes, 2.2% on payroll taxes, 4.8% on corporate taxes, 0.2% on excise taxes).
You can also structure your income to avoid taxes, particularly if you're wealthy. I don't do anything unusual, but my investment income is generally taxed between 0% and 15%. My earned income I'm in a 22% tax bracket, but pay an effective total income tax rate of about 12%.
Confused? That's all thanks to the CPA lobby. :)
p.s. : I know there are exceptions like if a parent physically isn't able to raise children but still...
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